Aston Villa sacked manager Steven Gerrard last week and Philippe Coutinho has been urged to send a message to his old boss.
Philippe Coutinho has been urged to apologise to Steven Gerrard following his sacking at Aston Villa. Former Villa captain Gabriel Agbonlahor says the Brazilian playmaker let his former manager down this season.
Gerrard was sacked by Villa straight after last Thursday’s 3-0 loss at Fulham. The Midlands club had dropped to 17th place in the table, having won just two of their first 11 matches this term.
Gerrard pulled off quite the coup by bringing former Liverpool team-mate Coutinho to the club on loan last January. Coutinho impressed during his spell and signed on a permanent deal in the summer.
But the 30-year-old has been unable to hit the same heights this term, failing to register a goal or an assist. Agbonlahor says Gerrard’s job was made harder due to Coutinho’s lack of form.
He told talkSPORT: “Coutinho was his man and he didn’t perform for him. Coutinho owes Gerrard an apology, for me, for the way he performed, Gerrard backed him.”
Villa have since beaten Brentford 4-0 in their first game without Gerrard. Agbonlahor insists it was right to sack the Liverpool legend.
He added: “The formation wasn’t working, he wanted the full-backs to have the width but it wasn’t working. He got rid of all the wingers, and that annoyed fans a bit.
“We became predictable and boring and with too many balls into the box where the strikers were not going to win the headers. The tactics were poor and it was just a matter of time. Aston Villa want to push into Europe, not be fighting relegation.”
Gerrard thanked the Villa fans for their support after his departure in a message on social media. He wrote: “I would like to thank everyone connected to Aston Villa Football Club, for the support shown to me during my time there.
“I would personally like to thank the board of directors, the players and all the staff for their hard work. To the fans, it is regrettable that it didn’t work out in the end, but I owe you a debt of gratitude for the way you welcomed me into your club, and continued to push the team on during difficult times.
“Aston Villa is a club with a special history, I really wanted to bring back those memorable achievements, unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I wish everyone at the club all the very best for the future.”