‘I was in a dark place, I could not train or fulfill my duties’: Steven Caulker talks about his drinking and gambling problems and the pain of ‘rejection’ he felt under Jurgen Klopp after the shocking loan from Liverpool in 2016 that led him to enter REHAB
- Steven Caulker brought up his drinking and gambling problems at Liverpool
- The defender made only three appearances for the Reds as an emergency loan
- Caulker decided to go to rehab because he felt ‘really low’ during his time at Anfield
- The 29-year-old currently plays for Alanyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig
Steven Caulker has opened up about his gambling and drinking problems when he was loaned out to Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp, leading him to rehab.
The defender, who at the time was signed to Queens Park Rangers, had his lease with Southampton broken off during the 2015-16 season in January and left for Anfield as an emergency loan for the Reds.
Caulker, now 29, played just three games for Liverpool and played in the Under-23 squad for the rest of the season.
Steven Caulker has opened up about his gambling and drinking problems while at Liverpool, and the rejection he felt when he was trapped in the Under-21 squad following his shocking loan.
Caulker joined Liverpool during the 2015-16 season as an emergency loan from QPR
The defender has revealed that he felt ‘very depressed’ during his time on Merseyside and turned to gambling and alcohol ‘to numb the pain’ before finally deciding to go into rehab.
He told FourFourTwo: ‘I was very low. The cycle of gambling, drinking, and self-hatred would numb the pain, but it only made matters worse.
‘At the time, I thought I was at rock bottom. I was wrong.
After a few months, I knocked on Jurgen Klopp’s door and said, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough – what do I have to do to get better?”
The defender mainly played in the Under-23 side before entering rehab because of his struggles
He gave me a few suggestions for the gym, but I mostly played for under 23s and that rejection was hard to deal with.
‘In a dark place, I didn’t feel like I could train and fulfill my duties – so I decided it was time for rehabilitation.
“That was very difficult, because I had been given such a huge opportunity at Liverpool.”
The central defender came into action again when he signed a one and a half year contract with Dundee in the Scottish premier league.
Caulker had two seasons in Scotland before moving abroad to Turkey, where he now plays for Alanyaspor in the Super Lig and regularly plays for the first team.
This month’s FourFourTwo hits stores Wednesday, April 7, and features a 10-page interview with Manchester United striker Bruno Fernandes.
Also in this issue, The Football League Top 50, an interview opens with Leeds star Raphinha and former Spurs star Steven Caulker. For a special MailOnline subscription offer of three issues from FourFourTwo for £ 3: www.magazinesdirect.com/fft/81au