Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is in the early stages of what he hopes will be a successful career in football management.
After ending his time as a player with two seasons at LA Galaxy, Gerrard returned home to begin his new life as a manager by taking charge of Liverpool’s Under-18 team.
It’s a fledgling position far away from the huge spotlight he once enjoyed with the Reds, but luckily having the first name ‘Steven’ and the last name ‘Gerrard’ in Liverpool means you get to receive advice on your managing career right from the top – or in this case – Klopp.
Gerrard said he received some excellent advice from Liverpool’s first-team manager Jurgen Klopp, who told him that a career in management was a marathon, and not a sprint.
“Jürgen’s advice when I came back was: ‘I only want you to shadow for a short time because you need to have a couple of years of making mistakes, of picking your own team, of deciding tactics,” Gerrard told the Guardian. “You need to find your philosophy, a way of playing, you need to deal with individual problems, you need to praise individuals, help individuals, you need to feel disappointment and setbacks and then after a couple of years you’ll know if this gig is for you.’ He painted a real picture of how it is.”
Gerrard also revealed what he thought a major difference between playing and coaching.
“As a player I could switch off when the game was done. That is very difficult as a coach. That has been the main difference. Now after a game I’m thinking what went well, what didn’t go well, what individuals do I need to work on this week, who do I need to praise, who do I need to speak to, who’s been naughty at school?”
Gerrard admitted that a life in management was not for the feint of heart. The Reds have handed him the job with the under-18s without any special privileges, and he admits it’s been a challenging introduction.
“I’m definitely feeling it,” Gerrard said. “I’ve aged about two years in six months.”
So far, however, his managerial career is going very well. In 21 games in charge of the Liverpool youth team, he has lost just once, a record that sees the side lie top of under-18 Premier League table. They also finished as group winners in their UEFA Youth League group.
With a bit more advice from Herr Klopp, this Steven Gerrard guy could go far.