• Premier League

Skrtel: Arsenal start best I've ever played

ESPN staff
February 15, 2014
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers speaks ahead of his side's clash against Arsenal

Martin Skrtel insists he has never played better than in the opening 20 minutes of last weekend's 5-1 demolition of Arsenal where he scored two quick-fire goals.

Liverpool raced into a 4-0 lead at Anfield with Skrtel turning in two set-pieces inside the opening 10 minutes.

After the match, manager Brendan Rodgers hailed him as one of the best defenders in the world.

"People have stopped me just to thank me for such a great game. I still wonder if it actually happened because it was so incredible - especially the first 20 minutes," said Skrtel.

"They were the best 20 minutes I've ever played - in any football."

Skrtel admitted he pondered leaving Liverpool in the summer after losing his first-team place under Rodgers last season - but insists he was determined to prove himself.

"In the pre-season, I told myself, 'C'mon, stay, just fight for your place and show you can play.' It was something I wanted to do, and was prepared to fight for, and now I'm in the team," Skrtel added.

"I think I do have that fight as part of my personality. I think it made me stronger.

"I just try to work hard to show every single person I am capable of starting a game for Liverpool. Of course it looked bad - we signed three new centre backs, so there were a lot of rumours.

"But I waited for a chance and the crucial game was against Manchester United. I got the shout and I knew it was a real big game for me. I knew I could show something in that game - I was man of the match and afterwards I kept my place.

"When I decided to stay, I had a feeling it was going to be a great season for the club, there was a real feeling around the squad that we could do something.

"There was an atmosphere I was determined to be part of. Now we are fourth, we are in the position we wanted to be, so yeah, it proves a point.

"In pre-season I saw the squad in training, I saw the excitement and the spirit and it did show me this year could be something good, something special."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close