Liverpool manager Steven Gerrard…
Don’t be shocked if five to ten years from now that’s a ubiquitous phrase in the Premier League world. On Thursday, it emerged that Gerrard is set to undertake his coaching qualifications over the course of the next year with the dream of one day becoming Liverpool manager.
It’s an aspiration that few would doubt the Reds captain capable of achieving.
“The dream come true would be to manage Liverpool, when the Liverpool job becomes available,” Gerrard told Twenty-Four 7 Football magazine.
Ever the professional, Gerrard was quick to note that such a position would only come his way after the current crop of managers moved on. “There are world-class managers there ready already, but we’ll have to wait and see, it would be the icing on the cake.”
At the age of 33, Gerrard noted that despite the considerable miles left in his boots, he needed to be conscious of his his future. “When you get to a certain age, my age, you need to start thinking seriously about a life after football. I am planning on doing my badges and qualifications over the next 12 months.”
For most players, a life of managing or punditry is the favored path after hanging up the boots. For Gerrard, the current hope is to manage but like a former teammate of his, that could change over time. “I remember speaking to Jamie Carragher and he really fancied it but he’s decided media is what he wants to do.”
Gerrard’s desire to manage the club where he’s been a life-long player mirrors that of Ryan Giggs, who’s dream of managing Manchester United recently saw him become the first player to complete his UEFA Pro License during his playing days.
In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.
Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.
[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]
Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.
Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.
Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.
Emre Can has recovered from an ankle injury and will be in Liverpool’s squad for their Europa League semifinal against Villarreal on Thursday night.
The German international has not played since April 14 when he was forced off in the Reds’ wild 4-3 win over Borussia Dortmund.
[ MORE: Liverpool prepping for Villarreal ]
Giving his team update on Wednesday, manager Jurgen Klopp said Can is back in the team, although captain Jordan Henderson is still out. The Reds enter the second leg trailing 1-0 on aggregate.
Another positive note out of Melwood was the return of Danny Ings to first-team training. The 23-year-old striker signed with Liverpool last summer, but managed just eight appearances before having his season end to a torn ACL in October. Ings is still far away from his full return, but it was a good sight to see him back on the pitch and making progress in his recovery.
Manchester City put in an uninspired performance against Real Madrid on Wednesday, losing the match 1-0 and falling out of the UEFA Champions League.
[ RECAP: Real Madrid 1-0 Man City ]
The match was decided by just one goal, but the scoreline was flattering to City as they failed to create any kind of real chances at the Bernabeu. Over the two legs, City managed just two shots on target.
While City were wildly disappointing in the second leg, manager Manuel Pellegrini did not think the match was that one-sided, saying both teams struggled on the attack.
I am disappointed because I think that was a very close game with two teams who did not create many chances. The two teams were working with no-one making a difference.
It is not the best thing changing a defender very early but I don’t think we had any problems in defence, we had problems creating, same as Real Madrid. They did not create many chances.
Real Madrid was not in top form, but they still could have scored three or four goals on Wednesday. Joe Hart had to come up with some big saves to keep things close, as the England goalkeeper was by far City’s most valuable player throughout the tie.
[ MORE: Liverpool preparing for Europa League match vs. Villarreal ]
The absence of David Silva through injury certainly hurt City’s attack, but there was very little service moving forward from the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure. The poor play in the midfield left Sergio Aguero stranded alone up top, nearly invisible in the second leg.
Without service, Aguero was forced to track back to try and find the ball himself, leaving City no options to hit on the counter. For a tie between two of the most expensive teams in the world, neither side was truly impressive, but City surely disappointing.