Steven Gerrard returned home last January and joined Liverpool Football Club in an academy coaching role, having rejected the managerial vacancy at League One team, Milton Keynes Dons F.C. (MK Dons).
Gerrard’s work ethic and his attitude to academy coaching, along with his football knowledge. greatly impressed Jürgen Klopp and Alex Inglethorpe and he took charge of the Liverpool Under-18 side ahead of the 2017–18 season, in April last year. In September 2017, LFC announced that Gerrard would be taking on the role of managing the Under-19 team in the 2017–18 UEFA Youth League for the remainder of the season.
Gerrard recently spoke with JOE.co.uk on how his role as a player has influenced his coaching style, the experience he has gained in the past year and what he would like to achieve in the managerial sphere of football.
“I’ve grown so much in so many aspects. Being on the pitch every day has aided my confidence in terms of delivering sessions. I’ve taken in as much as I can over the past year from as many people as I can. Being around driven, quality coaches at Kirkby has certainly helped and encouraged me. I feel like I’m a man on the move. I don’t want to stand still for very long. I want to progress, I want to improve and I want to keep testing myself. There’s no timescale on this, but I certainly want to coach at the top. Whether that happens in one, two, three, four years is hard to predict, but it’s definitely in my thinking. I’m really hungry and I’m going to make sure I continue to move forward in the right way. I have a completely different perspective of the game.
When I watch now, it’s not about what’s happening on the surface. I focus on shape, identifying what strategies are in place all over the pitch and how each side are trying to ensure it’s their plan that dictates the match. I want to understand the reasons for everything that’s happening – substitutions, positioning, pressing triggers – and I can now appreciate the level of thinking that goes into it all. There are so many new experiences, lessons and tests. I’m picking up on stuff continuously, I’m making mistakes, I’m doing things well, I’m working on the things I can do better.
It’s been eye-opening and very rewarding. I feel quite blessed to have the environment of support and encouragement that I do at the Academy as I keep growing in the role and using any opportunity I can to progress my knowledge.”
May Steven Gerrard’s coaching journey some day lead him to managing the first team of Liverpool FC. It is after all, rightfully where he belongs.