Steven Gerrard is something of a Hamlet figure to me: he possesses the Danish prince’s intelligence and wit, albeit in his feet. He has a fatal flaw – he will never achieve his full potential: remember the slip at Chelsea. He is a hero figure: the night in Istanbul and the dynamism of his leadership will never be forgotten by fans.
He is tragic: his personal loss at Hillsborough embodies so many fans’ feelings of the injustice, which will never be forgotten. Now he has left the team he loved so well, and the fans who loved him, will the rest be silence? I hope not.
Jurgen Klopp has said that Gerrard will not return as a player. But Stevie G ‘s exit from Anfield and his journey to LA Galaxy is a little like Hamlet’s exile to England. We believe he will be back and picking over the bones of past defeats and he will look to lead the challenge for accolades, a foil in his hand, at whatever price.
I have seen Gerrard in action. He is a playmaker, an inspiration, he can rally troops and demand that others give their very best , as he demands of himself at all times. He plays with passion, which many may perceive as a weakness, but it makes for dynamic and heroic football on the field.
Camus said football was like theatre and Gerrard is our own tragic prince. Fans will recall his post-match huddle after the win against Manchester City, that season we so nearly won the title, in which his rhetoric was spot on. They will recall the time he stamped on Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera and was given a red card and how he regretted that his desperation to urge the team forward had resulted in a madness akin to Hamlet’s own blasted ecstasy. Gerrard is Liverpool’s own legend. ‘In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god!’
Gerrard certainly has a place in fans’ hearts. These fans will demand that he will have a place at Anfield and he will play a pivotal role in the club’s future and the club’s striving for success. Whether this role is as a player, a coach, an ambassador, a manager, only time will tell. As Hamlet suggests to Horatio, it will happen, but we do not know when.
We can be certain, however, that he has a major role to play in the future of the club. Maybe our success is inextricably linked to the return of the talisman. We await it eagerly. ‘If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all.’