Steven Gerrard has played under some terrific coaches during his illustrious playing career.
At Liverpool he came through under a combination of Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier, then played for six years under Rafa Benitez, followed by shorter spells under the management of Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers.
At international level, meanwhile, Gerrard played under Kevin Keegan, Sven Goran-Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson.
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Now he finds himself working under the experienced American coach Bruce Arena at LA Galaxy.
But which of the aforementioned managers does Gerrard himself rate as the best?
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Gerrard: Rafa was the best - tactically
“Rafa [Benitez]. Tactically, the best,” Gerrard was quoted as saying by the Times’ chief football writer Henry Winter. “I enjoyed working with Kenny [Dalglish], my hero. Brendan [Rodgers] was very clever."
Gerrard made some interesting comments about Rafa last year
Gerrard may feel that he has some bridges to rebuild with Benitez after comments he made in his latest autobiography last year.
The all-action midfielder made the surprise claim that, in his opinion, Benitez didn’t like him as a person.
“I don’t think Rafa Benitez liked me as a person,” Gerrard was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo. “I’m not sure why, but that’s the feeling I got from him. It probably started even before he spoke to me, when he met my mum.
“Rafa was appointed as Liverpool’s manager in June 2004 — and I was playing for England in the Euros in Portugal that summer.
“Even though he was being replaced by Rafa, Gerard Houllier still loved Liverpool and he remained very close to me. He and my mum flew out to Portugal to watch me play for England against Croatia — and they bumped into Rafa.
“Gerard introduced Rafa to my mum. Rafa shook her hand, said hello and then immediately asked her a very blunt question: ‘Does Steven like money?’
“Apart from a standard ‘Hello... good to meet you’ introduction, those were the first words Rafa said to my mum. I thought: ‘What kind of question is that?’
“I can pick up the phone and speak to all of my previous Liverpool managers. Except for Rafa. It’s a shame because we probably shared the biggest night of both our careers — the 2005 Champions League victory in Istanbul — and yet there is no bond between us.”
Benitez's response to Gerrard
Benitez, who was coaching Real Madrid at the time, hit back by telling reporters in Spain: "I have read the quotes and I believe he is wrong.
"Out of the respect that I have for Stevie and for the value and appreciation I have for him, and for Liverpool and the supporters, I think it's best to just let it pass.
"He has brought out a book and now I'm the Real Madrid manager, that sells."
Was Rafa Benitez too cold with Steven Gerrard? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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