Steven Gerard is one of the greatest midfield mastros

Steven Gerard is one of the greatest midfield mastros
Jan Molby has picked Argentina as the World Cup winners in Brazil, but says if England have "a bit of luck" they could get as far as the semi-finals.

It's not quite indigestion that is affecting Liverpool legend Jan Molby; more a case of eating his own words on Reds' captain Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard inspired Liverpool to Champions League and FA Cup successes, and carried Liverpool on his back for much of the past decade.

Despite those exploits, Molby still thought the conversion from a box-to-box midfielder to a controlling midfielder was a step too far, even for someone of Gerrard's talent and drive.

Now, finally, he has changed his mind. Speaking at Courts Megastore in Tampines yesterday before a meet-and-greet session, Molby said: "The most difficult thing to do in football is to score, and the second most difficult is to control games.

"Gerrard has always been in the midst of the action, but as a controlling midfielder he now has to play outside the action, and I didn't think that would ever be his role.

"But he has fully understood the role and he and Pirlo are two of the best controlling midfielders around."

The Liverpool legend, famed for his pin-point passing, also believes that the move will help Gerrard prolong his career as a regular starter for the club for another two years.

Gerrard has impressed him, but having played in an era without specialised midfield roles, Molby is a fan of Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.

"He is an old-school and proper midfield player who can defend, keep the ball, go past people and score goals, plus he takes responsibility," said Molby.

During this World Cup, Molby is keeping a close eye on Schweinsteiger's Germany as well.

The 50-year-old, who picked Argentina as his predicted champions, said: "The intriguing team is Germany. They remind me of the England golden generation of Gerrard and Beckham which achieved nothing, and the next tournament might be one too late for them."

"They are well-prepared, but do they have enough good players?"

Even though the golden generation of England have either retired or are in the twilight of their careers, Molby thinks the Three Lions might even be surprise semi-finalists if they enjoy "a bit of luck".

Pointing out that with the exception of the 2010 campaign, England's exits at previous World Cups to Brazil in 2002 and Portugal on penalties in 2006 were justifiable, Molby classified England as being a "dangerous" team.

"They are well organised and difficult to beat. Roy Hodgson is a clever man and players like Sterling, Sturridge, Lallana and Barkley can hurt teams, and there's still hope that Rooney can get better."


This article was first published on June 15, 2014.
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