Wenger hails Gerrard as "dream" midfielder

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Wenger v Rodgers once again on Saturday
Wenger v Rodgers once again on Saturday

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has issued a glowing tribute to Steven Gerrard as he prepares to face Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.

Gerrard will miss the game at Emirates Stadium as he started a three-game ban following his red card against Manchester United in the last round of Premier League fixtures, yet Wenger was gushing in his praise for the Reds skipper.

"He is a dream midfielder. Overall, I believe he had every quality that you dream to have when you play in midfield," stated Wenger.

“He is a huge player. What I like and what you don’t see any more is that he has shown a great loyalty through his whole career. He had the calibre to anywhere and at any big club. He stayed loyal to Liverpool and I have a big respect for that.

“When you look at his qualities, it was difficult to see what he didn’t have in the locker. He was quick, he had a good long pass, he had good technique, he could score goals. He has been great for Liverpool."

Meanwhile, Wenger insisted a win for his Gunners on Saturday will not end Liverpool's hopes of a top four finish, even though Brendan Rodgers' team could fall eight points behind fourth placed Manchester United with just seven games left to play.

“I’m not worried about the mathematics,” he added. “What is important for me is to win the game.

“At the moment, I am in front of a game like this, I just want to produce a quality performance. After the international break, it is important that you come back and you are on it.

“We have the aspiration to win the next game, that is quite good enough. And after that, win the next one. It is mathematically possible [to win the title], but it doesn’t only depend on us. It everything goes for us, you never know. We can only master our own performances, be realistic and continue to earn the right to win the games.

“It’s a big game and an opportunity for us to continue our run. We are on a strong run. We want to continue to win our games. Liverpool is a big opponent, but we play at the Emirates and we want to do it.”