Steven Gerrard has been appointed Aston Villa boss in a show of ambition from Christian Purslow and co. to take the club to the next level.
The Liverpool legend became the new man to replace Dean Smith in the hot seat at Villa Park after breakthrough talks on Tuesday.
Gerrard was rumoured to be Villa’s main target right from the start and they appear to be getting an up-and-coming manager who has already done significant things in his managerial career.
Breaking the Celtic dominance in Scotland is no easy feat, so being able to do that and thwart their city rivals in winning the 10th SPFL title on the bounce is something the looks very good on the CV of the former England international.
He will be coming into the Premier League with more winning pedigree compared to an ex-international teammate of the Liverpool midfielder, in the form of Frank Lampard.
Lampard took the bold leap of faith to manage his boyhood club Chelsea, who were in some form of adversity at the time after being handed a transfer ban.
Despite achieving a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League within the first season of his reign, coupled with his success of embedding youth into the set-up, it was to be a bittersweet ending for the club legend who failed to continue the progress in the second season, leading to Thomas Tuchel coming in and the rest from there is history.
The 41-year-old therefore will want to avoid the same fate as Lampard, so starting off in the Midlands before making the jump to his own boyhood club Liverpool seems like a sensible idea.
However, the magnitude of the task facing him is unimaginable for a club who have a plan of finishing in the European places in the near future.
His first task will be to end the dismal run in the top flight of five consecutive losses for the Villans, with Brighton the visitors to Villa Park in what will be Gerrard’s managerial debut in the big time.
Within his first six weeks, Gerrard could well have a big impact on the Premier League title race with his Villa outfit facing three of the top four sides in the run to the new year.
First off, Man City are the visitors for the late game on December 1, followed by Villa making an away trip to Anfield on December 11 to take on his beloved Liverpool, and finally ending their tour of the current top three at home to Chelsea on Boxing Day.
With the points gap only standing at three currently between first-placed Chelsea and second-placed Man City, Gerrard’s results in those games could prove pivotal come the end of the season.
Tuchel and co. must avoid a repeat of what happened last time out at Villa Park, where they fell to a disappointing 2-1 loss on the final day of the season.
Thankfully, that didn’t cost them their top-four place, courtesy of a helping hand from Spurs, but a loss this time round on Boxing Day could have bigger consequences, especially considering how tight this Premier League title race is expected to be until the season ends in May.
Source by Football London