For Steven Gerrard, Glasgow has been home for a year. For his family, though, Merseyside (Formby to be precise) is home.
This sort of arrangement isn’t entirely unusual in football management. Gordon Strachan, for instance, spent four years as Scotland boss while travelling back and forth over the border. Jose Mourinho called the Lowry Hotel home for the entirety of his tenure as Manchester United manager.
Gerrard’s arrangement, however, underlines the inherent, almost spiritual connection the Rangers coach feels to Liverpool.
Indeed, the suspicion over his move to Govan in the first place is that the decision to take over at Ibrox was made in the hope it would one day carry him back to Anfield as manager of the team he loves more than any other.
The 39-year-old did just enough in his first year in senior management to suggest the notion of him one day taking over at Liverpool isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. But, Gerrard might already find himself at something of a career crossroads with Derby County and Newcastle United both reportedly placing him on a managerial shortlist.
These reports, which claim Derby would be willing to offer the Rangers manager a staggering £2.5 million-a-year salary and a Premier League promotion bonus of £8m, have already been swiftly dismissed by Gerrard. “I’m really not money motivated,” he said from Rangers’ pre-season camp in the Algarve. “So money wouldn’t come into when I make decisions. I made one to come here and manage this club and I’m really happy here.
“I enjoyed the first year and my focus now is trying to take this team to the next level this season. That’s my focus at the moment. Nothing has changed in my mind. I came here very ambitious and hungry. Along with my staff, we’re proud and pleased with the progress so far. But we realise that to finish off a job like this, you have to bring success. Our ambitions and focus hasn’t changed.”
What if Derby and Newcastle can offer more than just money to Gerrard, though?
If the Liverpool job is the ultimate objective that motivates the former midfielder then surely, he must consider that a move down south, either to Pride Park or St James’ Park, would take him closer to one day taking over at Anfield.
Frank Lampard career trajectory presents Gerrard with a precedent to potentially follow.
Gerrard’s former England teammate didn’t even win promotion from the Championship in his one and only season with the Rams, yet that was enough to convince Chelsea that Lampard should replace Maurizio Sarri as their manager.
Liverpool could feasibly do the same with Gerrard once Jurgen Klopp leaves.
Scottish football, in general, is starting to find some newfound respect down south in part thanks to the success of players like Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Ryan Fraser.
Nonetheless, many in England still look at the Scottish game with disdain. In their eyes, no level of success at Rangers would be enough to qualify Gerrard for the Liverpool job, at least not on the basis of his managerial record alone.
It’s difficult to envisage that Gerrard will make the direct jump from Rangers straight to Liverpool.
He will, most likely, need a stepping stone in between and this is where one of Derby or Newcastle could prove rather attractive.
Both, particularly Newcastle, have their drawbacks right now and neither club can match the size and stature of Rangers, but before dismissing their interest Gerrard must ask himself what he wants out of his managerial career and whether these offers could help him get there.