Steven Gerrard slams Aston Villa stars ‘who weren’t giving it’ after leaning on Sir Alex Ferguson

Will Ford
Former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard looks unhappy
Steven Gerrard was sacked by Aston Villa in October 2022.

Steven Gerrard says he “takes full responsibility” for failing at Aston Villa, but did also claim some of the players weren’t giving it there all in his time at Villa Park.

Gerrard joined Aston Villa in November 2021 but lasted less than a year with Villa languishing in 17th with nine points from 11 games when he was shown the door.

Unai Emery replaced them and has taken them into the Champions League in his first full season, leaving Gerrard open to criticism as the Spaniard has done so with many of the same players.

Gerrard has since taken charge of Al-Ettifaq – leading to further reproval from many – and led them to sixth in the Saudi Pro League in his first season at the helm.

Gerrard blames himself for work-shy Villans

The former England international admits his sacking by Villa “hurt” and revealed he sought the advice of Sir Alex Ferguson before taking the job at Al Ettifaq.

Gerrard told The Telegraph: “I think when top footballers are not performing at their level I am not going to pull any punches. We had players who weren’t giving what I felt they should have been giving at the time and that’s my responsibility.

“Villa is a fantastic club. It was an incredible opportunity at the time and I have nothing bad to say. The owners gave me a fantastic chance. The initial period, our form was top eight in the Premier League and obviously the opinion of me now from a lot of people will be that I failed, if you like, but I know there was a period there where we got an awful lot of things right. We had the team doing okay.

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“It was tough. It hurt. I felt it. But what people need to understand is if I didn’t feel that, if I didn’t take that personally, if I didn’t take full responsibility for that, then I am not Steven Gerrard anymore because when it’s football and it’s professional and it’s something that I love I will always own it.

Sir Alex advice

“I am not one of those people who looks to blame, who looks to point fingers. It’s not my style and that’s the reason why I needed a period of time to process that hard toughness. It knocked my confidence a little bit. It does. I spoke to a lot of managers around it. I went to see Alex Ferguson for a couple of hours and he said ‘take your time, don’t jump into anything. Take your time and process it, analyse it’.

“And that is what I have done. But it has not affected my ambition. I didn’t have any targets when I set out on this different journey. I didn’t have a plan to go to Glasgow Rangers. I didn’t have a plan to go to the Premier League after three and a half years. I didn’t have Aston Villa on my resume. I am going along trying to be the best version of myself and have a career in coaching because I am passionate about it.”

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