James Tavernier thanks Steven Gerrard for 'cherished memories' as search begins for Rangers' next manager

Rangers captain James Tavernier last night praised Steven Gerrard and his backroom team, who have been appointed at Aston Villa after leaving Ibrox.

The 41-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half year deal in the Midlands, prompting Rangers to launch a managerial hunt ten days before their Premier Sports Cup semi-final with Hibs.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has emerged as the early favourite to take over from Gerrard, who leaves Rangers one win away from the Europa League knock-out stages and top of the cinch Premiership.

Hide Ad

Tavernier paid his tribute to the departing manager and wrote: “I’d like to thank the Gaffer, Gary McAllister, Michael Beale, Tom Culshaw, Jordan Milsom and Scott Mason for everything they have done for me personally, for my family, my team and our club.

Hide Ad

"We’ve achieved so much together. As a team we have grown, demanded more from one another but most importantly we’ve developed into better players and better people.The club is in a better place, of that I have no doubt.

"The cherished moments will be forever special – bringing home 55.

Hide Ad

"Now we as a team will be fully focussed on the next chapter to come.”

Rangers chairman Douglas Park and sporting director Ross Wilson, who will lead the search for Gerrard’s successor, also thanked the former Liverpool captain for guiding the club to last season’s title – the first since 2011.

Hide Ad
Rangers' James Tavernier lifts the Premiership trophy (left) with then manager Steven Gerrard on May 15, 2021. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Gerrard quickly emerged as the number one choice to replace Dean Smith at Villa Park and though the club is embroiled in a relegation battle, sitting just two places and two points above the drop zone, Gerrard was won over by the vision of owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

Hide Ad

Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become its new head coach,” he said.

“In my conversations with Nassef, Wes and the rest of the board, it was apparent how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their aims.

Hide Ad

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everybody associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to manage such an iconic football club. Helping secure a record-breaking 55th league title will always hold a special place in my heart. I would like to wish the players, staff and supporters the very best for the future.”

"The board of Aston Villa are delighted to appoint Steven as our new head coach,” said chief executive Christian Purslow, who previously worked with Gerrard at Liverpool.

Hide Ad

“Since moving into coaching after his illustrious playing career, Steven began by managing and developing top young players in the Liverpool Academy which is experience we value highly at Aston Villa.

“He then took the brave decision to test himself in the intense and high-pressure environment of the Old Firm. His subsequent achievement in winning the Premiership title with Rangers really caught our eye as did his experience in Europe.

Hide Ad

“It has been very clear in our discussions that Steven’s coaching ambitions, philosophy and values entirely match those of Aston Villa.

“We are excited he has agreed to lead us in the next phase of our ambitious plans as we look to build on the progress made since Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens took over in 2018.”

Hide Ad
Read More
Five Rangers players who could follow Steven Gerrard to Aston Villa

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today.