Gerrard has earned the chance to move on

The ability of football fans to be hypocritical never ceases to amaze me.

The announcement of Steven Gerrard’s departure from Liverpool FC last week sparked an outcry from fans of the club, their rivals supporters and many pundits, that they should do all they can to retain his services until his retirement from the sport.

A lot of the non-Liverpool fans who are so quick to tear into the decision were probably among those mocking the ex-England midfielder for his slip last April against Chelsea.

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They were probably also among the many moaners saying he had never been a ‘great’ England player and was getting too old to play for a team going for a Champions League spot.

Now all of a sudden he is a world-beater again after a headed goal and a free-kick in a steady display on Monday night, against a club lying 12th in League Two.

Gerrard admitted on Tuesday he would have signed a contract if it had been offered in pre-season, but added: “I’ve never wanted to be a squad player, If I was missing games now, I’d be sitting out even more next season.”

The exclusion of Gerrard from the starting line-up for the 1-0 Champions League defeat at Real Madrid started the ball rolling for the national media as rumours of a rift between the midfielder and boss Brendan Rodgers were rife.

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As he heads toward his 35th birthday, Gerrard must realise his days of being an automatic choice for every league and cup game for Liverpool are behind him, though I feel he has earned the right for a new start in the MLS.

For many years Gerrard seemed to carry the Reds to victory in games where they were devoid of inspiration, most famously in the 2006 FA Cup final win against West Ham with his long-range goal and the 2005 Champions League victory against AC Milan, where the Reds recovered from 3-0 down at the break.

He has been their main man for years, but I feel fans need to look to the future and stop looking back.

Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, when fit, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge are the future of the club, along with Jordan Henderson, who looks likely to replace Gerrard as skipper.

No-one can replace Gerrard when he was at his peak, but sadly that is quite a few years ago now.