Steven Gerrard: To play for Liverpool you've got to be world class
Steven Gerrard has warned Liverpool’s youngsters that only “world-class” players will make it into the side’s first team, insisting that ability alone is not a guarantee of success.
The former midfielder takes charge of Liverpool’s U18s side ahead of the new season, having returned to the club in a coaching capacity earlier this year.
Gerrard himself was a product of the academy system at Liverpool and rose up through the ranks before making his senior breakthrough in 1998. He went on to make 710 appearances for the club, scoring a total of 186 goals.
The 37-year-old is currently in the process of selecting his backroom staff, but insisted he had no intentions of changing the club's values.
"There's a lot of talent, a lot of talent, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: to play for Liverpool's first team, you've got to be world-class," Gerrard told the club's official website.
"You've got to be world-class every day; the values of our club will never change, so I am not going to come in and try and change any of the values.
"It'll be more of the same, but trying to tell them that every single day you've got to be obsessed to play for Liverpool's first team.
"We've got a job to do and that's to try and push them and get every single bit of effort and determination."
Gerrard, who will begin his tenure as the U18s boss in early July, claimed that times have changed since he was a youth player at the club.
"I think it's changed - I think 10/15 years ago, you could play for Liverpool's first team if you were very good," he added.
"You can't do that anymore because the players that are there are world-class, so to move someone out of the way and become a regular, you've got to be world-class."
Independent News Service