Steven Gerrard is an athlete defined by success.
Gerrard’s unbridled success
Seldom has an individual sportsperson been so integral to the achievements and triumphs of an entire club within a team sport, single-handedly dragging Liverpool to silverware and titles.
Even in the deep and difficult nadirs of the Reds’ recent history, you could rest assured that their swashbuckling captain was only ever a few weeks away from producing a performance for the ages.
Whether that’s an FA Cup final display so remarkable it has since been named after him or inspiring the greatest comeback in Champions League history, Gerrard really is a role model for us all.
Saul Niguez to Liverpool CLOSER (Football Terrace)
Absence of a Premier League title
However, even the most diehard of winners have their own version of kryptonite and for Gerrard, that will forever be his absence of a Premier League title.
Rival fans love to jab and jibe the Liverpool icon for having never truly conquered England and the manner in which he missed out during his penultimate season at Anfield remains a tough pill to swallow.
It’s an infamous moment that Gerrard’s doubters love to bludgeon him with and the current Rangers boss is admirably open about how deeply the slip impacted him on a personal level.
Haunted by the slip?
And during a fascinating appearance on the High Performance Podcast in 2020, Gerrard laid his cards on the table by explaining how the memories had haunted him for years after the slip itself.
“I park it up but it comes back, all the time,” Gerrard admitted. “What triggers it? I don’t know. TV. Images. Just me reflecting. I am someone who thinks a lot. I always try to tap into experiences.
“This is not a thing that happens every single day, but it was such a big moment. I’ve had lots and lots of moments, some incredible moments, which I never dreamed of.
“But your career takes you to some lows as well. It would be easy if you lifted the carpet, pushed them under and you never thought about them again. But I don’t think that’s ever going to be the case.
“I know not only did it hurt me, it hurt a lot of people who had followed this club for many, many years. Liverpool fans commit themselves to that club. They love the club, it’s in the heart. I’ve lived with it for 20 years and more.
“I knew what that meant, that Premier League [title], to an awful lot of people. My own family, to me. I mean, the way the club were with me, during that time, which will remain private.”
Gerrard hungry for more success
It’s understandable that a born winner like Gerrard would reflect more on the negatives than the positives of his career because that’s so often a method for athletes to keep on improving.
However, that does carry with it the dangers of not letting go the failures of the past and Gerrard has admitted that it’s part of the reason that he’s pursued a career in management.
The Liverpool legend openly declared that he thinks he’s owed more highs in the beautiful game and no doubt ending Rangers’ wait for a Scottish league title will have set him well on his way.
But make no mistake that the events of 2014 won’t easily slip Gerrard’s mind.