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Danny Murphy believes Steven Gerrard chose to join Al Ettifaq in order to improve his qualities as a coach.

The Liverpool legend’s appointment at the Saudi Arabian club was confirmed yesterday despite previously rejecting a move.

Simon Jordan was very critical of Gerrard’s decision to go to Al Ettifaq, suggesting it’s a decision based on money and it leaves his reputation ‘in the toilet’.

But Gerrard’s former teammate, Murphy, has defended the Liverpool legend.

“I spoke to him briefly when he was deciding the first time a few weeks ago,” Murphy revealed on Drive. “He refused the job a couple of weeks ago…

“It’s ludicrous in some ways to talk about it but he was wanting a football project that he knew he could have some sort of benefit from and actually learn something and actually improve his coaching and get back to work if you like.

“When he turned it down my instinct was that he’s gone, ‘There’s an opportunity over here’, which he thinks is going to be better for his long-term managerial career, which would make sense, forget finances.

“Because obviously, if you were to do a great job in the Championship for example and get a promotion, that’s going to go on your CV. Whereas if you do well out in Saudi, it’s kind of like [it doesn’t mean anything], and if you do badly it doesn’t really mean anything.

“So, maybe that opportunity didn’t materialise, maybe they did just throw more money at it. My understanding of Steven generally is that he wants to succeed in everything he does and although we’re all tempted by extra dough, he’s got plenty of dough.”


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