Former Rangers manager Steven Gerrard claims that for once in his career he did what was right by himself and his family by moving to the Premier League and Aston Villa.

The Liverpool legend’s reputation was built on loyalty and this is part of the reason why so many fans were stung by Gerrard’s Ibrox exit last month.

Aston Villa v Leicester City - Premier League

Steven Gerrard and his backroom staff exited Rangers for Aston Villa at the beginning of November. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

But as fans lick their wounds – and Giovanni van Bronckhorst starts brightly – the Rangers support is already beginning to move on.

For Gerrard – speaking to close friend and former Liverpool teammate Jamie Carragher – it’s evident he’s eager to do so as well.


In time Gerrard told supporters that he hopes they’d understand his decision with the lure of the Premier League combined with the needs of his family coming first.

Much of his legacy will depend on the outcome of the season – with that cup defeat against Hibs still rankling – but despite the manner of the exit, Gerrard believes he leaves with his head held high.

Even if he empathises with the frustration of Rangers fans.

“The frustration always comes from the timing,” said Gerrard [Sky Sports].

“When you leave during a season, I totally respect and understand why people have got a bit of a gripe on that.

“From my point of view, I can’t control the timing of when this opportunity came. When you’re in my position, you always wonder if this opportunity would come again.

“When it was Aston Villa, the chance to come back to the Premier League, the size of the club and the ambition of the club, the timing wasn’t something I could think about.

Steven Gerrard left Rangers with a “heavy heart”

“It was more about grasping the opportunity. I leave with a heavy heart but I also leave with my head held high because when you sit down with a board and they set you a remit, if you don’t do that then you get the sack.

“If you have a run of games which are not acceptable, you get the sack. Fans move on very quick from that, so for me it was about for once in my life thinking what was best for me and for my family. That’s the reason I made this decision.”

Initially rocked by Gerrard’s exit, there’s a feeling that the Rangers team have responded to the management set up and are clicking more under van Bronckhorst.

Rangers FC v Sparta Praha: Group A - UEFA Europa League

Rangers fans have already begun to move on with Giovanni van Bronckhorst starting brightly at Ibrox. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’ll be a while yet before we really understand if this is part of a new manager bounce or if the players were feeling underwhelmed with Gerrard and co.

But whatever happens, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Rangers, Steven Gerrard and everyone else involved may be much better off apart in the long run.

Steven Gerrard continues to impress as the manager of Aston Villa as he extended a winning run over a former Celtic boss as they met once again in the Premier League.

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