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Strict Steven Gerrard BANNED ketchup at Aston Villa but following Antonio Conte’s lead didn’t pan out for Liverpool icon

STEVEN GERRARD banned ketchup from the canteen in one of his first actions as Aston Villa boss.

Gerrard took over from the sacked Dean Smith in November 2021 and quickly set about introducing new rules at the club.

Steven Gerrard banned ketchup from the canteen at Aston Villa
Gerrard was sacked by Villa after just under a year in charge

In his first press conference as boss the 42-year-old revealed the Aston Villa players had no time for treats, and would not be afforded the luxury of dunking their chips into ketchup.

Gerrard laughed: “It was banned before I had seen it!

“The players have to have the right mentality. Go above and beyond. They need to strive to be elite.”

He followed in the footsteps of Antonio Conte who immediately banned ketchup and mayonnaise at Tottenham in order to help his stars shed some weight.

But it did not have the desired effect as Villa picked up just 18 wins in 40 games under Stevie G – who was sacked on Thursday following the 3-0 defeat to Fulham.

Upon joining the Villans, Gerrard said he spoke to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp about his emotional return to Anfield.

The Liverpool legend was promised a famous Klopp bear hug when he lined up in the Anfield dugout – on the away team’s bench – which he received on December 11, when the Reds ran out 1-0 winners.

Before the game, Gerrard said last year: “I’ve been in touch with Klopp since day one. We live in the same area and I bump into him when he’s walking his dogs. He is a great coach and I hope he stays for a long time.

“He sent me a message saying he was looking forward to a big hug on the side on December 11 and it’s something for me to look forward to as well.”

Gerrard was unable to replicate his success with Rangers at Villa Park and was hounded out by disgruntled fans at Craven Cottage.

Five members of his staff have followed him out of the club, with Villa now searching for a new manager.

Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino are believed to have turned down the job but there are four other coaches on their wishlist, including Thomas Frank.

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