The former Liverpool and England captain has endured a successful spell up in Scotland. Since taking the reins back in 2018, he has been the man at the forefront of the Gers returning to the force they once were.
Gerrard led them to their first Scottish Premier League title in 10 years in 2020/21 and did so without losing a single game. He also, that same season, saw Rangers top their Europa League group - again without losing a match.
And whilst these are fantastic accomplishments and things to be proud of - with no disrespect - Aston Villa Football Club is a completely different kettle of fish. The Premier League, is a completely different kettle of fish.
If Dean Smith was to have taken the Rangers job back in 2018 - do we think there would have been a vast difference in the outcome of their recent history?
Gerrard is new to the management game. In fact, the gig up in Scotland is his very first at a professional level. Smith is almost a veteran in comparison.
The former England midfielder knows all about the Premier League having played the majority of his career in it but he’s never managed in it. Expecting a man that has less than four years management on his CV - all of which are in Scotland, to take the claret & blue to the next step is a huge gamble.
And that’s why this appointment just wouldn’t make sense to me.
Christian Purslow and the owners have been demanding improvement and success at Villa Park. Up until recently, that’s exactly what they have received with Smith.
They, as well as a lot of fans, feel that Smith hit his ceiling and was unable to take the club to that next step but surely expecting a more inexperienced man to do just that is an unnecessary risk that doesn’t need to be taken?
European football is the dream. They have the money in their back pocket to chase that dream, they just need the right man to steer the ship. Unai Emery? Paulo Fonseca? Roberto Mancini?
If you want big, back that up with big. That’s not to say all three of those I’ve just reeled off of the top of my head would be guaranteed success - nobody is guaranteed success. But I do feel they carry much less risk whilst also bringing with them the ‘wow’ factor. They put Villa on the map for both players and fans alike.
Replacing Smith with Gerrard just feels like we’re doing a bit of a like-for-like swap. With the latter just deploying a formation (4-3-3) that suits the team a little more.
It just kind of has a ‘what’s the point?’ feeling to it. If you bring in Gerrard, surely you may as well have just stuck with a man that bleeds claret & blue in Dean Smith.
If it is Stevie G and he does become a huge success - how long then before he jumps ship to the Liverpool job when a vacancy arises?
Like Smith was with Villa, the former midfielder is a Red through and through and nobody could begrudge him for making that move but what if it’s in the middle of a successful season with the Villa? Surely he wouldn’t be the man for the ‘long-term’ project which the owners have envisioned?
There are many questions and far fewer answers at the moment and it will stay that way until an appointment is made.
Whoever it may be, they will receive the full backing of the Villans, there’s no doubting that but it needs to be right.
It’s arguably the most important appointment the club have made in their recent history. And for Smith watching on, now as a fan, his team deserves building on. Everything he achieved in his three years can’t all be for nothing because of the wrong man next up.