The announcement fell just before midnight French time. After allowing Steven Gerrard to participate in the traditional post-match press conference, during which the Englishman swore to fight, Aston Villa formalized the dismissal of his now ex-coach. “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.”
A funny way to do it, just an hour after the media release of the legend of Liverpool, combative despite the rout against Fulham. Besides, the Telegraph published an article in which Gerrard’s “classless” dismissal is explained. Because the club’s announcement left the partners of Morgan Sanson and Boubacar Kamara in confusion. Some players learned of the news only through the press release issued by their club. No communication was made privately as the players returned to Birmingham and many were unsure if they would even be able to bid farewell to Gerrard on Friday.
Strained relations with his sports director
A confused moment which of course does not explain everything about Gerrard’s dismissal. There were bad results in the league. Seventeenth in the standings, Aston Villa has 6 defeats, 3 draws and only 2 wins. A balance sheet too insufficient for ambitious leaders. But that’s not all. Some elements of the squad would blame Gerrard for his desire to think too much about blocking the opposition in his compositions rather than trying to develop the game, building on the strengths of the Villans. The ex-coach is thus blamed for the 7 small goals scored in 11 league games.
An offensive quack that leads to another grief: the recruitment of Philippe Coutinho for 20 M€ wanted by Gerrard. The Brazilian represented a big investment for a catastrophic result (0 goals, 0 assists in 11 games). Io also had Gerrard’s choice to withdraw the armband from Tyrone Mings at the start of the season. Finally, tensions with sports director Johan Lange would also have penalized Gerrard. The first city has extended a Douglas Luiz that he adores only a few days ago. Or Gerrard would have disagreed. Dissension also seen in the Bertrand Traoré case. Recruited by Lange in 2020, the Burkinabé was quickly removed from the team by Gerrard, before being loaned to Turkey. People close to the former midfielder also claim that Lang would have left Gerrard alone in the embarrassment when things got complicated. As you will have understood, Steven Gerrard was advancing on a minefield.