Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Steven Gerrard: Liverpool moved too late to keep me

By Carl Markham

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admits had the club offered him a new contract last summer he would not be bringing an end to his long association with the Reds at the end of this season.

However, the midfielder -who turns 35 in May and is on the verge of signing with Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy - insists he does not want to "point the finger" at anyone for his impending departure.

A contract offer was not made to Gerrard until November - by which time he had already been told by Brendan Rodgers his playing time would be managed.

Such a tactic had already seen him left on the bench for Liverpool's Champions League match against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu and that, combined with the delay in offering him an extension, resulted in the player coming to a decision about his future.

"If a contract had been put in front of me in pre-season I would have signed it," he said.

"I'd just retired from England to concentrate all my efforts on Liverpool. I didn't want my club games to be tailored.

"My injury record had been fantastic for the past two and a half years and I had a great season from a personal point of view last season.

"It's all ifs, buts and hindsight now. That period between the summer and the end of November gave me thinking time.

"There's no blame and I'm not angry about it. There are other people in the squad and the club had other things to worry about.

"There is no finger pointing from me towards the manager or anyone else at the club."

Rodgers spoke to Gerrard in late November and it came as something of a surprise to the player.

But once the writing was on the wall the former England captain knew his days at Anfield were numbered.

"I've got to be honest, that chat with Brendan came earlier than I was expecting," he added.

"It was about a month before that he first mentioned to me about managing my game time.

"We had another chat on the subject recently - 10 days to two weeks ago.

"It was tough but I understood. It's been very amicable."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph