Many Aston Villa fans were left disappointed, some were heartbroken, and others cried themselves to sleep when the news of Dean Smith’s departure broke. Others sat on the other side of the fence and were happy to see the back of a manager who hadn’t managed to get things clicking in the 2021-22 season.
No matter what your opinion on Smith’s sacking, you can’t fault the club’s hastiness in bringing in Steven Gerrard as a replacement. This signing shows that Villa’s owners mean business. It should also annoy the hierarchy at Manchester United, who have just missed out on the acquisition of another promising manager.
United Standing Still While Others Make Moves
There has been a lot of speculation about who could replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford, with Brendan Rodgers at 4/6 in the next Man United manager odds. The question is, would the Northern Irishman be happy to part ways with his exciting project at Leicester City in favour of taking over at a dysfunctional United? The manager specials tips have suggested that Rodgers could be the man to move to United, as there is a clause in his contract that would allow him to switch to a Champions League club.
For some time now it has seemed like Solskjaer has been a dead man walking at Old Trafford. There have been some dismal performances, and the latest 5-0 and 2-0 drubbings by Liverpool and Manchester City respectively have highlighted the myriad problems in the Norwegian’s United setup. Despite this, the board at Old Trafford have stood behind their man while other teams in the Premier League have sought to address their own shortcomings. There have been five managerial changes so far this season, but not the one that most people have been expecting – yet.
Gerrard Could Build a Legacy at Villa
While it’s hard to say how well a former Liverpool player would be received as the manager of United, it’s fair to say that the Red Devils missed out on a gifted young manager. Villa may have snaffled up Gerrard at the perfect moment. He’s had plenty of time to learn his trade in the Scottish Premiership with Rangers, and now he joins the Premier League with an impressive skill set and management team at his disposal. With money to spend and ambitions of climbing up the table, Villa represents an exciting project for the new manager.
Gerrard’s tenure at Rangers was impressive for someone so new to the trade. He has spent the last three seasons at the Ibrox Stadium and has gradually built the Gers into a fearsome side. In his third campaign, the 2021-22 season, he led the Glasgow side to a title win with 102 points, suffering no defeats and only drawing six times. Gerrard also won back-to-back derby wins over fierce rivals Celtic, cementing his status as a hero at the club.
Villa were shrewd to bring in Gerrard just as the manager’s career seems to be taking off. If the former Liverpool captain is given the same licence to build at Villa Park that he had at Rangers, Villa could soon see themselves heading up the table and into the European spots.