Steven Gerrard says the last three months have ‘probably been the worst of my life’ after suffering disappointment with Liverpool and England.
Despite playing some of the best football of his career last season, the 34-year-old accepts that missing out on the Premier League title – combined with England’s poor display at the World Cup – has cast a dark shadow over his mood.
Liverpool had been in control of the title race until the midfielder’s unfortunate slip allowed Demba Ba to open Chelsea’s account in a 2-0 victory at Anfield, which turned Premier League fortunes back in Manchester City’s favour.
And, to further compound Gerrard’s misery, England’s failure in Brazil, where they collected just one point from three games, put paid to any hopes of international glory for the national side’s passionate skipper.
Following England’s early exit, Gerrard opted to retire from international football while Liverpool return to the Champions League this season.
Speaking in the United States, where he is touring with the Reds, Gerrard confessed that the disappointment of allowing Ba to score the all-important opener in that Chelsea fixture in late April still haunts him: “I don’t have to watch something like that to go through the pain again and again.
“I’ve been through the pain in the dressing room afterwards and in the weeks and months after it.
“It’s probably been the worst three months of my life. But you have to accept it happened, you can’t change it.
“It (the slip) was cruel. I haven’t lost my man at a set-piece, I haven’t missed a penalty or made a bad pass or a mistake.
“Every person on the planet slips at some point in their life, whether it is on the stairs or the floor. For me it happened at a bad moment.”
Regarding the World Cup, Gerrard had hoped he could put his disappointment at club level behind him by enjoying a good run in South America – but this failed to materialise also.
He adds: “You have to go through tough times. Unfortunately, I have had that tough time and then went to the World Cup hoping it would help me get over it.
“But it backfired. I have had two unbelievably massive lows in a short space of time.”
However, he remains positive ahead of the new league campaign, saying: “At 34, there is no possible way I am going to let the last three months be the things I remember going forward.
“It’s important it (my career) finishes on a high. As a Liverpool player and Liverpool fan, you give it everything you have every time. I have to shake it off pretty quick.”
Gerrard admitted that his club manager Brendan Rodgers did offer to help him had he chosen to continue playing for the national team.
He went on: “To be fair to Brendan, when I had the chat with him, he said that if you want to carry on for England, I can tailor your Liverpool games.
“When he said that, it made me go 100 per-cent with my decision because I don’t want my Liverpool games to be tailored.
“I still want to be available, I want to be fresh and play at a high level for Liverpool for certainly one more season.”
post by Funsho Fagbure