Ally McCoist brands Villa’s Gerrard appointment a gamble and names Rangers new boss choice

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Steven Gerrard is taking a ‘gamble’ by moving from Rangers to Aston Villa, Ally McCoist has insisted. The Liverpool legend was appointed as the new Villa boss on Thursday morning, sensationally departing Rangers despite being on course to win a second Scottish Premiership title. 

Gerrard helped the Glaswegians win their 55th league title last term and their first in a decade. 

Rangers are four points ahead of rivals Celtic in the Scottish top-flight but the former midfielder has still decided to move. 

The 41-year-old has replaced Dean Smith who was sacked on Sunday. The boyhood Villa fan was dismissed after overseeing a run of five consecutive defeats.  

Expectations were elevated over the summer when the Midlands outfit spent over £100million on new talent. The likes of Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia all arrived for big fees.  

Smith will argue that he still lost his best player in Jack Grealish. The former club captain was sold in a blockbuster £100m transfer to Manchester City. 

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Former Rangers striker McCoist feels Smith was hard done by. He feels that the 50-year-old should have been handed more time to get the best out of his new-look team.  

And McCoist, who hit out at Gerrard for showing a lack of manners to Rangers, also believes the Liverpool legend has taken a ‘gamble’ by succeeding Smith.

“It’s the best league in the world and Villa are a top team, I really like Villa,” he told TalkSPORT. 

“I’m gutted for Dean Smith, I think he should have been given more time.

“In terms of Steven going there, I still think it’s a gamble, I really do, but any job’s a gamble.” 

Insisting that he thinks Gerrard’s predecessor should succeed the former England star, McCoist added: “By the way I said that yesterday. I would take Dean Smith. I would.” 

Gerrard was in charge of Rangers for three and a half years. He has signed on at Villa Park until the summer of 2024. He takes over a club that is 16th in the Premier League.  

Gerrard said: “Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become its new head coach. 

“In my conversations with Nassef [Sawiris], Wes [Edens] and the rest of the board, it was apparent how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their aims.

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“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everybody associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to manage such an iconic football club.  

“Helping them secure a record-breaking 55th league title will always hold a special place in my heart. I would like to wish the players, staff and supporters the very best for the future.” 

CEO Christian Purslow, who worked at Liverpool when Gerrard was a player, added: “It has been very clear in our discussions with him that Steven’s coaching ambitions, philosophy and values entirely match those of Aston Villa. 

“We are excited he has agreed to lead us in the next phase of our ambitious plans as we look to build on the progress made since Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens took over the club in 2018.”
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