Rumors have persisted that Gerrard’s decision to leave Liverpool was helped and hurried along by Brendan Rodgers but in every interview Gerrard has given since Jan. 7, the Liverpool legend has taken the high road saying:
“It’s time for a new challenge for me … This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make … I will always love Liverpool,” and so on and so forth.
That is until Gerrard’s recent interview with freshly retired Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport in which he reveals the greatest driving force in his decision to uproot his entire life and head for Southern California. In the end, it was this past season’s trip to the Santiago Bernabeu to face Real Madrid in the Champions League that gave Gerrard the clarity he was then seeking.
“This was round about the time when I was doing a lot of thinking about what’s next for me.
“I’d had a couple of initial chats with Brendan saying to me ‘I’m going to start managing your games and I have to look after you and I want you to be fresh and I don’t want you to be playing three games in a week because you may be tired.’
“But this situation was a bit unique because it was Real Madrid and I wanted to play. When I was told I wasn’t playing for the sake of the team and the squad and my relationship with Brendan, I took it and I accepted it.
“It sort of pushed me more towards making the decision to move on and try something different.”
It will be interesting to see what the reaction from the Liverpool fans is to Gerrard’s comments. Rodgers is on thin ice with a large section of the fans after last season disastrous finish anyway, and hearing a Liverpool legend liekr Gerrard say that he was pushed out by Rodgers will not endear the Reds boss with the kop.