When word came out that Galaxy midfielder Steven Gerrard had traveled to London mid-week to participate in BT Sport's Champions League coverage as a TV pundit, some fans were quick to complain on social media about a perceived lack of commitment to the club.
And to be fair, the complaining wasn't entirely without merit. With a critical match vs. Real Salt Lake this Saturday, will the extra travel and missed practice affect Gerrard's performance? To add more confusion to the mix, Taylor Twellman was among those who seemed to be unaware Gerrard would be heading across the pond.
For the record, Gerrard and @LAGalaxy have told me that he will be part of @btsportfootball from LA during the season. #DailyMail— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) August 5, 2015
@ThatDamnYank surprisingly Gerrard/LA told me on record he will be doing it from LA. not sure what to think now— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) September 16, 2015
The news also comes on the heels of an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail where Gerrard expressed a strong desire to stay with Liverpool had he been offered the opportunity to work with Brendan Rogers and the coaching staff.
But is Gerrard's recent behavior anything to worry about? No. Not even a "Not really", but a solid "No."
While it is unfortunate that the new Designated Player has made some Galaxy fans feel uneasy at times, its important to put things in perspective. For example, despite many fans latching onto the above tweets as evidence that something was afoot, the Galaxy have suggested all along that Gerrard may have to make a studio appearance or two.
"We're going to have to wait and see what happens," Gerrard said. "There might be an odd occasion where I need to go back for the games. BT Sport know the situation and the priority for me at the moment is the LA Galaxy.
For all the concern about Gerrard focusing on the Galaxy, most of the bad publicly surrounding his arrival has ranged from misinformation to tabloid garbage. (Remember the "controversy" when Gerrard refused to sign a Galaxy jersey during his Anfield farewell?)
With Robbie Keane adapting so quickly to MLS and enjoying so much success, it can be easy for Galaxy fans to forgot how difficult the transition can be from European football to MLS soccer. The occasional hiccups aside, Steven Gerrard has been committed to the Galaxy, he's just going through the footballing equivalent of a painful divorce. If you spent half your living life at the same football club, you'd be sentimental too.
(And if we're going to give Robbie Keane a pass for missing games for international duty, surely we can forgive Stevie for missing a practice or two?)
As a consummate professional his entire career, Gerrard should be given the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.