NEIL BONNAR: Steven Gerrard's been widely mocked, but every fan wishes their club had one just like him

Respect: Steven Gerrard

Respect: Steven Gerrard

First published in Sport
Last updated

ALTHOUGH I wanted Manchester City to win the Premier League I take no pleasure out of the decisive moment.

If memories of the Blues’ title triumph of two years ago will always be dominated by the Aguerro goooaaaalllll, this year’s will be forever remembered for the Steven Gerrard slip.

After the proliferation of twists and turns during this year’s four-way title race it is no surprise that it would be something totally unexpected that decided it.

When Gerrard slipped and allowed Demba Ba to run through and score for Chelsea at Anfield it ended Liverpool’s valiant and thrilling challenge to City.

Even if they had won at Crystal Palace in the next game instead of throwing away a 3-0 lead to draw they still wouldn’t have finished above City.

Stevie G lost Liverpool the title. A simplistic statement maybe, but one most people appear to have agreed on judging by the chant that has been well sung to mark the pivotal moment his studs failed to gain enough traction in the Anfield turf to keep him upright.

It goes with the territory in football to mock the mistakes of rivals. And so it has been with Gerrard.

That chant was sung at City on Sunday, but only once that I could hear, and not with anything like the volume or enthusiasm of other songs.

It was like the slip had to be marked by the City fans due to its importance but they weren’t going to overplay it.

Maybe it’s because Gerrard is respected, either knowingly or subconsciously. If he’s not he should be because he is everything that is not bad about football.

A one-club man, he has never won the league because of loyalty to his club and home city.

The criticisms levelled at other footballers do not apply to Gerrard.

A mercenary? No. He could have moved on for more money several times over, earning millions of pounds for a queue of agents a mile long.

Loyal? Yes, to both his club, his city and his supporters.

A cheat? No. Make a list of divers and Gerrard will not be in it. He goes more for sportsmanship than gamesmanship.

A waster? No. He has made the most of his talent with hard work and living a professional lifestyle.

A measure of the man was the fact that he came out to face the cameras and the nation’s viewers straight after Liverpool’s last game.

Unlike many, he never hides.

And with the disappointment still raw his quotes were telling.

“We’re absolutely devastated. I am gutted for the fans.”

Many players might have said that second sentence and not meant it. With Gerrard you know he does.

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