‘Gerrard uninterested in sentimental return’

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
December 12, 2021
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    Steven Gerrard at AnfieldSteven Gerrard was warmly applauded by Liverpool fans when he entered the stadium

    Steven Gerrard strolled down the tunnel with barely a backwards glance or a moment's acknowledgement for the Liverpool fans so keen to serenade their legendary former captain.

    Gerrard could not have made it clearer that he was very much Aston Villa's manager and supremely uninterested in a sentimental journey back to old territory from the moment he walked out at Anfield until the conclusion of Liverpool's hard-earned 1-0 win.

    As fans queued to get into the Kop before kick-off, they were treated to some golden Gerrard moments on the big screens as memories were revived of a Liverpool career stretching over 710 appearances and 186 goals.

    There was even the odd flag paying homage to the returning hero, but Gerrard has spent the week shutting out the noise and romance of his eagerly awaited return to Liverpool – and this was strictly business.

    • Gerrard's best Anfield moments

    Anfield paid a pre-match tribute to Ray Kennedy, their legendary midfielder from the glory days of the 1970s and early '80s, who passed away recently, while they were also keen to show appreciation for another one of their own who will be forever in Liverpool's Hall of Fame.

    Gerrard was afforded a rousing reception as he emerged before kick-off, but his first move was to turn left in the direction of Villa's fans in the Anfield Road end to applaud them before giving a polite wave towards the Kop.

    And when the old Anfield songbook was dusted off in his honour early on, Gerrard did not move a muscle, standing drenched in a dark overcoat focusing fiercely on the action in front of him.

    Gerrard was bitterly disappointed on several counts by the final whistle – not only the defeat, but by his belief that Mohamed Salah fouled Tyrone Mings before Villa's captain committed a decisive foul in the area. Also, his firm conviction Villa should have had a penalty of their own when Danny Ings threatened to cash in on a mix-up between Liverpool keeper Alisson and Joel Matip in the closing minutes.

    Even when Liverpool's fans felt comfortable enough with affairs late on to give it another go in celebration of the icon who won the Champions League, FA Cup, Uefa Cup and League Cup, Gerrard was not playing the game.

    He was there as Aston Villa manager, representing Aston Villa's fans. The rest was a sideshow. He was treating it as such.

    Gerrard said: "I understand that there was going to be some noise around the game. People appreciate the bond I still have with the Liverpool fans but that's normal because I had so many years here."

    The touchline body language alone was worth watching, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spending large portions of the first half furiously berating fourth official Graham Scott, while Gerrard largely kept his distance. He was, however, keeping a very close eye on his opposite number during what seemed like an endless exchange with the under-siege Scott, even offering an explanation on one occasion when the home bench appeared particularly irate following a decision against Liverpool.

    It was a very measured afternoon for Gerrard, who was not going to make the mistake of playing to the gallery who loved him, a gallery who increasingly see him as Klopp's natural heir.

    He was fixing his full attention on Villa, declining to respond to Liverpool's fans during or after the game. He was not going to give anyone, particularly the noisy visiting support, an opportunity to even hint at the slightest sign of split loyalty.

    This is because there was no split loyalty, and for long periods Villa were stern and organised enough to suggest they might just escape with a point. They would not have deserved it, but what will please Gerrard is that there is renewed steel about Villa since his arrival, with three wins in five games.

    Gerrard was right to point out Liverpool's supremacy box-to-box, but Villa are not alone there and this is very much an early work in progress.

    The fact they took Liverpool so long into the game before they made the breakthrough, and at least had them and their supporters living on their nerves in those anxious final moments, will give Gerrard encouragement.

    Gerrard has the skills become an "outstanding manager" – Klopp

    Gerrard's gameplan was clear – take the game beyond the hour with Villa still in the hunt, then see if they could take something.

    Villa defended with all their resources and were even prepared to resort to some of the dark arts of game management – much to Anfield's annoyance – by taking every second over every restart to keep Liverpool's momentum in check.

