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Liverpool Talk “Not Important” to Gerrard with Focus on Saving Aston Villa’s Season

Steven Gerrard is set to make his return to Anfield for the first time as a manager on December 11th.

Aston Villa Training Session Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has returned to the Premier League, joining Aston Villa as manager after three seasons helping return Rangers to their traditional place as one of Scotland’s two powers. Inevitably, following the move there was almost as much talk about Liverpool as Aston Villa.

Inevitably, there were immediate questions regarding Gerrard’s longer-term future at the Birmingham club. More so perhaps because Villa are set to visit Anfield on December 11th. It’s a match that’s less than a month away already, and it will be just the fifth game in charge at Villa for the ex-Red.

“I don’t think me or anyone else will be able to control the noise,” Gerrard admitted. “But for me that’s not important. What’s important is the chance to go to Anfield and win and try and take maximum points, which is the attitude and the mentality that we’ll need to have going into every game.

“It is what it is, but I want to win every game that I play in. So now my priority, my focus and everything that I will give on a daily basis, will be for Aston Villa. One thing that I can guarantee for all the supporters, the players, and all the staff here is that when I commit to something I’m all in.”

It’s going to be a difficult stretch before Gerrard gets to return to Anfield for the first time as manager of another club. Villa sit 16th, level with 17th-place Watford on ten points after 11 games and just two clear of the drop, and next up are Brighton, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Manchester City.

While on paper Villa might have been favoured over the first two to start the season, Brighton sit seventh and have looked solid under Graham Potter while Patrick Vieira has been hugely impressive in taking Palace to tenth—while being the league’s sixth-best side based on underlying numbers.

Anything more than a point or two from that difficult stretch would likely mean exceeding current expectations for Gerrard and Aston Villa, and that means that they could easily find themselves down in the relegation places when they do arrive at Anfield for their match on December 11th.