Steven Gerrard has identified the pairing of Mo Diame and Mikel Merino as a ‘Championship midfield’ when reflecting on our 2-0 defeat at Anfield – an uninformed and misguided rant from the Liverpool legend whose comments do them no justice whatsoever.
Has he been watching the Mo Diame that’s dominated many a midfield battle over the past few months? Or the Mikel Merino who, when fully fit, has looked a class act on his debut season in England? Clearly not.
Gerrard has a right to assess what they did wrong on Saturday, but to say they’re Championship players is jumping the gun here. Pundits are allowed to have big opinions, but when they’re misplaced and then spouted to the masses then something needs to be said.
Assessing the pairs performance against Liverpool on Saturday, here’s what he had to say about Diame and Merino in the BT studio after the game:
“For me, it’s a Championship midfield. It’s a big ask to put Diame and Merino against Can, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain”
Did he ever consider that it was two up against three in a game that we were always chasing? They were bound to be overran and up against it.
He then went on to slate their effort levels in the game, claiming Diame only gets into a full sprint when running forward, claiming he only runs back at ‘60%’. Again, this is a comment that suggests he hasn’t been watching his performances closely in recent weeks, with Diame’s effort levels having been outstanding for the past two and a half months.
I also feel that Saturday’s defeat wasn’t down to a lack of effort, but instead a lack of quality.
"If I'm a Newcastle fan, travelling in these conditions, and I see some of them recovery runs – I would be bitterly disappointed."
Steven Gerrard dismisses the work rate of the Newcastle midfield as "not good enough." pic.twitter.com/Zb0PHG5QqR
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 3, 2018
Yet another overreaction from pundits who just don’t seem to understand our players or our situation in the league.
Merino’s a championship player who was signed from Dortmund and never played in the championship before? Aye ok.
— Andy (@Andrew_Murdy) March 3, 2018
remember when shelvey and diame pocketed pogba and matic, of course they don’t
— ben (@kxnedyy) March 3, 2018
Yes because that’s 3 versus 2 you absolute plum 1 Liverpool paid more for a centre half than we have for a team!!!! Perspective is a fabulous trait.
— Keith Wilson (@kwilsonandnina) March 3, 2018