Former England midfielder Chris Waddle believes Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard should be viewed as a possible international centre-back once he can no longer play to the best of his ability in the middle of midfield, the
Waddle pointed to the experience of his former colleague for club and country, Glenn Hoddle, who played as a sweeper for Swindon Town and Chelsea towards the end of his playing days, as an example of a midfielder who prolonged his playing days with a position switch.
The suggestion comes as it is rumoured Roy Hodgson will select Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick in the centre of defence for England against San Marino on Friday. Waddle argued that against the minnows England do not need ordinary defenders, insisting that England could be better served playing central midfielders in the positions instead.
Waddle pointed to England’s continental rivals with a history of using midfielders in defence, arguing that Germany saw success with the idea and the likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Lothar Mattheus and Matthias Sammer as cultured defenders. The ESPN pundit believes Gerrard could follow in their footsteps if English football is open-minded enough to accept the idea.
He said: “I think Steven Gerrard could end up playing in a back four when his legs aren’t capable of playing box-to-box any more. He’s good enough to convert to a full-back or centre-half, he’s competitive, he reads the game brilliantly, he has a terrific range of passing.
“We pigeonhole a player in a position, then we say, ‘He hasn’t got the legs now, get rid of him’. Put him in a different position.”
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