...By Enitan Thompson for TDPel Media.
Steven Caulker, a former Tottenham and Liverpool footballer, has opened up about his struggles with alcohol and how it affected his once-promising career.
Caulker, who currently plays in the Championship for Wigan, said that he would “self-sabotage” and go out and “get smashed” whenever he failed to make the matchday squad as a youngster.
He revealed that he struggled to process not being picked for the team and it was met with rage, leading him to self-destructive behaviour.
Caulker said that he had a huge problem with alcohol and would often wake up in prison cells, hospital beds, or on the street with no memory of how he got there.
In an interview with the Under The Cosh podcast, Caulker recounted how he would go out and get drunk whenever he wasn’t picked for Tottenham.
He said that the anxiety after such episodes was unbearable and his only option was to get drunk again to block it out.
He described it as a vicious cycle, which affected his performance during training and games.
Caulker’s struggles with alcohol affected his career, and he failed to make an impression during his loan spells at Liverpool and Southampton.
Caulker joined Tottenham’s academy in 2010 and started competing for a place in the first team during the 2012/13 season.
He was sold to Cardiff City at the end of the season, but moved to Queens Park Rangers a year later.
After a four-year stint at Loftus Road, Caulker was loaned to Southampton and Liverpool during his second season.
He made four appearances for Liverpool but failed to make an impact.
After brief stints in Scotland and Turkey, Caulker returned to the UK earlier this year to sign for Wigan.
Steven Caulker’s revelations about his struggles with alcohol shed light on the importance of mental health in football.
The pressures that footballers face on and off the pitch can be overwhelming, and it is crucial that they receive the necessary support.
Caulker’s story is a reminder that professional footballers are also human beings, and they too can struggle with mental health issues.
His bravery in speaking out about his experiences can encourage others to seek help and support.