Steven Gerrard appointed manager of Aston Villa: Details here
Premier League side Aston Villa appointed Steven Gerrard as their manager on Thursday. The former Liverpool captain replaces Dean Smith, who was sacked after the club suffered five consecutive defeats. Gerrard, who has joined Aston Villa on a three-and-a-half-year deal, earlier worked with Scottish Premiership side Rangers for three years. He helped them win their first league title in 10 years, last season.
Why does this story matter?
Aston Villa have faced a spate of defeats in recent times. They are yet to win since beating Manchester United on September 25. Villa, who are among the bottom five Premier League sides presently, sacked Smith. They now hope to resurrect under Gerrard. Notably, the latter is familiar to Villa CEO Christian Purslow, who previously served as the Managing Director of Liverpool.
Immensely proud to become head coach of Aston Villa: Gerrard
"Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become its new head coach," said Gerrard. "In my conversations with [co-owners] Nassef [Sawiris], Wes [Edens] and the rest of the board, it was apparent how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their aims."
Gerrard guided Rangers to glory
It is understood that Aston Villa paid £4.5m in compensation to Rangers. Rangers had named Gerrard their manager in 2018. In that season, Rangers claimed their first win over Celtic since 2012. They fared well throughout the season. Rangers also finished second in the 2019/20 season. In the following season, Gerrard lifted his first trophy as manager, as Rangers won the league title.
Gerrard helped Rangers win a record 55th Scottish Premiership title
Gerrard helped Rangers clinch their 55th Scottish Premiership title. They finished the season 25 points clear of Celtic, who were the champions of the 2019/20 season. Notably, Rangers were unbeaten throughout the season. They won a total of 32 and drew six games (102 points). Rangers also won back-to-back Old Firm derbies (match between them and Celtic).
It is interesting to note that four of the bottom five clubs (Aston Villa, Watford, Burnley, Newcastle United, Norwich City respectively) have changed their managers in the 2021/22 Premier League season. Villa will next face Brighton on November 20.
A look at Gerrard's career
Before working with Rangers, Gerrard operated as the youth coach at Liverpool. In September 2017, the club announced that Gerrard will manage the Under-19 team in the UEFA Youth League. Besides, Gerrard represented Liverpool 710 times as a player. He also spent a season with MLS side LA Galaxy before retiring. Furthermore, Gerrard has played the fourth-most matches for England (114 appearances).