Steven Gerrard has started a new role within the Academy at Liverpool after receiving ‘that call’ from Jurgen Klopp. Most Liverpool fans would love to see Gerrard take over from Klopp, naturally when the time is right. Whilst he admits he has a lot to learn and is keen to work hard and earn his credentials.
Pep Guardiola to many people, is perceived to be the best coach world football has ever seen, helped naturally by his truly amazing trophy haul at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Would it be fair to assume that Gerrard should emulate Guardiola? Possibly? But is there someone else also plying their trade in the Spanish League Gerrard could and possibly should look to? Step forward Zinedine Zidane.
Apart from Gerrard, I have never enjoyed watching a player dictate play from the middle of the park more than Zidane.
Zizou spent the last five years of his career at the Santiago Bernabeu, patrolling the midfield creative zones with an air of french arrogance.
He had an aggressive presence with amazing vision and perhaps the best close control on the planet for a spell. It seemed at times that the world stopped whilst he had the ball, always appearing to have all the time needed to show off his genius.
Zidane’s move into management
Zidane became Real Madrid’s Sporting Director in 2011 before moving to the dugout to develop his coaching skills. He was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant, by his side learning from one of the masters. After that, he tested himself as the Head Coach of Castilla (R. Madrid B Team) in 2014.
Less than one year later, Rafa Benitez was sacked and Zidane was promoted to Real Madrid’s first team. Zidane had a good first 12 months as Head Coach and I’m sure by the end of this season he’ll be adding more trophies to the cabinet.
In the past Real Madrid have looked for instant results, a lot if money was spent on playets and the Galacticos were born. The club isn’t exactly known for their long-lasting relationships with managers. If you weren’t successful you were out as quickly as you came in. The downside is that the fans have no real connection to them, to a certain extent it’s reciprocal.
With Zidane it’s different – having been with the club, witnessed it’s success and he knows the fans. A lot of his valuable lessons have been out on that pitch wearing the famous white shirt, listening to the crowds chants and boos. This has helped him focus on what really matters – winning. In fact, you can forget about the spectacular, attacking football inspired by megastar Galacticos. Zidane is slowly turning his team into a bunch of grafters, committed to their defensive duties and increasingly confident in their ability to grind out wins even when not playing well – the hallmark of a proven winner.
Similarities with Gerrard continue
Like Gerrard, Zidane commands automatic respect. Like Klopp, his aura makes it easier for him to retain good relationships with players, especially when he leaves them out of the team. Similarities with Gerrard continue, as on the pitch Zidane wore his heart on his sleeve, some say ‘hot headed’, however off it he’s always has a level of composure. This has inadvertently helped Zidane manage Real’s egos, his calm and composed personality.
The media in the UK love Gerrard, he comes across well spoken, whilst in a scouse accent! Taking time to offer an insight to his thoughts, somewhat articulate and educated. Educated in football – you just hang on his every word, and to a certain extent not help smiling too. Reminding me several reasons why the red half of Liverpool love a certain Mr Klopp.
It’s great to see an ex-player enjoying success as a coach, those fond memories of yesteryear turn into pride. Pride that one of us is no leading the charge.
It’s a long way for Gerrard. By his own admission too. Jurgen Klopp is an amazing coach, he’s an amazing bloke. Many non-Liverpool cast envy upon us now. They know we have a world beater amongst us, someone who is creating a machine that as a cohesive unit will succeed. By succeed, I mean win…!!
Seven Gerrard is in a great place, where under Inglethorpe and Lijnders he has world class coaches he can learn from. He will be able to gain what experiences he can from them whilst still studying, then be ready – that’s all he can do.
It will happen. Klopp will win us the Champions League. Gerrard will lift that Premier League title as manager.
Klopp is our modern day Shankly. Does that make Gerrard our Paisley? Now we know how successful they both were.