In what must surely be a blow to Villa’s continuity and stability behind the scenes, it has been confirmed that Michael Beale has left the club.
Beale departs Villa Park to take up the management position at Championship side QPR with immediate effect. Rumours had swirled in recent days with it widely reported that Gerrard’s assistant had been shortlisted for the Loftus Road role, with late interest also shown by Blackburn Rovers.
The 41 year old is extremely highly rated in the same after successful stints at Chelsea, Liverpool and Rangers, and must be considered a big loss at Villa Park. Villa’s hierarchy will no doubt be keen now to avoid a repeat of the unsettling caused within the club such as when John Terry exited during pre-season last year.
Whilst a shortlist of candidates are yet to emerge, Steven Gerrard must now move to identify and appoint a suitable replacement as we look to improve upon a 14th place finish. The Villa boss only recently spoke highly of Beale, and has frequently cited the high quality of his training sessions, suggesting Beale will represent tricky shoes to fill:
“It’s no surprise that he’s linked with another club – I think that’s been the case since I’ve known Mick. He’s very highly thought of in the world of football, so I’m not surprised. He’s a top coach and I really enjoy working with him. I always have done and I’m very keen for him to share this journey as well.”Steven gerrard (aston villa manager) on michael beale
Villa were reportedly aware of Beale’s intentions to move into management when he was appointed in late 2021, arriving alongside Gerrard and McCallister from then Scottish Champions Rangers. Beale, was also cited by Emi Martinez for his “excellent knowledge” and unusually for being the “talker” in the partnership, rather than the manager.
Charlton Athletic has previously held talks with Villa’s assistant manager and the prompt move on, after barely 6 months in B6, seems to have always been a case of when rather than if.
Social media rumours that Xabi Alonso, Gerrard’s former Liverpool team-mate, will arrive as a swift replacement are understood to be wide of the mark.