Steven Gerrard taking over Aston Villa could prove to be a mistake or a masterstroke. Today Stephen Gerrard has been announced as the new manager of Aston Villa. Gerrard has made the bold move to leave Glasgow Rangers after three years in charge. Rangers sit proudly at the top of the Scottish Premiership as the current champions.
Aston Villa have acted swiftly in appointing Gerrard as the successor to Dean Smith, who was fired on Sunday. Villa have been impressed with Gerrard’s performance in Glasgow where he dramatically halted Celtic’s procession to 10 league titles in a row. Rangers were in fact unbeaten and this invisibility was always going to admire suitors down south in The Premier League.
Gerrard has been continually linked as heir to the Liverpool throne that Jurgen Klopp proudly sits. Both men have been triumphant through restoring glory to their sleeping giants. The dilemma for Gerrard is whether Aston Villa will allow him to continue his journey back to Anfield or possibly slide down to any field in England or Scotland.
Some would argue that Gerrard had completed what he had set out to do in stopping Celtic. What else is there possibly to achieve? Without question defending a title and continuing to acquire European experience would go a long way to enhancing his reputation for the regular renditions of You’ll Never Walk Alone. However, Steven Gerrard is a strong individual who is happy to back himself and is quite happy walking alone.
One of the Premier League’s greatest ever footballers has decided that it is time to rejoin the league that he had graced with an abundance of inspirational passion.
Is it a mistake or a masterstroke?
Breaking Celtic’s dominance was always the aim. But one title in just over three years and leaving two points clear at the top of the table are hardly foundations for blue dominance. Could his departure lead to a fall from grace for Rangers? Will it open up the door for Celtic to sneak back in to reclaim their Scottish crown? It is hardly unrealistic thinking about it.
Then there is the small matter of Aston Villa. Dean Smith had spent nearly 90 percent of the Jack Grealish £100 million British record spend. Yes, they had lost their talisman but there were expectations to kick on this season and improve on their 11th place finish last season. In fact, they had performed without the injured Grealish for a chunk of the season.
Losing five games in a row and sitting 2 points above the relegation positions sealed Smith’s fate. Expectations exceeded that with or without Grealish. Will Steven Gerrard be able to steady the ship? The festive period appears to be Scrooge like where matches against Manchester City, Chelsea and his beloved Liverpool could make or break Gerrard as a Premier League manager.
In some respects, these matches are free hits but failing to beat Brighton in the opening match will put pressure on these matches. There will be more scrutiny than before with the newest recruit to the Premier League managerial sack race. If Villa are sitting a couple of points above relegation in the new year there will be calls that Gerrard is not up to the Premier League challenge. If he can’t cut it at Villa there is no way he will manage expectations at Liverpool. Ole Gunnar Gerrard.
If Gerrard was to claim some high profile points the clamour for the Liverpool hotseat may gain early momentum. The lure of the Premier League has proven to be too enticing and realistically Aston Villa are the best of the rest in the Premier League.
There seems no way Gerrard would manage Manchester United and Manchester City will have something or someone up their sleeve when Guardiola departs. Klopp hasn’t indicated that he is going to leave Liverpool and Spurs have just appointed Antiono Conte. Mikel Arteta is currently the best thing since George Graham and Arsene Wenger combined. It is unlikely that Gerrard would follow Brendan Rodgers if he was to leave Leicester City.
Therefore, Aston Villa fit the profile of the giant club whose fortunes need resuscitating. The former European Champions and multiple league champions need a kiss of life. Steven Gerrard will follow in the same footsteps as Graham Taylor, Ron Atkinson and Dr Jozef Venglos in life saving action.
It is stick or twist and Gerrard has decided to twist with assured confidence. It will be an exciting watch to see if the former Liverpool and England captain has sacrificed possible guaranteed trophies for a return to the Premier League.
One thing is for sure, Steven Gerrard will be confidently walking alone doing it his way.
What do you think? Mistake or masterstroke? Please comment.