‘Stoke embarrassment still hurts’

LONDON, July 24

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has said the “embarrassment” of his side’s 6-1 thrashing by Stoke at the end of last season is something that pains him even now.

What should have been a celebration of the final match of Anfield great Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool career became a nightmare match on May 24. It was a desperate way for Liverpool to finish the season, but the Merseysiders will have a chance to atone when they begin the new Premier League campaign at the sane ground next month.

Henderson, who has succeeded Gerrard as captain, said he was still haunted by the result. “It will be a day that many of us will never forget,” he said on Friday. “The way we played, the result, the goals we conceded, everything, it went from bad to worse. At half-time in the dressing room, a few of us tried to say some things to get everyone going and get something back. But then full-time came and it was awful. It was a sickening feeling, really,” he said. “It was embarrassing to go there as a Liverpool player and get beaten like that.”

Hours after the defeat, the Liverpool squad were on a plane for Dubai as part of a celebration to say farewell to Gerrard. But the nature of the Stoke defeat meant that many Liverpool players were in no mood to have a party. “A lot of us didn’t want to go to be honest,” said Henderson. “It had been organised for a number of months and it was especially for Stevie,” he added. “He has been such a huge role model for everyone who has been here and we’d wanted to make sure that we said goodbye to him properly off the field on a more personal level for him,” he said.