Steven Gerrard has almost single-handedly guided Aston Villa to Premier League safety, and now he might have a significant influence at the other end of the table as the title battle heats up. In 2014, Gerrard was part of a Liverpool team that was three games away from winning the Premier League, only for his notorious mistake to enable Chelsea to win at Anfield and City to finish first instead.
After eight years, the iconic former Reds captain has a chance to influence the outcome of a title race that appears to be heading to the wire. City’s nearest opponent is Liverpool, with whom Gerrard won the Champions League, FA Cup, Uefa Cup, and League Cup and for whom he scored 186 goals.
On Match of the Day, Gary Lineker outlined a possible last-day scenario external-link in which Gerrard might win the league for Liverpool if Villa beat City. “I wonder if he’s still registered to play,” said Danny Murphy, a former Liverpool player, and current MOTD pundit.
Lineker quipped, “He might run on when someone’s done with the ball and tackles.” “We’ll see; it’s a lot of fun. If Pep Guardiola gets to the final game of the season with three points ahead, then Stevie G might do Liverpool a tremendous favor,” ex-Liverpool goalkeeper David James said on Monday. It’s not over yet. “
With goal differential still a factor, James added: “Could you picture Stevie G’s squad winning? When Villa lost 1-0 at Liverpool in his fifth match as manager in December, Gerrard made it obvious he was uninterested in a sentimental return to Anfield.
He also dismisses speculation about Villa’s potential role at the top of the table, stating that his priority is to score as many points as possible “to finish in a position where we can be satisfied. On Monday, Gerrard said, “My job is to win games for Aston Villa, and that will always be the case while I’m representing this club.”
Last November, he took over as manager with Villa just two points above the relegation zone. They are aiming for a top-10 finish following 10 wins in Gerrard’s first 23 league games, and they are currently 11th in the table.
“They’re a world-class team [Liverpool]. Possibly the best team in the world at the moment, “he continued.”
Gerrard, who is often seen as Jurgen Klopp’s natural heir, has a job to accomplish as the manager of Aston Villa. As far as he’s concerned, the rest is a sideshow. The magnitude of the challenge [versus Liverpool] is well understood, but it’s exciting, and I’m looking forward to it.”
The season is 38 games long for Liverpool, and they play Aston Villa twice. Both Liverpool and Manchester City are aware that getting anything from Villa will be difficult. Five months ago, Villa pushed City all the way before losing 2-1 at home to Pep Guardiola’s squad five months ago, after making life difficult for the Reds at Anfield.
Since Gerrard’s first game in charge on November 20, only eight clubs have scored more points than Villa. However, he has already indicated his dissatisfaction with the team’s lack of progress, and a busy summer in terms of roster changes beckons.
“I don’t think we’ll be joyful or celebrating anything this season since the team has underachieved from the start of the season until now,” Gerrard continued. “We appear to be taking two or three steps forward and appear to be on the right track, just to have a couple more setbacks.
That is the reality of our situation. In the January transfer window, Gerrard signed Everton full-back Lucas Digne, Arsenal defender Calum Chambers, and Philippe Coutinho, who has four goals and three assists, in the January transfer window.
Former Liverpool playmaker Coutinho arrived on loan from Barcelona with the option to buy him for £33 million, and Gerrard made it clear after Saturday’s excellent 3-1 win over Burnley that he wanted to sign him permanently. Villa are expected to be active in the summer window once more, with suggestions that Gerrard wants a centre-back, a midfielder, and a forward.
Since taking over the club in 2018, billionaire owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have spent £430 million on acquisitions, and they are likely to give Gerrard the ability to bolster his squad, with the summer transfer window going to be key as the manager reshapes the squad. Victories over Liverpool or Manchester City will only bolster Gerrard’s position.