Football

Gerard Houllier tips Steven Gerrard to be a top manager

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Gerard Houllier has backed Steven Gerrard to be a successful manager when the midfield retires from football.

Gerrard has just two games left with Liverpool before departing for MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy and will make his final Anfield appearance this Saturday against Crystal Palace.

The 34-year-old has had an illustrious career at the Reds winning seven major trophies including the Champions League in 2005. 

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The Huyton native has become arguably Liverpool's greatest players for both his individuality and leadership skills shown on the pitch.

And for those reasons, Houllier - who made Gerrard captain of the Merseyside outfit in 2003 - believes the former England captain will make a great manager in years to come and will thrive at LA Galaxy.

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"He will make a great manager because he has always put the team first," the 67-year-old told BBC Sport.

"He has got everything it takes to think about the team, the club and the development of others.

"The fans will miss him. He is a leader and has always done that.

"He will be as much in the heart of the Galaxy fans as Beckham was.

"Stevie was a world-class player and makes your team win.

"The MLS is very lucky to get him. He will be extremely successful there. He will come back to Liverpool in some capacity, I'm sure he will. Maybe not in the coming years but sooner or later he will come back."

Debut

It was Houllier who handed Gerrard his first-time debut when he replaced Vegard Heggem during a 2-0 win against Blackburn Rovers at Anfield.

The pair had an excellent rapport and went on to land four major trophies together. The 2001 treble winning season was a highlight for both, were Gerrard made 50 appearances and netted ten goals that season, including a goal in the 5-4 UEFA Cup final against Deportivo Alaves.

Houllier overseen Gerrard go from a boy to a man and handing the academy graduate the captaincy of the club only helped his progress. During that time, Gerrard become a leader within the Liverpool team at the tender age of 23 and has continued that trait since.

LFC Legend

Liverpool is a club enriched with history and there have been a number of top-class players who've represented the side. The likes of Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Jamie Carragher and Luis 

His efforts in a Reds team that has been average down the years has seen them prosper and be a Suarez have all become cult heroes on the Kop, however, there is nobody as great as Gerrard.force in Europe. 

During the 2005 Champions League final, it was Gerrard who picked Liverpool up when 3-0 down to an invincible AC Milan side flooded with unbelievable talent and his header started the come back for his side. A year later he did the exact same when his two late goals that forced the FA Cup final into extra time against West Ham United, which the Reds would win on penalties.

Gerrard's career has been flooded with speculation towards a move away from Anfield. In 2005, shortly after the Champions League triumph, he was close to leaving for Chelsea, however, stayed at his boyhood club.

Prior to last Sunday's 1-1 draw against Chelsea, Jose Mourinho admitted he tried to sign the box-to-box midfielder when he was manager of Chelsea during his first stint, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. If Gerrard had have left, he could have accumulated winners medals beyond riches, but, remained at Liverpool to represent the club that is firmly in his heart.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool

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