Steven Gerrard’s Poor Start As Al Ettifaq Manager Continues After Third Straight Winless Match

Steven Gerrard’s Poor Start As Al Ettifaq Manager Continues After Third Straight Winless Match

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at July 25, 2023 at 11:24 AM
  • Steven Gerrard's wait for his first win as Al-Ettifaq manager continues after they lost their latest friendly
  • The Englishman's Saudi Pro League team lost their opening pre-season match and drew the second game
  • Gerrard was hired earlier this month and is looking to get his team ready ahead of the new league season

Steven Gerrard's managerial stint with Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia has started on the wrong foot. His team's winless run continued for the third straight match after suffering defeat against Lokomotiva Zagreb in a friendly clash in Croatia.

Gerrard was hired as Al-Ettifaq's manager earlier this month but was seen struggling with the language barrier in training with the team.

Steven Gerrard, Al Ettifaq, Saudi Pro League, Saudi Arabia
Steven Gerrard coached Rangers and Aston Villa before moving to Saudi Arabia. Photos by Al Ettifaq.
Source: Instagram

Al-Ettifaq lost to Lokomotiva Zagreb 1-0 and conceded the goal after just eight minutes, with 21-year-old Blaz Boskovic firing the Croatian side into the lead.

This result comes after they lost 2-1 against another Croatian outfit, Varazdin, in Gerrard's opening match and a 1-1 draw against Hungarian side, Zalaegerszegi.

The 43-year-old is hoping Al Ettifaq can find some rhythm ahead of the Saudi Pro League that starts next month. They open the league campaign with a huge game against Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr on August 14.

The club reportedly is close to securing the signature of Liverpool midfielder, Jordan Henderson. They have also been linked with other players from Europe's top leagues, per the Athletic.

Gerrard speaks Arabic in introduction

After the confirmation of his appointment earlier this month, Gerrard attempted to speak Arabic in his introductory video for Al-Ettifaq fans on social media.

In the selfie video, he sent a statement to the club's fans, with his message translated as follows: "I am Steven Gerrard. I am an Ettifaqi. See you soon."

The video was met with hilarious reactions from football fans who made fun of his Scouse accent, which was clearly audible in his welcome to the Saudi club.

Gerrard struggles with language barrier

Sports Brief earlier reported on Gerrard struggling with the language barrier in training with Al Ettifaq. In the video on Twitter, the former Rangers boss places the ball on the ground before asking, “Who wants it? Do you want it? Tell me then!”

After his player failed to respond to the Englishman's instructions, he can be heard saying, 'No communication'. It is clear the ex-Aston Villa coach will need time to adjust to the demands of the league if he is to keep his job and guide his team.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.