Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Prem icon urged to ditch current plans and accept appealing Aston Villa advance


A Premier League icon has been urged to ditch his current managerial plans and take the appealing Aston Villa advance for their vacant role.

Having sacked Dean Smith, Villa have a number of top candidates on the table to be their next manager. Since their disappointing 1-0 defeat to Southampton, they’ve been going through their options.

And the main who they have settled on as their first choice target is Liverpool icon and Rangers boss Steven Gerrard.

The ball is now in Gerrard’s court. An offer of working in the Premier League is one which Paul Merson believes is what Gerrard has been working towards since starting his coaching career.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “It’s going to be hard, course it is. He’s managing a massive club in Glasgow Rangers and he’s got them buzzing again.

“You know, stopping Celtic doing what they were gonna do, 10 in a row, they’re in the Europa League, probably will go out of that now and they’ve got a chance to win it [the Scottish league title].

“You’re playing a game though, it’s a bit of a juggling act because Celtic seem like they’re coming back now.

“It seems like the manager has gone there, they’ve bought into his ideas and they’re moving up the table. It’s no foregone conclusion this year.

“And you know what football’s like. If Celtic went and won it this year, everything is sort of forgotten of what happened the year before.

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“So for me, everybody wants to manage in the Premier League, that’s no disrespect to the Scottish Premier. Celtic and Rangers are as big a club as half, if not even more than half, the teams in the Premier League.

“But it’s the Premier League and when you start out managing, I’m sure in the back of his mind, if you could get a job like Aston Villa, wow.”

Rangers decimated Celtic last season but this year the gap is just four points after 13 games played. In European competition they remain with a shout of qualifying second in their group.

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Gerrard calls grow

Gerrard’s former Reds team-mate Jamie Carragher also shares the same view as Merson.

On the situation, he told Sky Sports: “I think Aston Villa as a club would be a great move for Steven Gerrard. But the situation that he finds himself in right now is that he took the title off Celtic last season and he is in a great position to win it again.

“I think in a perfect world you would want to stay at Rangers until the end of the season and come away from there with two titles.

“People talk about Liverpool. That might be two or three years with Jurgen Klopp,” Carragher added. “You won’t get many better offers than Villa. But in a perfect world I think he wants to come away from Rangers with another two or three trophies.”

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