Steven Gerrard took what must have been a pretty awkward team coach ride back to the West Midlands with his players having been sacked by Aston Villa on Thursday.
Fulham beat Villa 3-0 at Craven Cottage to leave Gerrard’s side clear of the relegation zone on goal difference only after just two Premier League wins this season.
“If you look at how we performed at the weekend I wanted to build on that but got the opposite. We were second best in the first half and were lucky to still be in the game,” Gerrard said.
“I got in and among the players at half-time hoping for a reaction. The performance was nowhere near good enough. The first half shocked me after what we had seen.
“I’m in a position and will try to find the answers but I will not disrespect my players. We just did not turn up tonight – it’s very difficult to praise them after this performance.”
But he was dealt a knockout blow around 90 minutes after the final whistle…
“Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that head coach Steven Gerrard has left the club with immediate effect,” read a Villa statement.
“We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future.”
And the Liverpool legend not only had to deal with the embarrassment of his post-match comments ageing spectacularly poorly, but then had to endure a ride home with the players who were no longer his, according to The Athletic.
Reports have suggested that Villa are keeping tabs on both Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino as Gerrard’s replacement, but The Athletic claim Brentford boss Thomas Frank is also in the running.
It’s claimed ‘is a manager admired by the Villa board and will be considered as part of the search to replace Gerrard’.
And by chance, Villa will get the opportunity to experience Frank’s quality on Sunday as they host Brentford.