Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has blamed the overconfidence of manager Brendan Rodgers for the club's collapse in the 2013-14 Premier League title race. The Reds were three wins from their first league championship since 1990 before defeat to Chelsea and a draw with Crystal Palace saw Manchester City snatch the title from under their noses.
City strung together six victories at the end of the campaign to claim their second title in three seasons, finishing two points ahead of their Merseyside rivals. Gerrard's side were on course to take the title before a 2-0 loss to Jose Mourinho's side derailed their season.
Gerrard's infamous slip, which allowed Demba Ba to open the scoring, is perceived as the critical moment in the season, which contributed to leaving the ex-Liverpool skipper without a league title winner's medal. But in his newly released autobiography My Story, Gerrard says Rodgers' overzealous approach was actually the reason behind their failure to convert their authority in the title race into a league victory.
"I've never been able to say this in public before but I was seriously concerned that we thought we could blow Chelsea away," Gerrard said, according to The Guardian. "I sensed an over-confidence in Brendan's team talks. We played into Chelsea's hands. I feared it then and I know it now."
Gerrard's final season at Anfield, prior to moving to LA Galaxy, was beset with injury, while Rodgers often overlooked the former England captain during the season half of the campaign – most notably for the visit of Manchester United last March. With United leading at the break the 35 year old was belatedly introduced, but was sent off just 43 seconds later after a foul on Ander Herrera.
The midfielder has spoken of Rodgers' decision to leave him out a game that Liverpool would go on to lose 2-1, all but endeing their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, revealing he was misled over his role after being told he had trained well in the lead-up to the game. "A sudden lump formed in my throat," he said of the conversation with Rodgers over his decision to leave him on the bench. "I had a split-second decision to make. Do I have a go at him?"