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Steven Gerrard Outlines His Anti-Showboating Philosophy For Liverpool U18s

Steven Gerrard Outlines His Anti-Showboating Philosophy For Liverpool U18s
By Mikey Traynor

Steven Gerrard has been appointed as manager of Liverpool's U18 side for next season, and at the moment he is shadowing other coaches at Melwood as he gears up for what will no doubt be an interesting next chapter of his career in the game.

Liverpool fans, as well as the youngsters in the club's academy, will be delighted to see Gerrard involved and will surely he hoping that one day he can reach a level where he is considered for involvement for the first team, but for now it's baby steps.

And Gerrard has wasted no time in informing the public how he wants his Liverpool U18 side to play next season, as he revealed in an interview with The Guardian.

Stevie G believes that showboating is becoming a problem in academies as young players are desperate to stand out, so he will be focusing on getting his players ready for the physical demands of senior football, within reason.

As a player I got many, many tackles wrong and went over the top a few times and I had to apologise. That is not something I want to put into young players at all but you have to prepare them for the top level and the top level is physical and demanding.

You have to get them to be mentally strong to be prepared for that. I hate watching footballers and football when there is no physical side and you don’t compete.

And on showboating, Gerrard makes a good point.

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If you see a clip from an underage game, it's almost always a trick or a bit of skill, or a long-range goal, so these kids know that if they pull something spectacular off they can make a name for themselves.

Actively trying to impress is a bad habit to get into if you want to have a long career as a pro, and this is what Gerrard hopes to instill in the kids he coaches.

There is a showboating mentality through academies. A lot of kids think they have to do 10 lollipops or Cruyff turns to look good or stand out. We all love a bit of skill and talent but the other side of the game is huge. I have to try and prepare these players for careers in the game. Not all of them will play for Liverpool’s first team but I feel if I can help them to compete in the other side of the game it will help their careers.

You didn't see that in Gerrard's day, so where did it come from?

FIFA, and computer games, apparently.

Maybe it [showboating] comes from computer games, I don’t know. There are a lot of skilful players that young players try and emulate – probably too much instead of playing to their own strengths. They try and model their game on players like Ronaldo whereas you have to look at yourself and say: ‘What have I got? What are my strengths? How can I improve my weaknesses and become a player in my own right?’

Wouldn't that see a lot more random hacks at the goalkeeper then? We're not so sure.

In all seriousness, Gerrard makes a lot of sense there, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on. You can read Stevie G's interview in full over on The Guardian.

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