Steven Gerrard was unsurprised by Real Madrid's decision to sack Rafael Benitez. The 35-year-old midfielder is a fan of the Spaniard's coaching methods, having worked with him at Liverpool, but has admitted Benitez's abrupt departure from the Bernabeu earlier this month did not shock him at all.

Gerrard, who won the Champions League and FA Cup under Benitez's guidance, thinks Real should have given his former manager a season to put his own imprint on the club. However, he said the Spanish giants have a hire-and-fire culture that does not give coaches time.

"I'm not surprised, [from] what I've seen and heard from the players," Gerrard said, according to ESPN. "Rafa's a fantastic coach, so I'm surprised that Madrid let him go so early. I'm a big fan of Rafa's tactically, and what he does as a coach.

"I thought they would have at least given him the season. But I'm not surprised because Real Madrid change their coaches so often anyway."

Despite Benitez's sacking at the Bernabeu, the former Liverpool captain said he can see the Spaniard managing another big club in the near future. "Historically, they change the managers more than most clubs. That was no surprise. But I'm sure Rafa will get another big job. He's got a fantastic CV, wherever he goes he usually brings success. I'm sure a lot of clubs have got their eye on Rafa.

"He's managed big clubs before and been successful," Gerrard said. "He's managed Valencia, Liverpool, Chelsea and brought them trophies. I think he is suited to big jobs."