    In the end, Gerrard left Anfield empty-handed and his wish to lose a little of his popularity – temporarily at least – in return for a winning journey back down the M6 did not come to pass.

    He has credit in the bank, signs of an improving Aston Villa and suggestions he has the raw materials to work with and the power to add in the transfer market. And the Anfield body language alone confirmed Villa have a manager who will be ruthlessly driven to bring success.

    Around the BBC - Sounds

    • Call of Duty or Battlefield with Bukayo Saka: The England star talks gaming on Press X to Continue
    • You're Dead to Me: Who was 'the epitome of the American Renaissance man'?

    Around the BBC footer - SoundscommentsView Comments397

    Comments

    Join the conversation

    To use comments you will need to have JavaScript enabled.
    397 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost Replied

    • A

      Comment posted by Abzal, today at 10:20

      Gerrard approached the game in the correct manner and didn’t allow his emotional ties to Liverpool cloud his thoughts – that is a sign of a true professional17417

      • Removed comment

      More replies (28)

    • M

      Comment posted by mal123, today at 10:43

      He handled a difficult situation with great diplomacy. Of course he should pay more attention to his current club for they are the ones who can progress his career. An acknowledgement of the past to the Kop needed only a wave and that was given. He harmed neither his current following with Villa fans nor his past aduration with Liverpool. It only showed how much management skills he has learnt.1237

      • D

        Reply posted by Dad, today at 14:23

        "He handled a difficult situation with great diplomacy. Of course he should pay more attention to his current club for they are the ones who can progress his career. An acknowledgement of the past to the Kop needed only a wave and that was given. He harmed neither his current following with Villa fans nor his past aduration with Liverpool. It only showed how much management skills he has learnt."Dad replied: As a Manchester City fan I all I can say is a good point.91

    • T

      Comment posted by TJVillan, today at 10:47

      It’s almost like he had a job to do and is employed by Villa, not Liverpool.1086

    • G

      Comment posted by garry, today at 10:29

      ‘Liverpool fans pay homage but legend uninterested in sentimental return’
      they make it sound like he does not care when obviously he does as he is liverpool through and through,but he was there to do a job it was not about him,gerrard was a true pro and a totall gentleman and definetly was one of the greatest midfielders in the game,oh and im a chelsea fan but dont hold that against me9512

      • M

        Reply posted by Mercury, today at 10:34

        "’Liverpool fans pay homage but legend uninterested in sentimental return’they make it sound like he does not care when obviously he does as he is liverpool through and through,but he was there to do a job it was not about him,gerrard was a true pro and a totall gentleman and definetly was one of the greatest midfielders in the game,oh and im a chelsea fan but dont hold that against me"Mercury replied: I thought he was an Everton fan?3052

      More replies (12)

    • W

      Comment posted by WIthrespect, today at 10:35

      What is Steven Gerrard supposed to do.

      I thought he handled yesterday superbly accepted the applause and admiration but was fully focussed on his job and trying to secure 3 points for his side.

      The media will try and spin things as they do but the facts are he works for Aston Villa.

      Privately im sure he was made up with the reception he got but publicly he can’t win with what he says673

    • M

      Comment posted by MrJohn, today at 10:59

      What’s with the ‘Stevie Me’ comments?

      Have I missed something?

      Is it just because ‘Me’ rhymes with ‘G’ or are there actually examples of Gerrard making everything about him?

      I’ve always thought his ego was well in check personally.494

      • M

        Reply posted by Mike Torrinos Cellphone Battery, today at 11:09

        "What’s with the ‘Stevie Me’ comments? Have I missed something? Is it just because ‘Me’ rhymes with ‘G’ or are there actually examples of Gerrard making everything about him? I’ve always thought his ego was well in check personally."Mike Torrinos Cellphone Battery replied: Just some troll types. Probably after Gerrard Houlliers’ comment about big time charlie, which were unwarranted at the time as Houllier dug him out in public. Always be a legend171

      More replies (7)

