Saturday 20 January 2018

Steven Gerrard likely to take up England role as Klopp loses patience over talk of Liverpool return

Steven Gerrard talks with Jurgen Klopp
Steven Gerrard talks with Jurgen Klopp

Ian Herbert

Steven Gerrard is more likely to begin his coaching career within the England set-up than at Anfield, having announced his retirement as a player at the age of 36.

Though Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said there is an “open door” for Gerrard at Anfield, the German’s coaching team is well established and it is within Gareth Southgate’s new England set-up that more opportunities currently exist.

The Football Association have already been in touch with Gerrard, to ascertain his interest in working within their set-up, and the reshuffle to be created by Southgate’s imminent appointment as England manager creates opportunities. As The Independent revealed earlier this week, Southgate wants to see the previous under-18 manager Aidy Boothroyd take charge of the under-21s and there could be a role within the under-18 set up which would allow Gerrard to work towards his Uefa ‘A’ License.

Gerrard is contracted to LA Galaxy until January and is expected to take stock now, rather than rush into an immediate decision, having decided that an immediate managerial opportunity at MK Dons had come too soon. A youth coaching role is one possibility at Liverpool.

Klopp heaped praise on Gerrard on Thursday but he became gradually more exasperated as questions on the former captain’s retirement and future dominated a press conference to discuss this weekend’s match against Sunderland. The way that the former captain’s retirement dominated proceedings illustrated the focus on him that would accompany the club he yearns to manage one day. “The first thing you should all learn is if someone wants to help Steven Gerrard, then stop being so excited about each step he is doing next,” the Liverpool manager said.

Gerrard said: “I’ve listened to people over the years, important people in the game who I trust and have a lot of respect for, and they said to me: ‘Always go with a tiny bit left and never overstay your welcome and play on too long where it becomes embarrassing.’ I can feel that’s not too far away so now is the right time [to retire].”

Klopp’s irritation with the questions was evident when he was asked where Gerrard rated among the top players in the world. “How many do you have?” he replied. “Is Pele involved? Is Franz Beckenbauer involved? Is Johan Cruyff involved? Where should I start and end?”

(© Independent News Service)

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