John Barnes unsurprised by new Steven Gerrard role

Liverpool legend John Barnes is not surprised by how well club captain Steven Gerrard adapted to his new role in midfield this season.

Former Liverpool winger John Barnes has insisted that he has not been surprised by how successful Steven Gerrard has been in his new midfield role this season.

Gerrard was deployed in a holding role by Brendan Rodgers over the second half of the campaign, helping Liverpool to 11 consecutive wins and their most serious title challenge in the Premier League era.

The Reds skipper was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award for his displays, and Barnes believes that he has always been capable of excelling in a deeper role.

"I have said this all along to people. I remember speaking to Didi Hamann about it, because Didi didn't know Steven Gerrard as a young kid who was able to do that. When he came, Steven was an all-attacking midfield player, and Didi is surprised that Steven can do this. I'm not surprised at all. I knew Steven when he was a young boy, in my last year at Liverpool," Barnes told the club's official website.

"If it had been decided, he decided or it was decided for Steven as a 16-year-old, to be a holding midfield player, he would have been the best holding midfield player in the country, the best defensive midfield player in the country. What was decided, either by him or the club, was that he would be an attacking midfield player, so he became the best attacking midfield player in the country.

"So this is not a role that is alien to Steven, this is not a role that Steven can't do to a world-class proportion. So it doesn't surprise me at all that he has done it, because it's very natural for him to do it as he gets older. He has been the best defensive midfield player in the country. People may have been shocked by that, but I'm not."

Liverpool eventually finished two points behind champions Manchester City in the final Premier League standings.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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