Brendan Rodgers feels "phenomenal" Steven Gerrard is irreplaceable

A disappointed Steven Gerrard leaves the field at half-time after scoring an own goal on December 9, 2012
© PA Photos
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers thinks that his side would struggle desperately without their "unique" and "phenomenal" captain Steven Gerrard.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted that Steven Gerrard is a player he cannot cope without for any length of time this season.

Gerrard started Sunday's FA Cup match against Oldham Athletic on the bench and despite coming on could not stop the Reds slipping to a shock 3-2 defeat.

Rodgers blasted his younger players following their performance against Oldham and believes that Gerrard's influence on the whole squad remains immeasurable.

He told reporters: "Steven is a unique player. At Oldham, it was like someone had dropped him from heaven because we went to a totally different level.

"Unfortunately, I can't say that without him we would be all right, because I don't believe we would.

"With each day that goes by, you see his real importance to the club. At 32 years of age, he still looks so fit and strong. You can see his influence on the team. As a captain, he's been just phenomenal."

The 32-year-old has started every Premier League game for Liverpool ahead of tonight's clash with Arsenal at the Emirates.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers during their match against Sunderland on January 2, 2013
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