Steven Gerrard has received some strong criticism from pundits and fans in Scotland after swapping Rangers for Aston Villa, and former Celtic man John Hartson is the latest to have his say.
The former Liverpool midfielder has been credited with raising the profile of Scottish football during his three-and-a-half years in charge at Ibrox. However, he decided the time was perfect for a return to the Premier League after Villa came calling.
The move has sparked plenty of debate, with Gers fans feeling he has let them down by quitting mid-season.
And former Arsenal and Celtic man Hartson is also critical of the move. He claims that Rangers are a much bigger club than Villa, so it’s a step down.
“People have talked about Steven Gerrard going into Aston Villa and having pressure. There’s no more pressure than trying to win another title with Rangers,” said Hartson, reported the Daily Record.
“You have people down south saying he’s won the last two titles [Gerrard won one league title with Rangers], they don’t have a clue or do their homework on Scottish football.
“They’re saying Aston Villa is a bigger club than Rangers. Rangers would fit Aston Villa in their back pocket.
“No disrespect. Aston Villa have won a European Cup but Rangers and Celtic are massive clubs. I don’t go anywhere in the world without bumping into a Celtic fan. Nowhere. And Rangers are the same.”
Rangers to Liverpool could have been done – again
Hartson is convinced Gerrard should have stayed at Ibrox, insisting he could have gone straight from Ibrox to Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp finally calls it a day on Merseyside.
“I thought he’d have stayed and finished the job because the Villa job will come up again, the Southampton job will come up again,” he added.
“People keep talking about Jurgen Klopp. He’s not going anywhere. He’s loved.
“They’re saying Steven has to go somewhere else before Liverpool. Well Graeme Souness went straight there [in 1991].
“Rangers is a huge club so I thought he’d tried to win another title, looked at it as a job that’s not finished yet.
“I think Steven a man of integrity, morals and loyalty but having given him his first managerial opportunity I just thought he would have shown a bit of loyalty to Rangers.
“But he might see it as a good opportunity to go now. He might think he’s done a wonderful job.”
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