For the most part, Steven Gerrard loved playing against Aston Villa. He scored more goals against them (13 in 27 games in all competitions) than any other team he faced in his playing career.
Now their paths are ready to cross again, this time with Gerrard dressed in burgundy and blue and taking the reins of one of England’s most legendary clubs after Dean Smith was sacked on Sunday after five straight losses in the Premier League.
Gerrard has built a flourishing reputation as a manger north of the border with the Rangers. He has 124 wins in 192 games, winning the Scottish Premiership and denying Celtic a historic 10 in a row in the process. If he goes to Villa, he will always be recorded in the folklore of Ibrox.
Rangers coach Steven Gerrard could be Aston Villa’s new coach by the end of the week
As a player, Gerrard enjoyed great success playing against Villa; Here, he is seen celebrating a hat-trick in a 2009 Premier League match against them.
The former Liverpool captain could now head to Villa Park to kick-start the club’s season
Yet for all the joy Gerrard had against Villa in his time with Liverpool, the Midlands club had the last laugh at the end of the 2014-15 season, Gerrard’s final year as a Liverpool player.
History seemed written before it happened when Gerrard announced in January 2015 that he would be leaving his childhood club at the end of the season. The FA Cup final fell on May 30, when Gerrard turned 35. It would have been the perfect way to say goodbye.
In the semi-final stage, Liverpool faced Tim Sherwood’s Villa, who were struggling to survive in the Premier League. Liverpool had endured a difficult season with the loss of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge offside with injuries and speculation that Raheem Sterling wanted to leave, but Brendan Rodgers’ team was the favorite.
Philippe Coutinho even gave Liverpool the lead, but Villa canceled the score with goals from Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph, while Jack Grealish, 12 days after his first Premier League start, shone at Wembley.
Gerrard’s final dream in Liverpool was in tatters and he personally endured a match to forget. Liverpool’s fan site, The Anfield Wrap, gave him a 3/10 player rating after the match, saying he “feels generous … he offered virtually no cover on defense and really no threat on offense.”
Villa fans rubbed salt on wounds on the final day of the cup – a group of followers went viral after being photographed have a “birthday party” for Gerrard on the train to Wembley.
Villa shattered Gerrard’s hopes of reaching the FA Cup final in his last game against Liverpool in 2015
Villa fought back from a goal against to defeat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
But really, the act was a joke and given Gerrard’s record against Villa, Holte End is as well placed as anyone after Liverpool’s fanbase to reflect on the player that Gerrard was in their pomp.
Highlights include his hat-trick in a 5-0 win in 2009 and an impressive last-minute free kick at Villa Park in 2007, the opening day of the season, and Fernando Torres’ debut, to snatch three points.
If you can inject the same blend of flair and urgency into a churning side of Villa, your name will be throbbing at Villa Park in no time. And that would be no small feat: If Gerrard accepts the job, he will enter a side that is searching for his identity again.
Grealish’s loss to Manchester City, arguably Villa’s best player for several years, has affected the team and former coach Smith bought a variety of players to restructure the team in his absence.
The jury is still out on Emi Buendia, a £ 40 million acquisition from Norwich that is struggling to establish itself in the early days of his Villa career, but getting a tune out of him could be key to quickly starting Gerrard’s life at Villa.
But ultimately, most managers who are worth their stripes would look to Villa’s team and back them to turn their luck. In Emi Martinez, there is a super goalkeeper: Argentina’s No. 1 center-back Tyrone Mings is an England regular, while John McGinn is a midfielder who has fans throughout the Premier League, including Gerrard’s former team Liverpool. .
In attack, Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings are proven Premier League scorers knocking on the door of England’s squad, while winger Leon Bailey, another summer signing, could be an ace in the pack.
Gerrard would inherit a team with little confidence after five consecutive defeats in the Premier League
Emi Buendia has struggled to recover since her £ 40 million move from Norwich
But Gerrard would have had Premier League players like Danny Ings at his disposal.
If Gerrard takes over, he will also have a decent group of players who will remain active in the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground due to not participating in international matches, such as Ings, Buendia and Watkins.
It could be the right conditions for him to convey his vision to key players from day one.
On a broader level, there is great curiosity about Gerrard, the coach. Is he Jurgen Klopp’s heir at Anfield? How will your success in Scotland translate into a division as fierce as the Premier League?
However, one of the icons of English football joining forces with one of the most traditional and respected clubs in the nation feels like a good match, and another fascinating management appointment in the division.