Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admitted that he was devastated to see his midfield partner Xabi Alonso move to Real Madrid.
The 27-year-old Spaniard was reportedly close to leaving Anfield 12 month’s ago, however the move didnt materialize and he went on to have one of his best seasons in a Liverpool shirt, anchoring Rafael Benitez’s outfit to within a whisker of pipping Manchester United to the Premier League title.
Liverpool captain Gerrard, who is currently injured, forged a good understanding with Alonso in midfield and paid him perhaps the biggest compliment by suggesting Alonso’s absence has been the “difference in us from last year”.
“Devastated, yeah. Devastated. But there was nothing I could do about it,” Gerrard told FourFourTwo magazine.
“Xabi said a long time ago that he wanted another chapter in his career and finally he got it and his team-mates and the coaches couldn’t stand in his way. We just have to say thanks and move forward without him.”
Alonso’s exit has coincided with the Reds’ disastrous start to the 2009/10 campaign, with five league defeats already three more than they suffered in the whole of last season, while losses to Fiorentina and Lyon in the Champions League group phase have left their hopes of European glory in serious doubt. His departure from the club combined with injuries of both Gerrard and Torres is presumed as key reasons behind the club’s inconsistent and poor early seaon form.
The Spaniard’s absence – combined with injuries to both Gerrard and striker Fernando Torres – has been highlighted as one of the key reasons behind the club’s dismal early season form.
And Gerrard says it is only now – with Alonso gone – that some people are beginning to realise just how influential a player he was.
“We’ve got other midfielders here doing a good job but it will take a while before Alonso’s out of our system because he was such a top player.
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