Steven Gerrard will have ‘NO inferiority complex’ in taking on Guardiola, Klopp, Tuchel and Conte in the Premier League… with old pal Carragher hailing it as ‘the most exciting Villa appointment in years’
Steven Gerrard will relish the battle against the Premier League’s best coaches and will hold ‘no inferiority complex’ after swapping Rangers for Aston Villa, according to his former team-mate Jamie Carragher.
Gerrard, 41, was confirmed as Villa’s latest manager on Thursday morning and he will now start work ahead of his first game in charge against Brighton on November 20.
Villa have made a surprisingly poor start to the campaign and boyhood fan Dean Smith was shown the door with the club 16th in the Premier League.
Steven Gerrard agreed to leave Rangers to become the new manager at Aston Villa
Ex-team-mate Jamie Carragher says Gerrard will have no fear coming up against the Premier League’s best managers such as Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp (left) and Man City’s Pep Guardiola
For Carragher, who enjoyed rich success as a player at Liverpool alongside Gerrard, his close friend was presented with a decision to join and it was a ‘no brainer’.
‘His presence around the club, the aura he has, and the demands he places upon himself and expects of others could be transformative,’ Carragher wrote in his Telegraph column.
‘It is the most exciting Villa appointment in years, and brilliant for the Premier League to have a force of personality and world superstar such as Gerrard on the touchline.
‘He will have no inferiority complex taking on the world-renowned coaches, that’s for sure.’
Gerrard proved his credentials by transforming Rangers into Scottish champions last season
Gerrard will cut his teeth against Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel before the end of the year
ASTON VILLA’S UPCOMING FIXTURES
November 20: Brighton (H)
November 27: Crystal Palace (A)
December 1: Man City (H)
December 5: Leicester (H)
December 11: Liverpool (A)
December 14: Norwich (A)
Gerrard will not have to wait long to cut his teeth against the Premier League’s big-name bosses with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool coming up in the next five games.
‘Every ambitious manager wants the chance to take on Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Thomas Tuchel and now Antonio Conte,’ Carragher added.
‘Gerrard is inheriting a good squad. It does not need major work to oversee a big improvement at Villa Park. The nucleus of the team is there.’
Gerrard was Villa’s No 1 target to fill the vacancy, with the club’s owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, as well chief executive Christian Purslow impressed by the job Gerrard, 41, has done at Ibrox, his first in management.
Gerrard won the Scottish Premiership title last term, breaking Celtic’s sequence of nine in a row and going the entire league season unbeaten, and although he has shown fierce loyalty to the club, he has decided to embrace the challenge on offer at Villa Park. Rangers have been paid £2.5million in compensation.
Having proven his credentials in Scotland, bringing success back to Rangers and ending Celtic’s dominance in Glasgow, he will now be under the microscope at Villa in staving off the immediate relegation threat.
Carragher believes Gerrard’s ‘aura’ could prove transformative as he takes charge at Villa
Carragher (bottom) enjoyed great success as a player at Liverpool alongside Gerrard (top)
‘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,’ Gerrard said after being appointed.
‘In my conversations with 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.
‘I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everybody associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to manage such an iconic football club.
‘Helping them secure a record-breaking 55th league title will always hold a special place in my heart. I would like to wish the players, staff and supporters the very best for the future.’