Steven Gerrard is SACKED as Aston Villa manager


Steven Gerrard is SACKED by Aston Villa after dismal defeat 3-0 at Fulham saw fans turn on him – with owners prepared to pay one of the highest salaries in the Premier League to land an elite coach

  • Aston Villa have sacked Steven Gerrard as their manager after just 11 months
  • Villa sit 17th in the Premier League on nine points – just one point above the drop
  • Gerrard’s final game was a 3-0 loss away at Fulham on Thursday evening
  • The Midlands club’s owners could turn to Mauricio Pochettino or Thomas Tuchel

Steven Gerrard has been sacked by Aston Villa with a brutal 41-word statement after his side’s humiliating 3-0 defeat at Fulham.

The former England captain has been dismissed just 11 months after succeeding Dean Smith at Villa Park, and Villa have targeted former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, with conversations thought to have been held between intermediaries.

Villa’s next game is at home to Brentford on Sunday and at this stage it is unclear who will take charge, though Villa may choose to turn to former player Gary McAllister, who was part of Gerrard’s coaching staff.

Steven Gerrard has been sacked as Aston Villa manager after a disappointing start this season

He was given his marching orders with his final match being a dismal 3-0 defeat at Fulham

Mauricio Pochettino has been identified by Aston Villa's owners as the candidate to take over

Mauricio Pochettino has been identified by Aston Villa’s owners as the candidate to take over

Supporters had long since turned against Gerrard and berated him during the humbling at Craven Cottage, in full view of members of the Villa hierarchy who were in the directors’ box.

The message on the club’s website was terse. It read: ‘Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that Head Coach Steven Gerrard has left the club with immediate effect.

A club spokesman said: ‘We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future.’

Former Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is another candidate to take over at Villa Park

Former Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is another candidate to take over at Villa Park 

Gerrard signed a three-and-a-half-year deal worth about £5.5million per season but despite winning four of his first six matches, it was a dreadful 2022, in which Villa took only 32 points from 31 matches. 

They had a net transfer spend of £52m in the summer but are above the relegation zone on goal difference alone – hardly what billionaire owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens were thinking of when Sawiris said the ‘sky is the limit’ for Villa three years ago.

Villa will adopt that stance when looking for Gerrard’s replacement. They are prepared to pay one of the highest salaries in Europe to attract an elite coach, with Thomas Tuchel also available after leaving Chelsea earlier this season.

Whether Pochettino or Tuchel would be prepared to move to a club currently at risk of relegation is a different matter, but Villa are determined to aim for the top and will back the new manager with significant funds.

Phillipe Coutinho (front) has failed to provide an attacking spark for Villa as they've struggled

Phillipe Coutinho (front) has failed to provide an attacking spark for Villa as they’ve struggled

Gerrard appeared to know the game was up at Fulham. He said: ‘It’s tough. I’m a man, I accept it, I feel the fans’ frustrations, I’m frustrated. 

‘It was a tough night for me personally. We will see what happens. I’m a fighter, I will never, ever quit anything whether it’s football or in life.’

When Gerrard’s reign is analysed, the contribution of Philippe Coutinho will be studied closely. 

Gerrard pushed for his former Liverpool team-mate to be signed on loan last January, and even though his displays were mixed, the Brazilian was signed on a permanent £17m deal last summer. He has yet to produce a goal or assist this term.

That transfer put the spotlight on Gerrard and fans’ faith in him seemed to wane with every poor showing from Coutinho. He was also affected by the loss of first-team coach Michael Beale, who took over as Queens Park Rangers boss last summer.

Beale was so influential on the training ground that Villa keeper Emi Martinez said he was like another manager. His replacement Neil Critchley has been unable to have the same impact on the squad.

Gerrard was affected by the loss of first-team coach Michael Beale, who took over at QPR

Gerrard was affected by the loss of first-team coach Michael Beale, who took over at QPR

Brendan Rodgers (right) has sent his condolences to Gerrard, who he coached at Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers (right) has sent his condolences to Gerrard, who he coached at Liverpool

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was in charge of Gerrard at Liverpool and briefly faced him in Glasgow, when Rodgers was at Celtic and Gerrard at Rangers.

‘I’m bitterly disappointed for Steven,’ said Rodgers. ‘He did a fantastic job at Rangers and the ambitions at Villa are to be pushing for Europe.

‘It seems the way of things that every day a manager is losing his job or under threat, and I think stability and patience seems to be running out now. I believed that with patience Steven could have got the club where they wanted to go.’

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