Villa slammed for ‘brutal’ final dig after sacking Gerrard minutes after defeat
Aston Villa have been slammed for a "brutal" final dig after sacking Steven Gerrard minutes after losing to Fulham.
Gerrard was relieved of his duties by the club immediately after their 3-0 loss at Craven Cottage on Thursday night after 11 months in the dugout. He leaves his role with Villa teetering precariously above the relegation zone in 17th place and only outside the bottom three on goal difference.
Villa's official statement confirming the dismissal also included a quote from a club spokesman which read: “We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future.”
READ MORE: Five potentials for next Aston Villa manager after Steven Gerrard finally sacked
The inclusion of the quote has been slammed by rival supporters, who feel that it showed disrespect to the club's departing manager.
One fan tweeted: “All he gets is a generic football manager vague ‘club spokesman’ one sentence. Incredible. There is no chance this spokesman exists.”
Meanwhile, another added: “Two-line statement with the quote attributed to ‘a club spokesman’. That’s about as brutal as it gets.”
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Gerrard's fate was sealed at Craven Cottage as goals from Harrison Reed and Aleksandar Mitrovic were followed by an own goal from Tyrone Mings. Douglas Luiz was also sent off for a petulant headbutt on Mitrovic.
Following his dismissal, Gerrard reportedly still travelled back from London on the team bus with the Villa squad and his backroom staff.
It is understood that he addressed the group at the club's training ground before they went their separate ways. The former Rangers boss was appointed Villa manager in November last year.
After replacing Dean Smith, Gerrard guided Villa to 13 wins in his 40 matches across all competitions with a win rate of 32.5%. He leaves Villa Park after winning just twice in the Premier League this season, with just one victory in their last nine league matches.
At present, former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is the favourite to replace Gerrard. Meanwhile, Queens Park Rangers gaffer Michael Beale and Brentford's Thomas Frank have also been tipped for the job.
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