Steven Gerrard’s reign as Aston Villa manager came to an end on Thursday as he was sacked shortly after his side crumbled to a demoralizing 3-0 Premier League defeat at Fulham. The writing was on the wall for Gerrard after a dismal display that left his side 17th after 11 games and only out of the relegation zone on goals scored.
“We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future,” Aston Villa said in a statement posted on its website. Gerrard replaced the popular Dean Smith last November following Villa’s poor form, having been at Scottish club Rangers since 2018 and leading them to the title.
Villa chief executive Christian Purslow spoke as Gerrard took the team to the next level, but the reality is the Midlands club are in worse shape than they were under Smith. When Smith, who brought Villa back to the top flight in 2019, was fired after five years in charge, Villa were 15th in the table with 10 points from 11 games.
Under Gerrard this season they have nine from 11 and he has led them to just 12 wins in 38 Premier League appearances. While Gerrard’s exit wasn’t exactly surprising, his speed was. Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers, who managed Gerrard for a time at Liverpool, said he was “bitterly disappointed” by the news.
“It seems like every day a manager loses their job or their job is in jeopardy. I think the stability and the patience seem to be wearing thin,” Rodgers said. “I think with time and patience he could have gotten to where this football club wants to go.” Gerrard is the fourth Premier League manager to lose his job this season after Scott Parker (Bournemouth), Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea) and Bruno Lage (Wolves).
Villa captain John McGinn said the players had to take responsibility for the situation. “It’s embarrassing to be a part of it. We let down the traveling fans, the manager. It’s a bad night for us,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter who leads this team. It has nothing to do with the manager – the players have to look in the mirror.” Former Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Paris St Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as an early favorite to succeed Gerrard.
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