Steven Gerrard vs Brendan Rodgers: the record ahead of Aston Villa against Leicester
The story of pupil versus master has always proven to be great when it comes to sports, and especially football.
Everyone likes to see it. A former star sticks together with her former mentor, turning pages from old to new and ushering in a new era.
For Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers, it won’t be the first dance.
For the first time since their Old Firm rivalry, Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers reunite
Of course, the duo have met twice at the height of Scottish football, fighting as managers of Rangers and Celtic respectively.
Everyone knows what it takes to win. Rodgers took the win over Gerrard and his former Liverpool talisman repaid the gesture by winning with Rangers at Ibrox – and thus became the first manager to defeat the Northern Irishman in an Old Firm derby.
But now they meet on the biggest stage in British football; the Premier League.
Rodgers came back to light with an exciting Leicester side on an ascending arc, while Gerrard received a shot against the best guns by an Aston Villa in need of restoration.
It’s Rodgers v Gerrard again, with the added prestige of local derby pride at stake.
But what exactly does this match mean for the two men? What is the history of the gang and what kinds of consequences could emerge from a big win on either side? Sportsmail take a closer look …
The days of Anfield
Rodgers and Gerrard’s relationship is an interesting one, considering it ended on friendly terms with the kindest words exchanged on either side – but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Northern Irishman was supposed to be the boss. of Liverpool to eliminate Gerrard. .
It was always the unthinkable. Surely a Liverpool side couldn’t do without Steven Gerrard, at least to an extent.
Gerrard himself initially believed he would be cast in a more defensive sitting position in Rodgers’ side at Liverpool – especially after nearly guiding the team to the most unlikely of league titles during the campaign 2013-14.
But things were going to fall apart.
The sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, followed by a massive spending spree on several rather reckless signings, has simply led to chaos.
Liverpool needed a drastic refresh and Rodgers decided it was time to summon Gerrard to his Melwood office and frankly tell the skipper his playing time would soon be severely managed. Gerrard, who believed he still had a lot to give, was taken aback.
The two sides came to an agreement, but it soon became clear to Gerrard that a final challenge elsewhere was likely awaiting him, before hanging up permanently. Plane tickets to Los Angeles were soon booked. But, as mentioned earlier, things didn’t end badly.
Gerrard was a key man when Rodgers arrived but was ultimately taken out of the squad
During his farewell press conference at Liverpool, Gerrard spoke enthusiastically about Rodgers, briefly reflecting on what could have been in the 13/14 season and admitting that he wished he could play under the former boss from Swansea much earlier in his career.
“I just wish I had met him when I was in my prime, maybe 25 or 26,” Gerrard said.
“I’m sure we would be here after winning a lot more trophies.”
Rodgers returned the kind words and spoke of Gerrard’s professionalism and character. It was clear that a respect existed between the duo, and it only emerged once Gerrard got on the canoe that he had taken a sheet of Rodgers’ book very well when it came to training.
The managerial suit
Much hype has been made on Gerrard heading to Rangers – not only to make his first foray into senior management, but also to take on Rodgers and Celtic power.
Under his reign at Parkhead, Celtic had become not only an impressive team, but a truly formidable and dominant team.
That says a lot about Gerrard’s abilities, therefore, he was able to reduce that dominance during Rodgers’ tenure, before he left for King Power Stadium.
Gerrard did not shirk his responsibilities when he became a member of senior management and grew in the role
In his absence, Celtic were declining and Gerrard didn’t need a second chance to capitalize.
With Rodgers out of the way, Gerrard restored the Rangers to their perch and achieved cult status as a result. Indeed, his recent departure from Ibrox was not as badly received as Rodgers leaving Celtic.
During his time in Glasgow, Rodgers had spoken regularly of his love for Celtic, ranging from supporting the club as a boy in Ireland to closely monitoring their results during his busy management career.
Rodgers laid it down on heavy paper, describing Celtic as his dream job and the ultimate destination. Perhaps many believed him, and therefore felt blinded by his time at Leicester at the first opportunity.
Rodgers used his success at Celtic to take another Premier League chance with Leicester
Gerrard however opened his stand on day one. He has shown both respect for the Rangers badge and the struggles of Scottish football, while not hiding his ambition to one day try his abilities in the Premier League.
A low-key deal existed between the manager and the fans, although many may not yet have expected him to leave the ship mid-season.
Since Rodgers left Celtic just as Gerrard was heading towards Ibrox, the two have met in the dugout twice.
Cameras were buzzing between Rodgers and Gerrard as they met for their first Old Firm derby in September 2018.
Rodgers dressed in Celtic green trim and Gerrard also sported his Rangers tie; the stage was set.
After a handshake and a brief exchange, it quickly became clear that Gerrard was very concerned about not being seen as the new kid on the block, just hoping to trade a few punches with his former mentor.
Of their two encounters in Scottish football, the two managers each achieved a 1-0 victory
He was there to be taken seriously and the Rangers and Gerrard had come to win. They fought valiantly, but ultimately lost by a slim 1-0 score.
Rodgers left a relieved man but knew Gerrard had not arrived in Scottish football just to participate. The Rangers, despite their limited funds, already looked like a better-trained, hungrier outfit.
A few months later, just after Christmas, the two sides met again. This time, Gerrard came out on top.
Another tight 1-0 score played out, this time in favor of the men in blue. Gerrard’s Rangers were praised for their tireless pressing, ball retention and willingness to block.
Gerrard’s Rangers praised for tireless pressing and ball retention against Celtic
The warning signs were there for Rodgers, but soon that wouldn’t matter. The first links with the Arsenal post had germinated weeks earlier, but in the new year Leicester would come knocking on the door following the sacking of Claude Puel.
The highly charged Rodgers-Gerrard rivalry was over … for now.
Premier League pressures
Considering that Rodgers has recently been heavily touted about becoming Manchester United’s next manager, the pressure has actually increased.
His Leicester team have been in indifferent form lately, with many inconsistent results.
A big win one weekend was often offset by a bad loss afterwards, with constant struggles on the road in European action.
Gerrard won his first two games at Villa before losing narrowly to Pep Guardiola
Rodgers is currently at the top of the list of managers who are favorites to be relieved of their duties, according to bookies.
While the pressure is undoubtedly great for Rodgers to repackage Leicester into a delicate and resilient squad, things are rather mixed for Gerrard.
The Premier League icon has had a nice little recovery at Villa since taking over from Dean Smith, and has already breathed new life into the club.
The victories over Brighton and Crystal Palace immediately put Gerrard in an excellent position, before his new side found themselves facing Manchester City and coming out almost unscathed.
Pep Guardiola’s men won a 2-1 victory over Villa Park, although Gerrard and his men were largely credited with the fight they led.
Rodgers was the last manager Gerrard played under at the end of his Liverpool career
Now, the former Liverpool pillar has the chance to make life particularly difficult for his former manager.
Gerrard has repeatedly revealed that he takes inspiration from his former leaders, including Rodgers alongside Rafa Benitez and Gerard Houllier.
Now, in the final pupil-versus-master installment, Gerrard could once again remind Rodgers why the new era of managers is really to be feared.