Steven Gerrard might still have been at Liverpool if the club had offered him the chance to shadow Brendan Rodgers and learn about managing a team, the former England skipper has told the Daily Mail in an interview.
The comments by Gerrard, who joined Los Angeles Galaxy after last season, are at odds with those of Rodgers, who said when the 35-year-old announced his departure that the midfielder was not yet ready for coaching as he was focussed on playing.
Gerrard said he would have been willing to accept a reduced role as a squad player or substitute and would not have rejected a new contract from the club if he had been offered a part-time coaching role before he announced he was leaving.
“Ability-wise, I could still play but physically I couldn’t play every game at my age,” Gerrard said.
“I didn’t enjoy being sub last season. I didn’t enjoy not knowing if I would be in the 11 or not. Maybe that was selfish of me but I had gone a long time playing every single game,” added the Reds’ former skipper.
“I might be contradicting myself here but what would have kept me at Liverpool into this season was the chance of shadowing Brendan Rodgers and his staff as well as playing,” he revealed.
“Those ideas were only mentioned to me after I had announced I was leaving,” said Gerrard.
Liverpool’s arch-rivals Manchester United offered Ryan Giggs the chance to move into management by making him player-coach under David Moyes. The Welshman took over as interim manager when Moyes was sacked and is currently Louis Van Gaal’s assistant at Old Trafford.
“Liverpool replaced coaches Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh in the summer, so they were looking for a new No. 2, or No. 3 or No. 4,” Gerrard, the club’s longest-serving player, added.
“I would have been tailor-made to fill one of these roles, as well as making myself available as a squad player. I could have been a good squad player, a good sub, as well as getting management experience that money can’t buy.”
Gerrard left Anfield in May after more than 17 years and 700 matches with the Premier League club.
“I was surprised a role wasn’t mentioned when chief executive Ian Ayre sat down with my agent, but maybe it might happen one day,” he said.
“I’d have stayed on as a squad player if I’d had the chance to learn more about management or coaching. I left with all the doors still open, but yes, I could still have been at Liverpool now.” Gerrard said.