Connect with us


Steven Gerrard failure shows big names not enough to thrive in management

That Aston Villa followed up Steven Gerrard’s sacking with a 4-0 win shows that all was not well at Villa Park, with a big victory offering hope they can swiftly climb away from relegation danger.

Villa were not supposed to be in a battle against the drop this term. Having been one of the most lavish spending clubs in the Premier League over the summer, bringing in new players including Diego Carlos, Phillippe Coutinho and Leander Dendoncker, big things were expected. The campaign has not turned out that way. After Villa slipped to a 3-0 defeat away to Fulham, the club’s board confirmed the departure of Gerrard: he had been in charge for less than a year. Injuries to Lucas Digne, Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara played a part, but Gerrard seemed to be out of ideas as to how to turn Villa’s slump around and his sacking has become inevitable.

Gerrard’s big name ensures he will probably get at least one more crack at a Premier League job, but clubs may be wise to think again. A big name is no guarantee of managerial greatness.


‘Golden Generation’ unable to follow playing success

Gerrard was famously a key part of England’s so-called Golden Generation, which spanned from around 2001 to 2007 albeit with far less success at international tournaments than has been enjoyed by Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions over the course of the past few years.

Having played 114 times for his country and become a Liverpool legend during his time at Anfield, most expected Gerrard to go into management. First steps with Liverpool’s U18 and U19 teams showed a willingness to learn the ropes at academy level before Gerrard was then offered the chance to move north of the border, taking charge of Rangers in Scotland. Gerrard’s time at Ibrox was a huge success. Over the course of the 2020–21 season, Gerrard’s team collected back-to-back derby wins over rivals Celtic and finished at the top of their group in the Europa League, which was the start of a stunning run in that second-tier European competition.

Rangers ended up claiming the Scottish Premiership title in early March, having not lost a single league game, while they also made it all the way to the Europa League final, where they were beaten by Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt. It was no surprise Gerrard continued to be linked with a move back to the Premier League and last November he got the chance to join Villa. That opportunity lasted for around 11 months, with Gerrard the latest Golden Generation star to flop.

While old midfield partner Frank Lampard is doing a decent job at Everton, Paul Scholes’ managerial career lasted just seven games at his boyhood club Oldham Athletic. Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen prefer media work, David Beckham has opted for club ownership over management and Wayne Rooney is also focusing on America having returned to DC United.

Like Gerrard, John Terry was once in the Villa dugout but the ex-England captain has returned to Chelsea where he is working as a coaching consultant at the club’s youth academy. Not one member of that Golden Generation has yet turned their star name into a top managerial career.


Liverpool return now in doubt

Gerrard has long been thought of as a future Liverpool manager, but his stumbles at Villa have come at a bad time with many now believing the Jurgen Klopp era may soon draw to an end. While Klopp’s contract with Liverpool is set to run until 2026, the Reds are now clearly in a period of rebuilding with Arsenal emerging as Manchester City’s main challengers for the title. Liverpool sit mid-table in the Premier League, a massive 12 points behind the league leaders with a 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest indicating a recent revival might have been a false dawn.

Gerrard now also faces having to rebuild his reputation, potentially in the relentless grind of the Championship, and he may be unable to rely on getting jobs on the back of his name for longer. The lack of tactical acumen and man-managerial skills shown by Gerrard during his 11 months in charge at Villa Park shows that the 42-year-old still has an awful lot to learn in the game.

Recent Posts