Gerrard and Aston Villa losing 'genius' assistant set to become new QPR manager

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard (left) and assistant Michael Beale on the touchline during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Wednesday February 9, 2022.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is set to say goodbye to his ‘genius’ long-standing right-hand man, Michael Beale.

The assistant manager has worked alongside Gerrard since the Liverpool legend was working within the Reds’ youth academy, going on to join him at Rangers and Villa.

Now, though, the pair could finally be splitting, with Beale set to become Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers’ new manager, following the departure of Mark Warburton at the end of the season.

The west London outfit are said to have shaken off competition from managerless sides Blackburn Rovers and Charlton Athletic, who have both reportedly been interested in Beale, too.

Should Beale join QPR, it could be a real loss for the Villains, given the glowing reviews he’s received from Gerrard and some big name players who have worked under him.

Just before he helped steer Rangers to their first Scottish league title in ten years, Gerrard told the Robbie Fowler Podcast just how much Beale was involved in getting the best of the players at Ibrox, with the London-born coach taking most of their training sessions.

“I haven’t had the luxury of retiring early from the game or not being a player, in terms of having that pitch time to really become a coach for the past 20 years like a Brendan Rodgers, a [Jose] Mourinho or a Michael Beale,” said the former England star.

“It would take me 15/20 years to become as good as Michael Beale as an on-pitch coach, delivering sessions on a daily basis – so I let Mick be Mick Beale, because he’s the expert.”

Ex-Gers striker Kyle Lafferty described Gerrard’s assistant as being ‘the brains’ behind their side’s tactics.

Meanwhile, former Rangers star Jermain Defoe also echoed Gerrard’s praise of Beale, dubbing the coach a ‘genius’.

“He’s impressed me in a big way,” explained Defoe on the Beautiful Game podcast.

“When I sat down and spoke to Stevie before I signed, he said ‘you might know Mick Beale, he is proper’. The way I see it is, in terms of tactics and stuff like that, he is up there.

“I’ve worked with some top managers and top coaches and he is up there.

“His attention to detail and how he puts his points across for people to understand.”

“When Alfredo [Morelos] got suspended, Mick came to me and said, ‘JD, I’m going to tweak the system so it’s better for you’.

“He said, ‘I’m going to bring in two number tens in the middle so they’re close to you, so it’s easier for you’.

“We’ve not looked back, it’s unbelievable, the fact he had that idea, and he did that, it’s genius man.”

“The longer I was there I started to realise, Michael Beale, I think he’s the man behind it,” Lafferty said about the coach.

“No disrespect to Steven Gerrard, who I think is an amazing manager… but Michael Beale is behind the scenes and I think he’s the brains behind it. Tactically he’s amazing.

“I think he could step up to be manager, because he’s that good.”

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