Steven Gerrard backed to land huge next job with old connection aiding massive upgrade on Aston Villa
Former Aston Villa striker Darren Bent feels Steven Gerrard should be in the equation to succeed Gareth Southgate as England manager.
Gerrard, 42, is now out of work after being sacked by Villa earlier this week. The former Liverpool midfielder was shown the Villa Park exit door following Thursday’s 3-0 Premier League defeat at Fulham. He was appointed Villans chief in November last year, replacing Dean Smith at the helm.
Things began well, with four victories from six top-flight games. However, the side’s form tailed off badly, with just two wins from the final 11 matches seeing them limp to 14th in 2021-2022.
But far from turning things around with a full pre-season under their belts, Aston Villa have struggled this term as well.
This week’s reverse was Villa’s sixth of the campaign while they have won just twice in the league. Gerrard paid the price, with the club now searching for its next manager.
The Merseysider is eager to continue his managerial career and is certain to have offers in the coming months.
But Bent believes the man who won 114 England caps will be considered for the top job when Southgate moves on.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he was one of the candidates for the England job next,” he told talkSPORT.
“I’m not saying that he should get it, but you know what the FA are like. They like people who have been in the system before.”
Gerrard needs experience for England job
There is no doubting Gerrard’s ability as a player. He made 710 appearances for Liverpool before a short stint with LA Galaxy preceded his retirement.
However, football history is littered with examples of top-class players who failed to make the transition into successful management.
Gerrard cut his teeth with Rangers north of her border. He managed to break Celtic’s stranglehold on the Scottish Premiership, guiding his side to the 2020-2021 title.
But there is a school of thought that managing in Scotland can give a false impression of a coach’s ability.
The standard is nowhere near that of the Premier League. And Gerrard may need to prove his credentials with another English club before setting his sights on the national side.
However, Bent feels the powers that be may well turn to the former England skipper when the position becomes vacant.
He added: “He’s obviously played for England and he’s very much a company man, isn’t he?
“It wouldn’t surprise me. I just think that he could be one, certainly.”
World Cup critical to Southgate future
Southgate was rewarded for leading England to the final of Euro 2020 with a new contract until the end of 2024.
He also took England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup. However, results over the past 12 months have not been good, with the Three Lions relegated from the Nations League top tier.
They failed to win a single game from six in the group stage, finishing bottom of Group 3 with only three points.
Southgate has shown an ability to get the best out of his charges at tournaments, however. And that has been something lacking in previous England managers.
But if they fail to spark in Qatar it is likely that he will either resign or be sacked following the Middle East tournament.
There will be no shortage of candidates to take over an exciting crop of England youngsters.
Gerrard’s name will doubtless be mentioned but he is certain to be up against some big-name rivals for the prestigious post.
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