Premier League | Steven Gerrard named Aston Villa manager

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard took his first coaching role in the Premier League when he was hired as Aston Villa manager on Thursday.

Villa moved quickly to appoint Gerrard after firing Dean Smith on Sunday, with the club having lost five straight games in the league to drop to 16th place in the 20-team top flight.

“We are excited he has agreed to lead us in the next phase of our ambitious plans,” Villa chief executive Christian Purslow said of Gerrard, who is widely seen as a future iverpool manager.

Villa finished in 11th place in the Premier League last season, but has been inconsistent since selling captain and star player Jack Grealish for £100 million — a British record fee — in the off-season.

From relying largely on one player, Villa has tried to implement a new, more expansive approach, but it has left the team more open — it has conceded the third-most goals this season — and many of the players brought in with the money earned from Grealish’s transfer have been injured.

Gerrard’s first game as Villa manager will be against Brighton on Nov. 20. He will return to Liverpool when Villa plays the Reds at Anfield on Dec. 11.

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