, December 07, 2021

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Steven Gerrard's magic is back in England!


  •   4 min reads
Steven Gerrard's magic is back in England!

The great English footballer Steven Gerrard is the new Aston Villa manager after restoring the Glasgow Rangers brand.

Finally, Stevie G is back to Prem! Former Liverpool captain and midfielder just signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Aston Villa to bring them back to glory. The Lions had to pay a reported £4.5 million compensation to draw their new boss from the Rangers where Gerrard transformed the Glasgow club and won them their first league title in more than a decade after an undefeated season.

A win-win situation

Let's just expose the facts.

Aston Villa is on a difficult path, having lost their last five matches but they just recruited one of the youngest and most promising coaches nowadays, who is also a prestigious retired player who definitely knows how to win on the pitch and from the bench.

Steven Gerrard was looking to come back to his home country by coaching in the Premier League, searching for a bigger challenge, and he did just that.

To be fair, who lost?

Well, apart from the Rangers maybe, who now see the end of their bench empty, absolutely nobody.

Thanks to his tremendous job during his three-year stand in Glasgow, Gerrard was prompt to be appointed to a bigger club a while ago and was one of the most looked for coaches recently.

In fact, even though Belgium and Denmark's national teams' coaches (respectively Roberto Martinez and Kasper Hjulmand) were on the shortlist for the Villans, the Premier League and English Football Hall of Fame always seemed ahead of the race to replace Dean Smith - who was sacked on Sunday the 7th of November.

In their press release, AVFC particularly praised their new boss and his great resume as a coach:

“His [Steven Gerrard] subsequent achievement in winning the Premiership title with Glasgow Rangers really caught our eye as did his experience in Europe."

One of the key elements that made Gerrard the top choice for The Lions might have been his connection with Villa chief executive Christian Purslow who was Liverpool's managing director for a long time.

Of course, even though the Claret & Blue Army is not his favourite club, the boy from Whiston, Merseyside, didn't forget to praise his new organization during his first press conference.

A new challenge for Gerrard

Going from a top club in a small league where one just achieved an unbeaten season, to joining a club that currently stands just two points away from the relegation zone is not what you would call a comfortable move.

After playing an anecdotal season with the LA Galaxy, the 2005 Champions League winner quickly decided to come back to Anfield where he played 17 seasons while earning 114 England caps (4th most all-time), in order to coach the Reds U18 squad.

This experience of “managing and developing top young players in the Liverpool FC Academy” was valued by Aston Villa's recruiters.

He then joined the Gers with whom he ended the arch-rivals Celtics' decade long reign as Premiership champions last season thanks to a solid defence (just 13 goals conceded) and an offensive and pleasing style of play (92 goals scored) that he will now try to put in place in Villa Park.

This might end up becoming a difficult task as Aston Villa currently stands at the 16th spot of the PL. The club only won three games but lost seven and is already out of the Carabao Cup after bowing down in the penalties to Chelsea during the third round.

As newcomers Danny Ings and Leon Bailey are currently injured, club-record signing Emiliano Buendia struggling since his arrival and Jack Grealish, now playing for Manchester City, the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) has a lot to do right from the jump.

Gerrard sure knows it and seems willing to accept the tougher and higher level of play in England and his first mission will be to make sure Aston Villa won't be relegated.

He will have serious support thanks to Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens whose financial means perfectly go along with Steve's ambitions. His top one is of course to one day manage Liverpool just like Xavi Hernandez did with FC Barcelona.

We will quickly have a sense of his true coaching prowess as his squad will face top-four sides Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea before the end of 2021. Yet, he will first get the chance to launch his new season at Villa Park against Brighton on Saturday the 20th.

Bye Scotland!

Of course, Stevie G enjoyed his stance in Scotland, but who wouldn't come back to our beloved Queen's nation?

With all the elegance and passion that we know him for, he wrote a heartfelt statement to his now-former institution and fanbase:

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everybody associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to manage such an iconic football club. Helping them secure a record-breaking 55th league title will always hold a special place in my heart. I would like to wish the players, staff and supporters the very best for the future.”

Rangers in their own statement thanked the former midfielder with Ross Wilson, the Sporting Director stating:

"Thank you to Steven for the work, dedication and professionalism with which he has diligently carried out the role of Rangers Manager. [...] Steven and his backroom staff have ensured that the club is undoubtedly in a better place today than it was three-and-a-half years ago. [...] I have enjoyed all aspects of our partnership."

Even though some Scottish fans called him a "snake" for leaving at such an important stage of the season, Steven Gerrard will always be remembered as a great and winning coach in Glasgow, just as much as he was a tremendous player.

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