    • T

      Comment posted by TheDarkKnight, today at 10:41

      Gerrard’s only just arrived at Villa and now the media do him and Klopp the disservice of asking if Gerrard could replace Klopp at Villa. Just do your jobs and report on the game. Stop speculating all the time it’s lazy journalism.507

      • G

        Reply posted by gregadeth, today at 11:01

        "Gerrard’s only just arrived at Villa and now the media do him and Klopp the disservice of asking if Gerrard could replace Klopp at Villa. Just do your jobs and report on the game. Stop speculating all the time it’s lazy journalism."gregadeth replied: I don’t think Gerrard replacing Klopp at Villa will ever happen, but that’s just me😉280

      More replies (5)

    • W

      Comment posted by wendle, today at 10:41

      Interviewer Michael Owen asked SG:
      Did you find it difficult coming back, playing against your old side?
      Gerrard replied: No, because i wasnt playing for man utd.449

      • M

        Reply posted by Mr T, today at 11:19

        "Interviewer Michael Owen asked SG:Did you find it difficult coming back, playing against your old side?Gerrard replied: No, because i wasnt playing for man utd."Mr T replied: Can’t help yourself, you have to comment about MUFC, hilarious really821

      More replies (9)

    • G

      Comment posted by GP, today at 11:01

      Proper professional attitude from Gerrard, both during the game and in his interviews. He’s brought the steel & drive Villa were lacking under Dean Smith, and he wasn’t prepared to sacrifice any of that in even a hint of split loyalties or sentimentality. The more I see of him, the more impressive his managerial qualities look.
      Fingers crossed Norwich don’t prove a banana skin!271

    • P

      Comment posted by Pekay99, today at 10:29

      Gerrard played it exactly right yesterday in terms of his reaction to the 2 sets of fans. Respectful acknowledgement to the Liverpool fans was all that was needed or expected. Villa’s final PL placing won’t be determined by results against Man City & Liverpool and he has already brought much improved performances out of his squad since his arrival.230

    • M

      Comment posted by Michael H, today at 10:28

      Gerrard is a class act. The fans will respect him more for not pandering to them. It’s the attitude that made him. Shame his Villa team couldn’t compete more, but I sense he was concerned about a heavy defeat243

      • V

        Reply posted by Voice of truth, today at 13:29

        "Gerrard is a class act. The fans will respect him more for not pandering to them. It’s the attitude that made him. Shame his Villa team couldn’t compete more, but I sense he was concerned about a heavy defeat"Voice of truth replied: CLASS ACT ??????????????????????????510

    • M

      Comment posted by mal123, today at 10:57

      He has already shown that he will be a far better manager than Lampard.266

      • S

        Reply posted by Spurtle, today at 11:25

        "He has already shown that he will be a far better manager than Lampard."Spurtle replied: Still early days yet. Lampard had a tricky job at Chelsea where the pressure to deliver is always paramount. At Rangers it was more of a nothing to lose situation for Gerrard with less pressure on him, same as at Villa. He is doing well so far but we shall see further down the line.

        Hopefully both will go on to be good managers.124

      More replies (7)

    • C

      Comment posted by Ceciliars, today at 10:54

      Best English midfielder of his generation….

      Proving to be a great manager too.

      Legend3823

      • L

        Reply posted by Laura to Johnson-simply not true PM, today at 11:05

        "Best English midfielder of his generation….Proving to be a great manager too.Legend"Laura to Johnson-simply not true PM replied: Nah always slipping at crucial moments2140

      More replies (15)

    • J

      Comment posted by Just some bloke, today at 10:43

      The right approach but he will have been warmed by the reception without doubt. A consummate professional first time he was here, no reason to think it would be any different this time around.150

    • H

      Comment posted by Heethster, today at 10:48

      All this talk of SG replacing Klopp is hilarious! Klopp is one of a handful of premium managers currently out there right now. Gerrard is a rookie. LFC won’t make the same mistake Chelsea did with Lampard.

