Steven Gerrard has been highly critical of his Aston Villa players after five games without a win.

“The players in the building have to help me fix it now. If not, we will get players in who will help me fix it.”

Gerrard’s statement feels as if it is from a different generation of manager.

It suggests that the performance of his players is not his responsibility.

On the other hand, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have taken a much different approach to management.

Klopp and Guardiola never throw their players under the bus in such a way.

Two coaches that Gerrard will one day hope are his peers.

A notable example was Klopp’s consistent defence of Alberto Moreno.

Especially after Liverpool threw away a 3-0 lead against Sevilla in November 2017.

Moreno took the brunt of the blame for a calamitous defensive performance.

Yet, Klopp defended him and even after he was dropped told Moreno he trusted him.

But, this was not Moreno’s first instance of being perceived as a defensive liability.

Even if Klopp did not trust Moreno, the Spanish left-back always felt Klopp believed in him which is an important thing for players.

This is an important distinction between Gerrard’s and Klopp’s styles of management.

It also highlights why Klopp has been successful at Liverpool.

However, different managerial styles do work.

Antonio Conte is known for being antagonistic towards his players post-game.

Conte often switches between massive highs and depressive lows.

However, there is a difference.

Conte has won five league titles in seven years of management between England and Italy.

Gerrard has won one Scottish league title.

While Gerrard has succeeded at Rangers, he is yet to prove his methods work at Premier League level.

For Gerrard to be successful he will have to often use the players at his disposal.

Threatening to replace players after a bad result is not a long term solution.

His comments will show players he does not value them.

Both styles can work.

Managers can be critical of their players and still be successful.

However, there does need to be a balance.

Conte is an extreme example, going between high praise and suggesting the situation is hopeless.

Again, Conte has five league titles to his name.

Aston Villa have six games left in the season, which makes a statement like this interesting.

This could seriously derail the rest of their season as players could down tools.

On the other hand, it could work.

Villa could improve dramatically and have a good end to the season.

However, Gerrard will have to be more careful in how he deals with players.

The modern player has a different view of how they want to be treated by managers.

Gerrard comes from a different generation but it will be essential he keeps up.

(Featured image – Steven_Gerrard – by Eddie Janssens)