Steven Gerrard to Aston Villa: 'A gamble with risk on both sides'

Gerrard was a Liverpool player who played 710 games and won nine trophies in a 19-year career that saw him also win 114 England caps.
Aston Villa's quick and smooth appointment of Rangers manager Steven Gerrard to succeed Dean Smith as their successor suggests that this move was not difficult.

Christian Purslow, Villa chief executive, is familiar with Gerrard from his time as Liverpool managing direct. The club made him their number-one target immediately after he won Rangers' first title in a decade.

Gerrard, on the other hand, was not afraid to return to the Premier League, Villa, a club that is stable and ambitious, where he will be supported financially by Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris.

Rangers, like Celtic, have learned, after their success at Parkhead, how the Old Firm can't compete with England's top flight.

Gerrard now moves on to the next stage of his coaching and managerial career at a club that has earned him instant respect. But there's a lot riding for both Gerrard and his career.

Gerrard is too intelligent to be mistaken for someone who uses Villa as a steppingstone. Anyone who doubts Gerrard's total dedication to every task is not a true friend of him. But everyone knows his ultimate goal: to manage Liverpool.

Villa will not be affected by this, as Villa's ambitious character will now be focusing his efforts on his new job. You should not think that he will ever be thinking about Liverpool during his time at Villa, except if they are in opposition.

He will need to succeed at Villa Park if he wants to return to Anfield.

Gerrard could have been a permanent fixture at Ibrox, and would have been admired and successful. However, he has now accepted the more rigorous and thorough examination of his credentials in Premier League.

This will give a more accurate picture of his standing. It is an indication of the 41-year old's ambition and drive that he chose this option with all its risks.

He will be aware that if Villa isn't a success, he cannot rely on his glorious past to make him a potential Jurgen Klopp successor.

Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's owners, will be aware of Gerrard’s legendary status at Anfield. However they don't give the impression that they are sentimental about their management style.

Gerrard is confident in his own abilities to believe that he will succeed at Villa. Then, let the chips fall where they may.

Gerrard was always very driven - Southgate

While his detractors were quick to point out that he only won one trophy in three-and a half years at Rangers but this was the club’s first Scottish title for a decade. This overturned an era of total Celtic dominance while maintaining a 72% success ratio in the domestic league.

They won all 38 of their games last season, which is a remarkable feat.

It was also the title Celtic desired most in their quest for 10 consecutive wins. Gerrard will always be remembered by Rangers and their fans for this.

Although he was a former Liverpool captain, he is a loyal and popular manager. However, despite his willingness to enforce discipline or hide from bad performances, he is not afraid to be stern with his players. Alfredo Morelos, his explosive striker, was a prime example of this.

He was a straight-dealer and a shrewd media representative. His barnstorming style of play in an illustrious career has made him a more reflective, thoughtful, and reflective person than it might seem.

Gerrard's Rangers teams were known for their solid defense, conceding only 13 goals last season. This resulted in a remarkable goal difference of +79. Gerrard prefers a 4-3-2-3 system, with full-backs.

James Tavernier, who plays at right-back, scored twelve goals and had nine assists last season in the league. He ended up with 19 goals and 11 assists across 46 games in all competitions.

Gerrard will expect the same high standards from Villa's players that he does from himself, but they will also find a supportive coach who will support them 100% if they offer it back.

Aston Villa has lost five of their last five Premier League matches

Villa have, on the other hand, appointed someone who is still Premier League box office from his time with Liverpool and has made impressive first steps in his managerial journey.

Although there is a risk in appointing someone for his first Premier League job, Villa's faith is evident from the fact that only one serious candidate was available once Gerrard indicated he was ready to leave Rangers.

Villa Park inherits a team that is 16th in Premier League and just two places from the relegation zone. However, there is no doubt Villa Park will be its best when he takes over the technical area for the game against Brighton on 20/11.

As his predecessor Smith discovered, he will have high expectations of Villa. Villa made ambitious investments in their squad, even before Jack Grealish was sold by Manchester City for PS100m. That money was immediately reinvested.

Purslow speaks frequently about continuous improvement. Villa might feel that they still have the time to reach their top six targets given the additions of Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendia, and Danny Ings. They want to do better than the 11th place last season.

Gerrard will seek new arrivals and Villa's hierarchy is not afraid to back their managers. Villa, in particular, will be able attract players on the basis of his reputation and name.

Villa made Gerrard their man in no time. Gerrard accepted their offer immediately. This move is not without risks, but it is one that has already generated huge excitement amongst the club's passionate supporters.

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