Steven Gerrard still has all the credentials to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool – despite facing calls for the sack at Aston Villa. That’s according to his former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, who is adamant the former Three Lions captain will have a successful managerial career following a troublesome return to the Premier League.
Gerrard masterminded Rangers’ 55th league title triumph in 2021 before moving to the Midlands six months later but now he is seemingly on borrowed time after failing to fully win over Villa’s demanding fanbase.
But while Eriksson is surprised to see his old player struggling, he is under no illusions that he has what it takes to succeed Klopp at Liverpool when the time is right.
The Swede told OLGB: “I am surprised to see Steven Gerrard struggling because he’s a good coach and manager, he knows football and he has his feet on the ground.
“As a player, we all know he was great. As a coach in Scotland, he did well and I can see in the future that he will be the one who will take over Liverpool after Klopp, I would guess. It would be no surprise to anyone.
READ MORE: Darwin Nunez told he made mistake sealing Liverpool transfer after wild Man City display
Gerrard’s style of pragmatic football is, stylistically, similar to that of former boss Rafael Benitez, who worked together with Gerrard at Liverpool where they won the 2005 Champions League.
The Spaniard has also come out in defence of his former captain by declaring he is doing the right thing by facing the criticism head-on.
Benitez has advised Gerrard to remain calm in the situation and have confidence that he can turn the tide back in his favour.
“It doesn’t matter what you say because, at the end, they will point at you,” said Benitez. “I think he’s doing the right thing. He’s saying what he has to say and taking responsibility, and that’s it.
“I still think they have a good team and think they can do better, so if they have this patience and confidence in him, then I think he will do well. But you never know. He was right when he was saying and telling the players ‘listen, I will take responsibility, don’t be worried and keep fighting for the fans’, so he is saying the right thing.
“Now he has to be calm. When people talk too much around you, it’s when you have to make decisions. It’s when I say that experience is a big difference. You have to analyse what’s going on, what you can do, and if you can change anything or not.
“We are talking about changing the system when you are winning (re Graham Potter and Chelsea), so these kinds of decisions, you have to be careful. Then, you start to change and listen to too many people and you start to make mistakes.”
Villa travel to Fulham on Thursday in a match that could prove to be decisive for Gerrard.