Steven Gerrard told Rangers "would fit Aston Villa in their back pocket"
"Rangers would fit Aston Villa in their back pocket."
Celtic legend John Hartson has claimed that leaving Rangers for Aston Villa is a step-down for Steven Gerrard.
Despite there being a general consensus that the Premier League is a more competitive league than the Scottish Premiership, Hartson - who played for Rangers' rivals Celtic between 2001 and 2006 - believes that Gerrard should've stayed at Rangers as they "would fit Aston Villa in their back pocket."
Prior to the 41-year-old's appointment, Hartson said: "People down south [in England] are saying that Aston Villa is a bigger club than Rangers.
"Rangers would fit Aston Villa in their back pocket. No disrespect. Aston Villa have won a European Cup, but Rangers and Celtic are massive clubs.
"I don't go anywhere in the world without bumping into a Celtic fan. Nowhere. Rangers are the same."
John Hartson on Steven Gerrard leaving Rangers for Aston Villa 🗣️
“They’re saying Aston Villa is a bigger club than Rangers. Rangers would fit Aston Villa in their back pocket." pic.twitter.com/s5JFklCTNK
— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) November 11, 2021
Rangers are undoubtedly one of the best supported clubs in Britain, and boast an impressive trophy cabinet having won 55 league titles, 33 Scottish Cups and 27 Scottish League Cups.
However, the Premier League is widely regarded as a step up from the Scottish Premiership and although Villa haven't won a major trophy since 1996, they have previously lifted the European Cup and are one of the most successful clubs in England.
The Rangers job was Gerrard's first in management, with the Glasgow club taking somewhat of a gamble on the inexperienced coach.
Considering this, Hartson told the Daily Mail that he believes that the Englishman should've shown Rangers some loyalty.
He said: "I genuinely felt he would have stayed at Rangers. I'm not saying Steven hasn't got integrity and morals. I think he's a man of integrity and morals and loyalty.
"He won the biggest title possibly that Rangers needed to win over the last ten or 15 years, which was stopping Celtic.
"I just thought he would have shown a bit of loyalty to Rangers having given him that chance."
Gerrard leaves the Ibrox after three-and-a-half-years in charge, guiding Rangers to their first title in a decade and the last 16 of the Europa League last term.
He arrives at Villa Park with the Midlands club in 16th position - just two points off the relegation zone.
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