Steven Gerrard fully expects friendly criticism from Jamie Carragher in the Anfield great's new role as a television pundit – but the Liverpool midfielder promises to give as good as he gets next season.
For the first time in more than a decade the Merseyside pair have separate plans for the upcoming campaign; the Reds skipper will continue his playing career, whereas his close friend moves into a studio.
Gerrard has talked at length about his expectancy that life at Melwood will be slightly different following Carragher's retirement, although he is already looking forward to a new mode of interaction.
"That's standard, that's a gimme," the 33-year-old responded when asked by LFC TV whether he anticipates the occasional piece of negative analysis from his former teammate.
"He needs to show everyone out there that he's not biased, so I'm sure I'm going to be one of the first names he's going to attack.
"That's fine by me; I've still got his phone number, I'm still his friend so I've still got a chance to have a go back at him."
Reflecting once more on Carragher's decision to conclude a 17-year spell at Anfield at the end of the 2012-13 season, Gerrard accepted that the Bootle native may prove difficult to replace.
He continued: "It will feel strange and it will be different. I'm used to hearing his voice from day one of pre-season.
"But he's got other things that he needs to focus on; he's going down the TV avenue and he's going to be working for Sky, so we all wish him good luck with that.
"Of course, from a selfish point of view I wish he was coming back and doing one more season. Hopefully the replacements we get in perform well for us because they are certainly big shoes to fill."
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