Captaining a side is always a great honour and not every player gets to do that. Captaining a historic side like Liverpool is something of a dream for many and former player Steven Gerrard has recently shared his views on what it is like to be leading the men in Red.
The former skipper was interviewed by Lund Ansnes for a book called ‘Liverpool Captains’ along with 15 other former captains of the side. One of the biggest takeaways from his comments were the fact that it is not easy being captain and you need to have thick skin if you ever become the leader of the Reds.
“You need to be thick-skinned to be captain,” Gerrard said.
“Before you accept the responsibility of being captain for Liverpool Football Club you’ve got to tell yourself: “There will be good days and bad days.
“On good days you’ll feel on top of the world. On bad days you’ll feel sad and lonely. If you can’t handle the low days, when the s*** hits the fan and everyone’s out to get you, if you can’t handle those days mentally, don’t take the job.”
Gerrard also stated that being the leader for the side had its own pressure but even when playing poorly for the side, he still felt he could make things right for the team.
“Every single day, even when I wasn’t playing badly, I felt that pressure. But I loved it, even on bad days. When we’d had a bad game or if I’d played badly, I used to tell myself: ‘I’m the captain. I need to put this right, and I’ll have another chance to do that in three or four days’.
“I dreamed about wearing the captain’s armband from when I was about 10. So when I got it, I wanted to enjoy it, even on bad days.”
The former England international was full of praise for another former Liverpool player, Jamie Redknapp, as he took special care of the 2005 Champions League winner.
“Redknapp was my hero. I love him as a guy and I loved him as a player. He went out of his way to help me,
“I was 16 and an apprentice on £47 a week. And he was a national star who played for England and LFC and was vice-captain under Paul Ince.
“Every day he’d call me over and check on me if I was all right, if I had the football boots and the equipment that I needed. And he’d tell me where he was off to after training and ask me to join him. He didn’t have to do that.
“When someone behaves like that to you at 16, it does something important to you. So when I was 26 and I was captain, I’d treat younger players the way Jamie had.”
It comes as no surprise that Gerrard became one of the greatest Liverpool players of all time with his exemplary attitude. As stated, he felt he could change things around for the team and often pulled Liverpool out of the dumps.
The 2005 Champions League final and even the group game against Olympiakos, the 2006 FA Cup final and numerous other games come to mind where Gerrard played out of his skin. It was a travesty that Gerrard didn’t win the Premier League in 2013-14 but hopefully, he can come back and win the title as manager someday.