Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard says farewell to Liverpool's fans after his final game at Anfield Getty

Emotions rightly ran high at Anfield as Steven Gerrard bid farewell to the fans who have supported him through the club's highs and lows during the past 17 seasons. The Liverpool captain gracing the hallowed turf for the final time was sad to see, the end of an era. Sadly the forthcoming era isn't looking bright on the back of the performance against Crystal Palace.

A 3-1 defeat to our bogey team wasn't the send-off Gerrard wanted but it summed up Liverpool's season: high hopes courtesy of Adam Lallana's opener dampened by the energy and enthusiasm of a Palace side encapsulated by Yannick Bolasie. How the Reds could do with a dose of that.

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers could have been under more pressure if Steven Gerrard stayed on in a backroom capacity Getty Images

In his younger years, a vibrant Gerrard would have grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, demanding the ball at every opportunity, pumping Hollywood balls into dangerous areas, playing cute one-twos, driving into the box and smashing the ball into the back of the net.

Palace would have watched in awe while our captain destroyed their team with his seismic ability to inspire all and drive on. It's a shame we don't have a young version of Gerrard coming through the ranks.

However, despite the red side of Merseyside being engulfed in a fug of gloom as our captain prepares for his move, Gerrard moving to Los Angeles will take the pressure off Brendan Rodgers.

Yes, his contract talks appeared to be a mess, one of the issues said to have led to Gerrard leaving, but having him in a bit-part role next season would have been difficult for the manager, with demands for him to play and rescue the club time and time again. And, even worse, if Gerrard had retired and stayed on as a coach, Rodgers would have been fearing for his job.

Gerrard in charge at Liverpool in the future?

Gerrard has already been tipped as a future Liverpool manager. In fairness, he has rightfully said he won't dive into that opportunity at the first attempt but will work his way up the ladder. Only if he is good enough to be the manager should he be considered. That is the right attitude but staying at Anfield would likely have led to Gerrard being fast-tracked to the top role.

Despite Ryan Giggs being in that sort of situation at Manchester United, having been the caretaker manager for four games last season before taking up the assistant manager role and learning at the hand of Louis van Gaal, the situation there is different. Giggs was a fantastic player but he was one of many geniuses on the pitch. Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo: everywhere you looked, there was quality.

Liverpool have had some great players since Gerrard stepped on to the Anfield turf for the first time but none so influential. Giggs, Scholes, Keane and co were important but their connection to their club is not as intrinsic as Gerrard's.

Louis van Gaal
Ryan Giggs works alongside Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal Getty

For the Liverpool captain, you could argue he mirrors Sir Alex Ferguson (or even Sir Matt Busby back in the day) in terms of connection to the club. Talk of Ferguson watching United play arguably put added pressure on David Moyes in his tough tenure as manager, the ex-Everton boss overshadowed by the Glaswegian legend. That's not to say Ferguson ever interfered but his shadow loomed large at United.

That's a situation Rodgers would have wanted to avoid. And with the cult of Gerrard not watching over his every move from next season, the Liverpool manager will be free to shape his team without fans and the media waiting in anticipation for the moment Rodgers is pushed aside by his ex-captain.

But the biggest issue to deal with is not the role of the manager, it's the personnel on the pitch. New leaders must emerge either from the current crop of players or new signings who can hit the ground running and inspire the rest of the team to bigger and better things.

A trophy next season would be good alongside a top-four finish with the reward of Champions League football. And perhaps in the next two to three years, Gerrard's holy grail will be achieved, the first league title since 1990 (and Liverpool's first ever Premier League trophy).

Stacey McIntosh is chief sub-editor of IBTimes UK. He has previously written for Metro and Men's Fitness. He is also the founder of Love Your Content, a creative agency for sports, health and fitness companies. Follow him @loveyourcontent.