Danny Murphy got it wrong about Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has claimed Aston Villa had a ‘low ceiling’ as to why Steven Gerrard would not trade his job at Rangers to become Dean Smith’s successor last month.
Gerrard of course left Ibrox to become Villa’s new head coach in November and made an impressive start to life as Premier League boss after his first two months at the helm of the Midlands club.
Since Murphy’s claims, Gerrard’s Villa have faced the league’s best trio of teams, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, while beating Brighton, Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Leicester City to turn around at Villa Park.
Villa could have advanced to European positions with a victory over Burnley in December, but the game has been postponed. They have games in hand on most of the clubs above them in the Premier League to kick off a late surge in European football this season and have been boosted by the support of club owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens (NSWE) on the transfer market.
Villa opened the window with the successful transfer of Barcelona star and former Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho, who joins the club on loan until the end of the season, with a buy option also inserted in the deal. .
This signature caliber only happens with serious ambition from above.
Gerrard is also reportedly set to close a deal to sign Everton left-back Lucas Digne, while Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma is also reportedly interested in Villa this month.
NSWE have big ambitions to fund Villa’s rise in English football and want the club to fight for glory in Europe in the years to come. They’ve let their actions speak since they stepped through the door, and the potential captures from Coutinho and Digne are certainly statements of intent.
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Still, Murphy wasn’t convinced Gerrard would even be tempted to lead Villa’s ambitious project in November.
Murphy was sure the former England international wouldn’t trade Rangers for Villa. He said at the time: “I would be very surprised, very surprised if he had to leave Rangers to join Villa.
“Not because Villa is not a big club, but only so far can you take them, the ceiling is low.
“It doesn’t matter what they (villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens) think. Thought and reality are two different things.
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