Gary Neville has blasted Aston Villa after hearing that Steven Gerrard was sacked whilst taking to the team bus during their defeat to Fulham on Thursday night, as he told Sky Sports.
It was a brutal ending for Steven Gerrard at Villa because, not only did his side suffer a 3-0 defeat to a newly-promoted side, but they well and truly capitulated on that pitch in the second half.
The writing was on the wall for the Liverpool legend, you could tell he was a dead man walking and it was just a case of receiving that dreaded call from Villa Chief Executive, Christian Purslow.
Perhaps many, including the irate Villa support, felt that Gerrard would be told that his services were no longer wanted the following day.
But after an hour of the full-time whistle, the club put out a pretty short and blunt statement on their website, which officially ended his reign in B6.
Where was Gerrard at this point? Just boarding the team bus? 10 minutes into his journey on the team bus? Either way, it was brutal and Neville didn’t appreciate how it all unfolded, in the end.
“One thing I have seen, and I don’t know if it is entirely true and I have seen the reports that Steven Gerrard was sacked straight after the game,” said Neville.
“Before the team bus had got back (to Birmingham) or he had chosen to get onto the team bus where he had known that he had been sacked.
“Two things, number one, I feel that tells you about Steven Gerrard. We spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo earlier. Gerrard could have easily got himself a driver, not got back with his team and not got back with his staff. No, he went back with his team and he went back with his staff. Suffering enormously, I am sure, that he has just been sacked. But he did it right.
“I am not quite sure of the logic of the Villa ownership and the decision-makers, to sack a manager knowing he has a two or three hours journey on a bus. Let’s be clear, as owners, we are all liable to criticism when we sack a manager and I have been criticised for that.
“But come on?! Doing it immediately after a game, where you know the manager has to travel back with his staff and his players. I mean that is a joke. You imagine that bus. The only thing you could do is crack a few beers open and get on it. That was the one thing that was bad from Villa’s point of view.”
BRUTAL ENDING THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE STARTED
As Villa were getting outclassed and outplayed by Fulham, Gerrard had to sit in the Craven Cottage dugout and listen to the away fans making their feelings pretty clear.
All those frustrations of watching the team decline during his short reign at the club were all being let out and there was no hiding place for the former midfielder.
That last half an hour at Craven Cottage, then the manner of the dismissal, it doesn’t get more brutal than that when it comes to Premier League managerial sackings.
But, in truth, it’s one that should never have been made in the first place because Gerrard should have stayed at Rangers rather than jumping at the first chance a Premier League club came knocking.