Steven Gerrard is back in the Premier League barely a month since announcing his retirement from playing. The former Liverpool captain has been appointed Head Coach of Swansea City following the sacking of Bob Bradley this afternoon.
Gerrard admits that becoming a manager for the first time poses a new challenge.
“I’m shitting my pants, if I’m honest,” he told Soccer on Sunday. “I’d be lying if I said different. But Swansea is the perfect place to cut my teeth. Small club, wishy-washy fans who prefer rugby, relegation more or less a done deal. I’ll be comfortable making mistakes here, gaining that experience I’ll need if a big club like your Sunderlands or your Cardiffs come calling.”
“I’ll miss my family,” added the Liverpudlian. “The missus has always said she’d die before setting foot in Wales, and obviously you wouldn’t bring children to a place like Swansea. But this job is only a stepping stone. If the chairman hasn’t sacked me by the summer, I’m sure I’ll have had enough and walked by then anyway.”
Swans Chairman Huw Jenkins insists that he has made the right appointment.
“Stevie’s been a dream to deal with,” the millionaire businessman told Soccer on Sunday. “He looked me straight in the eye and said he has no interest in being here, and will find it hard to motivate himself. That’s the same ferocious honesty he showed as a player. And the whole time we were talking, he never stopped playing Angry Birds on his phone. You can’t buy that kind of multitasking.”
“The deal was straightforward,” added Jenkins. “I slid a contract in front of Stevie and credit to him, he signed it without thinking. Then he lunged across the table to try and get it back. There was a bit of a tug of war, but he only came away with a corner. I have 80% of the document. All the legally binding stuff is in my end.”
Having put pen to paper, Gerrard is eager to meet his squad and get to work.
“The sooner I start, the sooner I can leave,” he told Soccer on Sunday. “I just want to get in and out of Wales before people remember I was here. In two, three years I want to look back and think this was all just some creepy Welsh nightmare.”