• Premier League

Carragher: Gerrard Liverpool's greatest player

ESPN staff
January 21, 2013
Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have spent their entire careers at Liverpool © Getty Images

Steven Gerrard has been hailed as Liverpool's greatest ever player by team-mate Jamie Carragher.

England captain Gerrard, 32, received the tribute from his long-time friend and colleague after being honoured by the Football Writers' Association at a gala dinner on Sunday night.

He was given the FWA Tribute Award for making an outstanding contribution to the national game, winning praise from England coach Roy Hodgson and former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, among others.

Gerrard has scored 94 goals in 428 Premier League appearances for Liverpool, and won his 100th England cap in the 4-2 friendly defeat against Sweden in Stockholm in November.

Carragher, speaking at the dinner, suggested that the Liverpool captain is above even Kenny Dalglish in the list of all-time Anfield greats.

"I think we are in the presence of the greatest player ever to play for Liverpool," Carragher said. "People will say I am biased because we are good friends and because of the trophies we have won together, but it is a fair accolade to give him.

"There are guys like Kenny (Dalglish), Graeme Souness, Ian Rush, all world-class players, but the difference was they were in a world-class team - and Stevie has not played in a world-class team.

"Stevie's one strength is he has no weakness. He can run, tackle pass and score goals.

"Football is a team game, but special players do special things at special times, and that is Steven Gerrard."

Carragher has also backed Liverpool's blossoming strike partnership of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez to cause headaches for opposing defences across the Premier League.

Sturridge, brought in from Chelsea for £12 million at the beginning of January, started alongside leading scorer Suarez for the first time on Saturday as Norwich were thrashed 5-0 at Anfield.

The England international continued a fine start to his career on Merseyside by becoming the first Liverpool player to score in his first three appearances for the club since Ray Kennedy in 1974. Suarez also scored, thanks in part to a Sturridge's dummy in the build-up, to take his goal total for the season to 20 - a tally no Liverpool player has reached since Fernando Torres in 2009-10.

And vice-captain Carragher, who made only his second league start of the season on Saturday, feels the new-look forward line has what it takes to lift the club up from their current league position of seventh.

He was, though, rather less impressed by the robot dance with which Sturridge celebrated his goal. Carragher told the Liverpool Echo: "Daniel looks a really good player and has linked up really well with Luis.

"Luis was in a slightly deeper role against Norwich, but it doesn't matter where he plays - he is a still a world-class player.

"You could see the difference it made when Daniel came on against Manchester United, and then we scored five against Norwich.

"That's three games in a row he's scored now and if he does as well as Ray Kennedy here, he will have done very well. I'm sure Ray Kennedy didn't do that stupid dance, though.

"It's not just about goals, although obviously that's an important thing for a striker. It's nice to have an extra body up there. Daniel gives us a bit more pace and strength in attack.

"You see the ball coming into him and he has that strength to hold the ball. He has great movement and has the pace to get in behind defences. He has a presence about him."

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