Steven Gerrard: Liverpool return makes ex-captain ‘nervous and anxious’

  • Gerard

Steven Gerrard: Liverpool return makes ex-captain ‘nervous and anxious’

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says he is “excited” but also “nervous and anxious” about his impending return to Anfield as a youth coach.

Gerrard, who made his Reds debut in 1998 and retired from playing last year, will begin the job in February.

“Liverpool are prepared to help me an awful lot. They want to help me to become a better coach or a better manager,” Gerrard, 36, told.

“But at the same time I’ve got to commit to it and put in the hard work.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Gerrard also:

* said he is in no rush to take up a managerial role as he does not yet know if he’ll be “good enough”;
* revealed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has “gone out of his way” to welcome him back to the club;
* backed Liverpool to overcome their current “blip” and said he was “absolutely delighted” to have Klopp as manager

Midfielder Gerrard left Anfield at the end of the 2014-15 season to join MLS side LA Galaxy before retiring in November after a 19-year playing career.

The former England captain said he was “really happy” to be “back at the club I love and being back home with my family” – but insisted his return was not down to sentiment.

“With me and Liverpool there will always be an emotional pull. But the decision to go back as a coach and what that entails, I couldn’t really make that decision on sentiment or emotion because I’d have been doing it for the wrong reasons,” he said.

“I’m very excited but at the same time a little bit nervous and a little bit anxious because it’s a brand new role, one that I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into.”

When will Gerrard move into management?

Gerrard was linked with the manager’s job at League One side MK Dons soon after announcing he would leave LA Galaxy, but said at the time the opportunity had come “too soon” for him.

He is working towards his Uefa A coaching licence, which is required to manage in the Premier League, but he says it is still too early to predict the path his future career will take.

“There’s no rush, no timescale,” he said. “The silly thing for me would be to rush and go in when I’m not ready.

“I’ve got incredible people around me and hopefully in the future there’ll be some exciting opportunities.

“I’ve a lot of dreams and aspirations to be the best I can be in terms of coaching and management – but we’ll have to wait and see if I’m going to be good enough.”

What about Liverpool’s current form?

Gerrard was at Anfield on Wednesday to see his club knocked out of the EFL Cup after a 2-0 aggregate defeat by Southampton in the semi-finals.

That result continued a difficult start to 2017 for Klopp’s side, who have managed just one win in seven games this year – a third-round FA Cup replay victory at League Two Plymouth Argyle.

“I hope it’s just a blip,” added Gerrard, who was speaking at a media event for Star Sixes, a new football tournament for former international players to be held at The O2, London, in July, in which he will be a team captain.

“I’ve experienced it myself and blips are difficult to play your way out of, but I believe we’ve got the talent and personnel to do it.

“We’ve been one of the most exciting teams to watch [during Klopp’s time in charge].

“There’s a bit of a sticky patch the past three or four weeks – but I’m absolutely delighted he’s our manager.”