- Premier League
Gerrard writes off title hopes
Steven Gerrard has no intention of leaving Liverpool despite having acknowledged that it would take a "miracle" for him to win the Premier League.
Gerrard, 32, has spent his entire career with the club and while he has enjoyed success in cup competitions - notably winning the Champions League in 2005 - he has been unable to inspire a first Liverpool league title since 1990. In his new book, My Liverpool Story, he writes that to do so during his playing career would now require a miracle.
There was a time during his career when the lure of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea tempted him, but ultimately he remained at Anfield and has no regrets over his decision.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, he said: "What I've achieved here and my feeling and love for this club... it's more important for me, now, to think 'What can I realistically achieve in the next two or three years as a Liverpool player?' rather than thinking, selfishly, 'Maybe I can sneak away and try and win the league with someone else'."
He knows that the top four is likely to be the extent of the club's ambitions this season, given the competition at the top of the table.
"We were eighth last year," he said. "If this season goes well, we get a bit of luck, improve, we have an outside, no, a 50-50 chance of being in the top four. That's being realistic - it's achievable - but even if we do sneak into the top four I'll be 33 at the end of the season, so that's why it'll be a miracle if we win the title before I finish. But I'll keep fighting. I'll keep trying and see what happens."
As for when he will finish, he added: "I think I can play on at this level for quite a while. I've got this season and next on my contract. I'm not looking for a new contract but I'm hoping next year will not be my last. I'll know when I'm ready to go."
He believes that Liverpool are taking significant steps forwards under Brendan Rodgers, even if the results have not arrived as quickly as had been hoped.
"We're on the edge of becoming a really good team. Teams are going to struggle against our style. The kids coming through are very exciting. Raheem Sterling is phenomenal. A lot of people want to take credit but it has to be given to Brendan."
Rodgers' commitment to passing football may not fit perfectly with the all-action style that has been Gerrard's trademark for the bulk of his career, and he appears unwilling to suppress his instincts entirely.
"The past few games I've played beside Joe Allen and Joe's naturally going to play slightly deeper and keep the passes safe and build attacks. But if I get in the final third and I see a ball... you know, if I keep playing balls safe and nice and keep the ball and I'm thinking 'Shall I get a 90% pass success so Brendan Rodgers likes me?', the Liverpool fans won't be happy with my performances. I'm judged on something else."