How Steven Gerrard's England retirement benefits Liverpool

Steven Gerrard Euro 2012 England vs Italy

Throughout Steven Gerrard's career, the midfielder has become known as one of the game's deep thinkers.

To hear Gerrard in public, was to more often than not, hear him pick through the carcass of a deeply chastening experience that he was determined to avoid repeating in the future.

Big-game mistakes, mediocre performances and defeats have always brought out sombre tones from Gerrard, with the Liverpool skipper even admitting he was "suicidal" after an own goal cost the Reds in the 2005 League Cup final against Chelsea.

“It was a nightmare. I felt suicidal,” Gerrard told The Telegraph back in 2012.

“It was bad, one of the worst days I have had, especially against Chelsea. I was linked with them for a while before that cup final.

"Then to go and score an own goal – there were Liverpool fans who probably thought I meant it at the time – and to get the defeat was a nightmare too, for me and the team."

Gerrard was also in reflective mood when discussing his fateful slip that led to Demba Ba opening the scoring against Liverpool for Chelsea back in April - a game that ultimately cost them their first league title in 24 years.

He told reporters ahead of the World Cup: "If I’d done a bad backpass, scored an own goal, or done my job wrong it would have really beaten me up for a long time. I keep saying to myself, how, where and why? There are no answers because it was a slip."

Speaking on his decision to retire from international duty after 14 years of service, Gerrard said: “This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I’ve had to make in my career.

"I have agonised over this since coming back from Brazil and have spoken to family, friends and people close to me in the game before coming to this point."

Rightly or wrongly, Gerrard has always felt more secure mulling over disappointments rather than extolling his virtues that have led to him winning almost every trophy in club football with his boyhood Liverpool.

Which is why his decision to retire from international can only be good news for the Reds.

After two straight defeats at the World Cup, the Three Lions were already eliminated from the competition before Gerrard was introduced as a late substitute for what turned out to be the last of 114 England caps in the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.

Following England's dismal campaign in Brazil, one gets the feeling that the tortured soul in Gerrard was inconsolable.

Having the skipper focus solely on his club side for the rest of his playing days will prove to be beneficial for those connected with the Anfield club.

The 34-year-old will no longer have to deal with the twin pressures of performing at an elite level for both club and country, and the midfielder can play his game safe in the knowledge that his every touch is still worshipped by fans in the Kop.

What do you think of Gerrard's international retirement?

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