‘It still hurts…’ – Martin Skrtel has one lingering regret from his Liverpool career

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Martin Skrtel has spoken of one lingering regret from his time at Liverpool.

Nine years on, the agonising near-miss in the Premier League title race in 2013/14 continues to stick in the craw for the Slovakian, who started all but two top-flight matches in that campaign (as per WhoScored).

That was the year when Brendan Rodgers came close to bringing the domestic crown to Anfield, only for his side to fall narrowly short against Manchester City, a theme which would become familiar in subsequent years.

Reflecting on that unsuccessful title challenge, Skrtel told The Athletic: “The season when we nearly won the league under Brendan… it still hurts.

“I still sometimes think about what we could have done differently, what could we have changed to win it? But unfortunately, we can’t change it. Now it’s history.”

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Of all the Premier League title races where Liverpool have fallen short, 2013/14 is perhaps the one which leaves the bitterest regret.

In 2018/19 and 2021/22, we rattled off imperious winning streaks in the run-in to those campaigns, only for Manchester City to do the very same and continually manage to keep us just about at bay.

However, what hurts Skrtel – and indeed many Reds fans – the most about nine years ago was that we had it in our hands, especially after beating Manuel Pellegrini’s side, only for it to all come undone in those heartbreaking clashes against Chelsea and Crystal Palace.

The 38-year-old was only with Jurgen Klopp for the first season of the incumbent manager’s reign and duly missed out on the subsequent golden age in which Liverpool have tasted glory in every competition they’ve contested.

As tough as that 2014 title run-in was to take, at least we finally got over the line in the Premier League six years later, atoning for the prior occasions when we cruelly came up one or two points short.

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