Rickie Lambert explains how Liverpool transfer caused him to “fall out of love” with football
Lambert announced his retirement from playing this week and the 35-year-old admitted that his move to Anfield meant that he “lost something mentally as a player”.
Having been released by Liverpool as a youngster, Lambert jumped at the chance to sign for the Reds off the back of an impressive campaign at Southampton but the move certainly didn’t work out as expected.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Lambert said: “I was getting well paid but I never started playing football for the money.
“And when I decided to go to Liverpool I sacrificed a regular first-team place and that was when I started to fall out of love with it.
“I never should have accepted being on the bench, even though Brendan Rodgers had made it clear to me I would be back-up for Suarez and Sturridge.
“I was never as quick or as technically good as the best players, but in my own head, when it came to actually playing, I could convince myself I was the best.
“But when I joined up with England I felt lucky to be there, and it was the same at Liverpool.
“And when I look back now I realise I lost something mentally as a player by allowing that to happen.”
OFFICIAL: Rickie Lambert has retired from football after a 19-year senior career. pic.twitter.com/URWQzXFhSz
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) October 2, 2017
Lambert was unable to command a regular starting berth for Liverpool and ended up scoring just three goals in 36 games for the club across all competitions before leaving for West Bromwich Albion after only one season.
From there the ex-England international was unable to ever recapture his best form as spells with West Brom and Cardiff City were unsuccessful, with injuries leading Lambert to decide to call time on his playing career.