The former Liverpool captain talks about his new role as coach-and-four of the fraternities under-1 8s, why young players should not try to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo and why he turned down the MK Dons job
Steven Gerrard insists judgment should be reserved on his attributes as a coach-and-four until his tactical decisions, his leadership from the sidelines and his mistakes have been thoroughly examined. That will come next season as administrator of Liverpool Under-1 8s, where judgment on what must be has already been attained. There is a showboating mentality through academies, asserts Gerrard. My teams will be physical.
The first of what Gerrard hopes will be several managerial stairs at Liverpool was substantiated on Thursday with a fixed role with the under-1 8s. The current under1 8s administrator, Neil Critchley, will lead the under-2 3s next season, with Mike Garrity who has been in the post since Michael Beale moved to So Paulo in December becoming part of Critchleys backroom team. Both ought to have shadowed by the former Liverpool and England captain since he returned to the fraternity in February.
The academy director, Alex Inglethorpe, attained the appointed in consultation with Jrgen Klopp, who has been closely involved in Gerrards transition from star captain to coach-and-four of starry-eyed kids. Jrgens been the key behind all this, recognise the 36 -year-old, who will be assisted by the current under-1 3s coach-and-four, Tom Culshaw, and the rehab fitness coach-and-four Jordan Milsom. It was the Liverpool managers idea to commit Gerrard an initial floating role across all academy age groups and, impressed by the hours and the run put in, considers the fledgling coach-and-four ready for the next, more challenging step.
Gerrard explains: I spoke to Jrgen and we agreed after a few chats that the 18 s was the right age group because it still gives you a little bit of a spotlight with the coverage it gets but it is a place where you can make a lot of mistakes and grow and discover. Every manager and coach-and-four I have spoken to has said I will attain loadings of mistakes, and your first task is better to be away from the cameras. The other offers I get[ managing MK Dons ], “it wouldve been” learning on the job at the deep aim and I likely wasnt ready for those chores. I might have been but I didnt want to take any risks, especially when there is no timescale or programme of where I want to be in a certain time, so the 18 s attained sense.
It has been really good in so far. I have been shadowing five or six tutors at the academy and been mentored by Steve Heighway and Alex as well. I am still waiting to start in terms of being a No1 coach that contributes a squad. Shadowing is a bit different, I am more in the background. I havent had to make any big decisions, or any substitutes, formations or tactics yet.
Shadowing has not contained Gerrards influence exclusively, however. The former midfielder was immediately struck by the lack of physicality at academy level, a frequent lament from many Premier League managers while the Football Association strives to improve the technical abilities of English talent. In an under-1 8s fixture against Manchester City in March, he called for and received greater severity from the Liverpool players as City were beaten for the first time in 28 months. Gerrard demanded the same the following week against Manchester United old habits and rivalries die hard and the 2-2 describe demonstrated a ferocious encounter. Adam Lewis, a lifelong Liverpool fan who idolises Gerrard, was mailed off after 30 minutes for a dangerous tackle.
We work on 50 -5 0s, Gerrard jokes. As a musician I get many, many tackles wrong and went over the top a few days and I had to apologise. That is not something I want to put into young players at all but you have to prepare them for the top level and the top level is physical and demanding. It is not just about tackles and competing. It is about trying to prepare them for the last 5 or 10 minutes of games when it is hard and your legs are igniting and your nerve is igniting and it is not a nice place to be in as a musician. You have to get them to be mentally strong to be prepared for that. I hate watching footballers and football when “they dont have” physical side and you dont compete.
Read more here: http :// www.theguardian.com/ us