EPL

Gerrard sacking not a shock to Carragher as Howe tips ex-Villa boss to bounce back

By Sports Desk October 21, 2022

Jamie Carragher believes Aston Villa may have sacked Steven Gerrard because they feared the atmosphere at future games would become "toxic".

Villa acted shortly after Thursday's 3-0 Premier League loss to Fulham, a sixth defeat in 11 games for a Villa side who have won just twice in the top flight this season.

Carragher and Gerrard were long-standing Liverpool team-mates and remain close, to the point they had been discussing Villa's upcoming games just days ago.

However, Carragher was not surprised Villa opted for a change of head coach.

Speaking on Sky Sports News, Carragher said: "I don't think it was too much of a shock that the news came out. It was just whether the Aston Villa board would let Stevie take the [next] game because it's so close around the corner on Sunday against Brentford.

"But the reaction of the Villa fans, maybe they felt the crowd would be a little bit toxic on Sunday and better for all parties to part ways."

Carragher is intrigued to see whether Gerrard jumps back into a coaching role in the coming months, or whether he keeps his distance for a while.

Gerrard enjoyed considerable trophy success at Rangers but could not replicate that with Villa, departing after just under 12 months at the helm.

"I'm really not sure whether Stevie would go back in or wait 12 months," said Carragher. "I spoke to him a few days ago about the upcoming games for Aston Villa, and he's not daft, he knows the situation.

"It will be really interesting, that's not something I've spoken to him about, whether he's the type of guy who wants to be manager for the next 20 years or he's maybe picked certain jobs that really appeal to him. I think that's what he's done in the first few jobs that he's picked.

"Whether Stevie would drop down to the Championship, I'm really not sure."

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe said the sacking was a reminder of the "volatile" nature of being a Premier League boss, and he expects Gerrard to find another club before long.

"I'm disappointed for Steve. I think he's a very good manager," Howe said at Newcastle's press conference ahead of Sunday's meeting with Tottenham. 

"It just goes to show the short-term nature of everyone's thinking. I've got no doubt on his quality and I'm sure he'll be back very soon."

Villa on Friday announced the departure of five of Gerrard's staff, including former Scotland captain Gary McAllister. He has left the club, along with Neil Critchley, Tom Culshaw, Jordan Milsom and Scott Mason

They have put first-team coach Aaron Danks in temporary charge, meaning he will lead the side for the Brentford game.

Chief executive Christian Purslow said Villa's target "of continuous improvement" had not been achieved under Gerrard, adding: "The process of appointing a new head coach is under way and we will update supporters as soon as possible."

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