English football legend Steven Gerrard has never settled for mediocrity, and that doesn’t change his role as manager of Aston Villa.
The Liverpool great is about to begin his first season as Villa boss after taking charge of his successful Rangers manager in November last year, briefly coming face-to-face with the former Socceroos and current Celtic boss. Consultant Ange Postecoglou.
When Villa replaced the sacked manager Dean Smith, Gerrard guided the club to safety and finished in 14th place at a time when they were in a poor position in the English Premier League.
But that’s not enough for Gerrard, who has won the Champions League as a player and the Scottish Premiership as a manager, among many other achievements.
And while a trophy with Villa is some way off, Gerrard is desperate to at least see the club finish 10th in the 2022-23 Premier League season and build from there.
To prepare for the upcoming campaign, Gerrard and his Villa squad will be in Australia with a Queensland Champions Cup match against Leeds United at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday night and Brisbane Roar in Townsville on Wednesday night.
Villa then head to Perth for their season opener against Bournemouth on August 7 before returning home to face Manchester United next Saturday night.
“We are very happy to be here,” said Gerrard. News Corp Australia From the club’s Gold Coast training base.
“The facilities, the climate… everything is suitable for us to work, and to be stronger and better.
From a game point of view, we have three exciting challenges ahead of us, which are very important two weeks, but the most important thing is to be on the training ground doing the work and getting the chance to experience what the season will look like. .
“Last season we finished 14th in the table but we believe Aston Villa should be moving at the top of the table.
“It’s a challenge because the Premier League is the best league in the world and the toughest league in the world but we have to work hard across the board to improve Aston Villa and take Aston Villa to the next level.”
Moving from Rangers to Villa
Gerrard, 42, enjoyed his three-and-a-half seasons in charge in Scotland and could not turn down the chance to coach in the Premier League.
“I really enjoyed my time at Rangers. “We achieved what we set out to do, which was to win 55th place and make it 10 times in a row (Celtic’s win) but I always wanted to get back to the Premier League,” he said.
“When you get the chance to be at a huge club like Aston Villa and go out with the best coaches and teams in the world, it’s a very difficult thing to say no to.”
“That’s why I took the opportunity and I want to take advantage of it.
“I’m still very new (as a manager). I’m trying to learn as much as I can, trying to improve and trying to grow.
“There’s still a lot of room for improvement for sure, but I’m enjoying the ride so far.”
Respect for POSTECOGLOU
It has been a managerial journey that has included a brief battle with Postcoglou, who took over at Celtic in June last year.
While the pair are long-time coaching rivals, Gerrard is a big fan of Postcoglou, who led the Hoops to Premiership and League Cup success in his first season in Scottish football.
“Ange has been amazing. He’s brought his own style. It took him a while to implement that but once the players got used to it, they won the League Cup and the League Cup so it’s been a very successful season for him,” Gerrard said.
“He’s someone I respect and admire a lot and he’s doing a great job, so he deserves credit.
He obviously has a lot of experience. He has had many successes in his career, and comes across as a very humble person.
“Of course I’ve been Rangers. I want Rangers to do well. I’m sure he appreciates that, but he’s a coach I have a lot of respect for.