Steven Gerrard’s reign as Aston Villa manager ended on Thursday as he was sacked shortly after his team slumped to a demoralising 3-0 Premier League defeat at Fulham.
The writing was on the wall for Gerrard after a dismal display that left his side in 17th place after 11 games and only out of the relegation zone on goals scored.
“We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future,” Aston Villa said in a statement on their website.
Gerrard replaced the popular Dean Smith last November after Villa’s poor run of form, having been at Scottish club Rangers since 2018 and leading them to the title.
Villa’s chief executive Christian Purslow spoke at the time of Gerrard taking the team to the next level, but the reality is the Midlands club are in worse shape than they were under Smith.
When Smith, who led Villa back to the top flight in 2019, was fired after five years in charge Villa were 15th in the table with 10 points from 11 matches.
Under Gerrard this season they have nine from 11 and he led them to only 12 wins in 38 Premier League matches.
While Gerrard’s exit was not exactly surprising, the speed of it was. Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers, who was Gerrard’s manager for a time at Liverpool, said he was “bitterly disappointed” at the news.
“It seems every day a manager loses his job or their job is under threat. I think stability and patience seems to be running out,” Rodgers said. “I believe with time and patience he could have got to where that football club wants to go.”
Gerrard is the fourth Premier League manager to lose his job this season after Scott Parker (Bournemouth), Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea) and Bruno Lage (Wolves).
Villa captain John McGinn said the players needed to take responsibility for the situation.
“It’s embarrassing to be part of. We’ve let the travelling fans down, the manager down. It’s a bad night for us,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in charge of that team. It’s nothing to do with the manager – the players have to look at themselves in the mirror.”
Former Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Paris St Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as an early favourite to take over from Gerrard.