Steven Gerrard explains a forgotten factor that cost Liverpool the 2008-09 title

The former Liverpool captain has been discussing something outside of the 'facts' rant of that infamous title bid.

Steven Gerrard admits Liverpool were hurt by the exit of Pako Ayestaran in 2007, according to his autobiography 'My Story.'

Ayestaran was Rafael Benitez's assistant at Anfield until he fell out with the Spaniard - and he certainly wasn't the only person to do that.

The pair's breakdown in relationship led to the 52-year-old leaving Liverpool and Gerrard says his departure cost the Reds big time during their failed title in the 2008-09 season.

Indeed, Liverpool unforgettably finished second in the Premier League that campaign and Benitez's infamous 'facts' rant proved pivotal in handing the momentum to rivals and eventful champions Manchester United.

But losing Ayestaran was an equally big blow, according to Gerrard, and one many forget...

He said in pages 139-140 of his autobiography: "It [January and February 2009] was a time when we really missed the stabilising presence of Rafa's former assistant Pako Ayestaran. This was a key factor.

"We lost a lot when Rafa fell out with Pako in 2007. We all loved Pako's training and his methods. The new Pako [replacement Pako de Miguel] had nothing about him. No personality. The players had no respect for him and his training was terrible." 

Ayestaran recently took to Twitter to express his surprise at how bad Liverpool currently look.

Things were certainly different at Anfield in his day, although Gerrard and co certainly did well enough without him during the 2008/09 season.

As the Reds hero freely admits, it was simply a case of too many home draws that season. But, as Gerrard also argues, having Ayestaran on Merseyside during that key period after Benitez's 'facts' rant may well have made a big difference.

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