Many of you will have already read Steven Gerrard’s latest book, released since his departure from Liverpool.
And while he plays for LA Galaxy now, the book focusses entirely on his last seasons at Liverpool – and an entire chapter is dedicated to the cruel slip that contributed to our failure to secure the Premier League title in 2013/14.
A draw would have been enough against Chelsea at Anfield that day, providing we won our easier fixtures versus Crystal Palace and Newcastle that followed – but devastatingly we lost 2-0 to a second string, park the bus Chelsea outfit – having conceded the first goal after Gerrard lost his footing and let Demba Ba through on goal.
It broke our captain, but it’s vitally important to remember that we wouldn’t have been in a position to win the title had he not enjoyed such a brilliant season in the buildup to that point.
And Gerrard’s described how Brendan Rodgers demanded his team-mates get him out of jail in the second-half:
I had been straining the whole half to make something happen, so had Luis. Chelsea just kept blunting us. And then I’d slipped. The dressing room was hushed.
“Look,” Brendan said, imploring the other players, “if anyone deserves to be bailed out it’s him.” His finger pointed at me. “Your captain needs you to all pay him back. The amount of times he’s pulled this club out of a mess and changed impossible situations and got players out of trouble are the stuff of legend. Now it’s time you repay him. You’ve got forty-five minutes to do it.” Brendan looked at me. “Stevie, forget it,” he said. “It happens. Let’s all go out and win this game. We can do it.”
Rodgers has been sacked of course, and while he’s been the figure of much contempt from supporters over the past 12 months, he played an unbelievable role in 2013/14 – our greatest Premier League campaign.
Those who declare Luis Suarez the only reason we did so well ignore the fact that Kenny Dalglish also had the Uruguayan at his disposal. Rodgers excellently managed to facilitate a system that got the best from his best players. A task plenty have failed with in the past.
It’s a mighty shame Rodgers’ team talk in this instance couldn’t inspire a comeback.