Steven Gerrard has claimed that it took him ‘months or years’ to emotionally heal from his legendary slip against Chelsea in 2014, which influenced his decision to quit the club the following summer.
Gerrard’s error in the game at Anfield allowed Chelsea striker Demba Ba a vital goal, denting Liverpool’s Premier League championship bid, which subsequently imploded a little over a week later as a result of a second-half collapse against Crystal Palace.
Now, reflecting on that period of his career, the former England captain has admitted that the psychological consequences of the slip played a role in his departure from Liverpool.
Gerrard said in an interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap that he is still disturbed by the incident and carries a ‘bruise’ with him to this day.
“It is something that I always will take responsibility for. That’s the moment I look back on and think ‘If only I’d got that right, it would be so much better’,” the Aston Villa manager said.
“It definitely flashes back. I think the reason why I always say that moment [is my lowest] is because I don’t want people to think I’m ignoring it. Unfortunately, it happened to me at a real cruel time from a personal point of view.”
“It definitely had an effect on me mentally for some time – I don’t know whether it was months or years – still to this day, it doesn’t feel great. Timewise, maybe that affected my decision to go to America. I think being in Liverpool, when you’re in that routine, sometimes you’ve got to break free.
He continued, “I still wanted to enjoy my football – I still felt I had a few years left. I felt like the best thing for me, my family and the ending was to just go and reset. It wasn’t off the back of that, but probably where I was at, I’d say it had an influence.”
Gerrard stayed with Liverpool for one more year, bringing his total appearances for the club to 710, before joining the LA Galaxy in the Major League Soccer.