Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admits the last three months have been ‘the worst period of my life’, but has vowed to bounce back when the 2014-15 season kicks off. The 34-year-old cruelly missed out on the Premier League title, when a slip gifted Chelsea a crucial goal in the 2-0 defeat at Anfield.
Gerrard then led England through a desperately disappointing World Cup campaign, in which the Three Lions failed to qualify from their World Cup group for the first time since 1958. Gerrard has since retired from international football in order to focus entirely on his club commitments, and says he hopes to bounce back from the disappointment of the past three months when the new season kicks off.
“It’s probably been the worst three months of my life,” Gerrard admitted when questioned on the slip against Chelsea.
“I’ve seen it a few times. I don’t have to watch something like that to go through the pain again and again and again.
“I’ve been through the pain in the dressing room after and in the weeks and months since. I just stumbled across it. It didn’t hide away. I have TVs in my house and I read papers. There is social media.
“When something like that happens you have to face it up and be man enough to take it on the chin. Accept it happened. You can’t change it. I haven’t lost my man at a set-piece. I haven’t missed a penalty. I haven’t made a bad pass or a mistake. That’s why it was cruel. Every single person on the planet slips at some point in their life, whether it is on a set of stairs, on the floor or whatever.
“For me, it happened on the pitch at a really bad moment. But over the course of 38 games a lot happens for you and against you and that determines whether you win the league or not. That moment happened at a crucial time and I have to face that. And I will do.”
Gerrard remains adamant he will bounce back from the disappointment of the past three months, claiming he does not need any inspiration to finish his Liverpool career on a high.
“I don’t need something like that to inspire me. When I have had unbelievable highs for the club, it wasn’t because I was inspired by a mistake. You have to go through tough times. Unfortunately I have had that tough time at club level at the end of the season and then I have gone into a World Cup hoping that it was going to go really well to help me get over it.
“But it backfired. I have had two massive, unbelievable lows in a short space of time, so it is a good test for me this season. Can I hit form after that? I believe that I can.
“Of course it is tough to take but you have to move on sharpish. We have to try to win the league, progress in the Champions League. There are massive games to look forward to.
“When you’re the captain, you can’t afford to be down, feel sorry for yourself and mope around. Everyone in this group looks to me to see what mood I’m in, so I have to shake it off quick. Every time I speak to the media it’s going to be mentioned. I appreciate how big it is when you go out the World Cup and when you fall short after going close to the title. The level I play means it can be a cruel game.
“It’s not always going to be celebrations, smiles and highs. There are always going to be heartbreaks and disappointments and the last three months have been a massive disappointment. At 34, there is no way I am going to let the last three months be the things I remember. It’s important to finish on a high.”