The Liverpool lad’s heading to Glasgow to take on his old boss Brandan Rodgers in one of the fiercest rivalries in football. We talked to former Rangers, Everton and Scotland goal machine Andy Gray about the prospect to the first-time manager in the Old Firm cauldron.
“Steven Gerrard has a huge job on his hands taking over at Rangers in his first management role. As a life-long Rangers fan and former Rangers player, I know what’s expected from the boss at Ibrox, but I also know it’s an fantastic job to have.
“This is his first run as a head-coach, but he will learn so much managing here. He’ll have to cope with so much he would never see anywhere else.
“Glasgow is a unique place to coach when you’re in charge of one of the big two. Steven will learn a lot about himself as a coach and manager there. It will be a great grounding for him in the management game, and it’ll help make him a better coach.
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“It’s also good to see him bring Gary McAllister in with him. Gary knows the Scottish Premier League very well indeed, and that will help Steven enormously when he takes up the role.”
“Just as a fan as well I’m really excited. It’s been quite a few years since I was looking forward to the beginning of a season so much, but now I cannot wait for August. Steven will have had a summer to get some of his players in. Gary and himself will have had a chance to work with the boys over the preseason as well, so it’ll be great to see what they can put together for the new season.
And I’m also really excited for Steven personally, for him to get to Rangers and see what a huge job it is, but also what a great job can be.”
Even as an Evertonian, I’m delighted to see him at Rangers.
“And, even as an Evertonian, I’m delighted. For me Steven Gerrard is football legend, not just a Liverpool legend. Gary McAllister played for Liverpool as well, and he’s a good friend of mine and a good coach, so the fact they played for Liverpool wouldn’t bother me one bit when they take charge of Rangers.
“I hope they can bring a fraction of the success to Rangers off the pitch that they both enjoyed on the pitch. If they can, Rangers fans won’t be disappointed.
“It’s also a real boost for Scottish football as it should make the league more interesting.”
“Of course, there’s a big gap between Rangers and Celtic at the moment, but I don’t think it’s insurmountable.
“Could they do it in one season? It’s possible. They were 39 points behind Celtic a few years ago. Last week, before the Old Firm derby, they were within ten points. Had they won, the gap would’ve been seven, so Rangers have made some progress, and Celtic haven’t been as good this year either, so there’s a glimmer of hope there.
“It should be good for Celtic too. If there was any chance of them taking their eye of the ball, there’ll be none now. This will focus Brendan Rodgers and his team.”
“Brendan knows Steven very well from his Liverpool days, and this will give him and his players another, bigger challenge next season.
“Can Rangers close the gap in 12 months? It’s possible. They can defintely push it close though if Steven gets the right players in, and it’s not inconceivable they could pip Celtic if they drop off.
“I’d tend to think it will take longer than that to turn things around, but if the opportunity comes along next season I know Steven and Gary will grab it.”Head over to PaddyPower.com for the latest football odds from across Europe’s top leagues