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Richard Keys blasts “thief” Gerrard for quitting Rangers to take Aston Villa job

Steven Gerrard was appointed as Aston Villa’s new manager last week, but has come under heavy criticism for the manner in which he left his role at Scottish Premiership giants Rangers

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Steven Gerrard appointed Aston Villa manager

Richard Keys has blasted new Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard for the manner in which he left his job at Rangers, labelling the Liverpool legend a “thief”.

Gerrard was announced as Dean Smith’s successor at Villa Park on Thursday, with this being his first job as a manager in the Premier League.

But the way he left his role at Ibrox has come in for heavy criticism from pundits and Rangers supporters, with Gerrard blasted for the lack of communication before he departed Scotland.

It marked a sour end to a highly successful three-and-a-half-year spell in Glasgow, with Gerrard leading Rangers to the Scottish Premiership title last season without losing a game.



Richard Keys has blasted new Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard for the manner in which he left Rangers
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Image:

beIN Sports)




BeIN Sports presenter Keys has now added his name to the list of those who believe Gerrard made an error in the manner of his departure.

Keys believes that the way Gerrard left Rangers will have had a negative impact on his former squad, who are currently battling for the title.

“Welcome back Steven. Although I wish you’d taken a bit more care about the manner in which you accepted the Villa job,” Keys wrote on his blog.

“I said this on Twitter last week – and I stand by it. Leaving Rangers like a thief in the night was poor.

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“Everybody at Ibrox deserved better – not least the players – who knew little or nothing about your intentions until they saw pictures of you holding up a Villa shirt – and yes – you looked happy!

“The ‘daft questions’ came later this time Why leave like that? Why skulk off after being given your big break by Rangers?

“You later issued a statement saying ‘in time – I hope people understand’. Well they won’t. If you’d done things the right way I’m sure they might have done.”

Keys also believes that the job of rescuing Villa’s season will be far from easy for Gerrard, with the Midlands club two points off the Premier League relegation zone.



Gerrard led Rangers to the Scottish Premiership title last season
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Image:

Getty Images)




“I don’t see Gerrard taking the job at Villa as a gamble for him. It’s Villa who’ve taken the gamble,” he added.

“Just because Steven played for Liverpool and England doesn’t make him a cast iron certainty to make a success of it.

“Frank Lampard played for Chelsea and England, but he came up short when he returned to The Bridge. I’m not suggesting Lampard won’t yet make a very good coach, but the jury is out.







“It’s the same with Gerrard. He’s taken on a massive club and he’s totally unproven in England. There’s no doubting that the job he did at Rangers was first class.

“If nothing else – he stopped Celtic making it 10-in-a-row, but this is a step up. So we wish Steven good luck, but it won’t be a walk in the Villa Park.”

Gerrard will take charge of his first game as Villa boss on Saturday, when Brighton make the trip north to the West Midlands.


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