Stewart Downing says that he endured the worst four months of his career when he was playing for Liverpool.
Downing, who played for Liverpool between the years of 2011 and 2013, immediately fell out of favour after Brendan Rodgers was appointed as manager and he has revealed that it was a really difficult period of time for him
The England international midfielder, who now plays for West Ham United, explained that he felt he was made a scapegoat during his time at Anfield and that he felt ostracised from the rest of the first-team squad.
“We lost the first Premier League game [in the 2012/13 campaign], West Brom, and I never really played again for two or three months (in the league)," he said in a candid interview with the Telegraph. "I went to see Brendan and he was saying there was no problem. But there obviously was.
"I was sat in the stands with young kids, playing on Thursday nights in the Europa League with all the young lads and it was the worst three or four months of my career. I never thought of packing football in but I didn’t like the way I was treated.
“He put that headline out, saying I needed to ‘fight’ more. It hurt. If you ask all the managers I’ve played for, I always try, always train hard.
"If Brendan had a problem with me, if he’d pulled me and told me, then no problem. He didn’t. It hurt the way he did it. I went to see him, November time, and he just said to me: ‘This isn’t going to happen for you here, basically find a new club.' "
That new club turned out to be West Ham and since Downing has moved to there he has managed to re-start his career.
At Aston Villa, the winger established himself as an exciting talent, but his form dipped at Liverpool and it has taken him a while to recover.
The 30-year-old appears to have done so now, though, and he has been one of the most prominent players for Sam Allardyce's side so far this season.
Moved into an attacking midfield role, Downing has had a major impact on the side as they look to play a more aesthetically pleasing brand of football and he is thriving as the team's creative fulcrum.
His performance against Liverpool, in the Hammers' 3-1 win last weekend, was particularly eye-catching and he showed his former employers exactly what they were missing.
Downing will now be hoping that he is able to be such a threat again when the Hammers take on Manchester United this Saturday.
West Ham travel to Manchester knowing that the Red Devils are at one of their most vulnerable points in recent memory, but Downing will know he will have to be at the top of his game if his side are to cause an upset.