Jurgen Klopp: Two key decisions went against Liverpool in West Ham defeat
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Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has been warned about taking the Liverpool job in the future by former Reds team-mate Glen Johnson. Gerrard is preparing for his first match in charge of the West Midlands side this weekend after replacing Dean Smith during the international break.
After a hugely successful three-year stint with Rangers, Gerrard was finally tempted south of the border with Aston Villa.
The 41-year-old was also linked with the Newcastle job, although their precarious position near the foot of the table may have made them a less enticing prospect.
Villa are not faring much better, but their squad is already bulging with talent whereas the Magpies are likely to require serious investment in January.
Although Gerrard’s first Premier League job is not an emotional return to Anfield, many Liverpool fans are sure to be keeping tabs on his progress amid rumours that he is in line to replace Jurgen Klopp when the German departs.
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Gerrard has been tipped to succeed Klopp, with his Villa deal running until 2024 – the same time as when the Liverpool manager’s contract is due to expire.
But according to Glen Johnson, who spent six years at the club between 2009 and 2015, such a move would not come without risk as he warned Gerrard he could end up struggling like David Moyes did when he replaced Sir Alex Ferguson.
“Timing in football is everything,” he told William Hill.
“I think Stevie will definitely be manager of Liverpool one day, but when that seat opens up, we’ll never know what the situation will be and where Stevie is in his career.
“You don’t want to follow Klopp! It’s like trying to follow Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United [as David Moyes did].
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“It’s those roles where you need to take it at the right time, but you never know when the right time is.”
Indeed, Moyes’ stint with United was broadly unsuccessful, and he was given his marching orders after a single season.
Frank Lampard also encountered difficulties when he returned to the club where he starred as a player, being dismissed from Chelsea at the start of 2021 before new boss Thomas Tuchel led the team to a Champions League triumph.
Gerrard however will come to Villa full of confidence with his exploits at Rangers earning him widespread praise – and Johnson is backing his former team-mate to be a huge success in the Premier League.
“What he’s done at Rangers at such an early stage in his managerial career has been amazing,” he added.
“No disrespect to Rangers, but they’re never going to be competing at the top of the Champions League, and there’s only so many seats that are taken in the Premier League where most managers want to manage, so I’m not surprised that he took the job [at Aston Villa].
“I think it is the right time for him to leave (Rangers). He brought them back from the dead, so it’s a good time to take on a new challenge and get Premier League experience.”
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