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Steven Gerrard Moves On

The slip against Chelsea left Liverpool and Steven Gerrard just short of achieving their title dreams, but the long-serving captain has now been able to shift his focus to the World Cup.

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Clive Brunskill

Liverpool's season was full of defining moments, and for the better part of nine months, those moments were mostly wonderful. Simon Mignolet's penalty save, Daniel Sturridge's early run of goals, the win at White Hart Lane, the incredible stretch from Luis Suarez, resounding wins over Everton and Arsenal, humiliating Manchester United at Old Trafford, and the emotional, resounding post-match celebrations from the squad and supporters after the win over Manchester City.

Unfortunately the season then provided two more--Steven Gerrard's slip against Chelsea that gifted Demba Ba what would prove to be the match-winner, and the collapse over the final 12 minutes at Selhurst Park that saw Liverpool give away a 3-0 lead. The latter was at least a collective effort, with the defensive breaking down, the squad on tired legs, and the manager unable to make any changes that would halt the host's comeback. The former left Gerrard on an island, though, and for as inspiring as his leadership had been up to that point, it proved a critical mistake in Liverpool's title challenge.

Thankfully it looks like the captain has moved on (or at least as much as he can in the time that's passed), as he's now focused on leading England at the World Cup:

"It was so cruel because of the timing - with three games to go and when we were top of the league. Of course, I don't like making mistakes, big mistakes at important times. And as a player with experience you learn to deal with them that little bit better the older you get, but yes, it hurt a lot.

"It wasn't the first mistake I've made. I've made many and I've got over them and I'll prove to everybody in this World Cup that I'm fit, fresh and ready to perform. Yes, otherwise I would be sitting on a sun lounger wondering back to the last three or four games of the season, keeping going over and over where it's gone wrong and asking myself why and where and driving myself potty. I've got to park the slip at the back of my mind and forget about it for the time being because I've got an absolutely huge tournament coming up."

For England that means another go as captain in a major competition--he got his first taste as regular captain at Euro 2012, where England won Group D but fell in the quarterfinals to Italy on penalties. This time around he'll lead a squad that's similarly unlikely to win the tournament but at least composed of enough quality and excitement to shake things up. For Gerrard's sake, in what's quite possibly his last major tournament, hopefully he truly has moved on and can lead England to a strong showing.

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