      That being said, Gerrard already has managerial trophies and looks likely to continue his rise so I hope he stays at Villa for 10 years, then we’ll see about him taking the Angield hot seat.142

      • D

        Reply posted by Dad, today at 10:51

        "All this talk of SG replacing Klopp is hilarious! Klopp is one of a handful of premium managers currently out there right now. Gerrard is a rookie. LFC won’t make the same mistake Chelsea did with Lampard. That being said, Gerrard already has managerial trophies and looks likely to continue his rise so I hope he stays at Villa for 10 years, then we’ll see about him taking the Angield hot seat."Dad replied: Angield…412

      More replies (4)

    • K

      Comment posted by King Kladzeeee, today at 14:13

      Typical Liverpool fans. Over emotional chavs.176

      • R

        Reply posted by Ruzzler, today at 14:27

        "Typical Liverpool fans. Over emotional chavs."Ruzzler replied: 1–0 💋43

    • R

      Comment posted by Rob 67, today at 10:52

      Absolute made up rubbish, from the minute he stepped off the coach it was all smiles and handshakes, spending lots of time talking to former colleagues, also some interesting conversations going on post match122

    • O

      Comment posted by over, today at 11:11

      “Anfield paid a pre-match tribute to Ray Kennedy”

      Now there was a player. Different planet to Gerrard.

      Ray had class and trophies coming out of his ears both from Arsenal and Liverpool. Only 17 international caps show that England managers didn’t know what they were doing then either.134

      • D

        Reply posted by Don, today at 11:46

        "”Anfield paid a pre-match tribute to Ray Kennedy”Now there was a player. Different planet to Gerrard. Ray had class and trophies coming out of his ears both from Arsenal and Liverpool. Only 17 international caps show that England managers didn’t know what they were doing then either."Don replied: I’m old enough to remember Ray Kennedy playing…a true anfield legend and a player who would easily make an all-time great Liverpool XI70

      More replies (3)

    • M

      Comment posted by Manik, today at 10:30

      Have to respect Gerrard’s character – speaks volumes about respect and no nonsense determination he is showing at Villa when too easy to get carried away on Anfield return. No comical antics on side, 100pc focus and early signs he will be a managerial great… perhaps for England after Southgate before Liverpool. I’m a Leicester fan so Villa rivalry intact but huge respect to Super Stevie G! Legend!134

    • B

      Comment posted by BASMANIAC, today at 10:25

      The talk of Gerrard replacing Klopp is just the usual media show of trying to destabilise a Liverpool team the majority of them cannot stand…..it may happen – EVENTUALLY – but the media are trying , again, to create a problem at Anfield which does not exist – despite their wishes134

      • S

        Reply posted by Soon be xmas, today at 10:46

        "The talk of Gerrard replacing Klopp is just the usual media show of trying to destabilise a Liverpool team the majority of them cannot stand…..it may happen – EVENTUALLY – but the media are trying , again, to create a problem at Anfield which does not exist – despite their wishes"Soon be xmas replied: We obviously read different papers.
        Have you missed the obvious love in with Klopp and Salah the last few seasons?85

      More replies (1)

    More commentsBack to top

    Source

    Football
    Manchester United hit by Covid cases

    Manchester United won away at Norwich on Saturday Manchester United have recorded a number of positive Covid tests among players and staff following their 1-0 …

    Other
    Can Scotland curlers grab GB Olympic spot?

    Scotland's women's rink must emerge from a qualifying tournament to reach the Olympics, having won the European title at the end of last month. Eve …

    Football
    Jorginho ‘sacrificed’ himself for Chelsea

    Chelsea deserved 'lucky' late winner – Tuchel Manager Thomas Tuchel said Jorginho has "sacrificed himself" for Chelsea after the midfielder scored two penalties, including a …

    Subscribe
    Notify of
    guest
    0 Comments
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    December 12, 2021
      Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
      Scroll to Top
      • Bookmakers Bonus
      Fonbet

      Registration bonus up to 250 Euro!

      Winmasters
      Parimatch
      0
      Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
      ()
      x
      This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.