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Steven Gerrard should avoid becoming the next Rangers manager

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Rangers

Steven Gerrard should avoid becoming the next Rangers manager

The former Liverpool legend has been linked with the vacant Rangers managerial role.

On Tuesday evening Steven Gerrard confirmed for the first time that he had held tentative discussions with Glasgow Rangers regarding becoming their next manager.

Speaking whilst acting as a pundit for BT Sport the 37-year-old admitted that there were ‘truth in the rumours’ and that he intended to continue talks in the coming days.

The former Liverpool and England captain has been working as an academy coach at Anfield since retiring in 2016 and has been undertaking his coaching qualifications whilst also taking up a punditry position with BT Sport.

It is clear that Gerrard is looking to progress into management but is Rangers the right club at the right time? The logical conclusion would be no.

Whilst Rangers remain one of the most prominent clubs in Scottish football, underpinned by a prestigious history and a global fan base, in truth they are currently in a state of chaos.

At boardroom level, the club have a dysfunctional hierarchy that is exemplified by an absentee chairman who has been consistently drawn into disputes with the potential takeover panel. The current board have limited, if any, support from the fan base and financially the Gers are being kept afloat by directors loans.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

On the pitch, things are not much better.

The appointment and subsequent dismissal of Pedro Caixinha was nothing short of a disaster and the Portuguese coach will be forever remembered for standing in a bush arguing with supporters following the club’s early exit from the Europa League in the summer.

Rangers failed to appoint a permanent replacement, instead opting to hand the role on an interim basis to Graham Murty who resigned at the start of the week.

His successor, another interim manager, is Jimmy Nicholl who’s previous managerial experience includes leading Cowdenbeath towards relegation from the second tier of Scottish football.

To make matters worse, two of the most senior figures in the squad, Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace, are currently suspended after an incident in the dressing room following Rangers’ exit from the Scottish Cup last month.

Furthermore, Rangers are currently a world away from being able to challenge for the title.

Brendan Rodgers has ushered in a new era of dominance at Glasgow Celtic and the club is on track to secure back-to-back trebles.

The gulf in class between Rangers and their cross-city rivals was demonstrated by two successive heavy defeats in two weeks in which they conceded nine goals and scored none.

To say that Rangers are not a stable club or moving in the right direction would be an understatement.

With that in mind, it is unclear exactly why Gerrard would be seriously considering the role. Faced with chaos at boardroom level, a squad of limited quality and a dominant Celtic team – it is difficult to see what the appeal would be.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Maybe Gerrard has an unwavering confidence in his own ability and believes that he is the man to turn the club’s fortunes around, but he would be starting his managerial career with nothing to win and everything to lose.

A poor start to life at Ibrox would ultimately result in his reputation taking something of a beating.

It is equally confusing as to why the Rangers hierarchy are willing to offer him the role.

The club desperately needs a manager with experience and prestige who has proven capable of working in a dysfunctional environment with limited resources. It seems illogical to gamble on a prestigious player who has no previous managerial experience.

It would represent a monumental gamble for both Gerrard and Rangers and, on the surface at least, there would appear to be little mutual benefit.

Rangers need to avoid the allure of handing the managers job to a star name and should focus instead on locating an experienced figure who can begin a gradual rebuilding process.

For Gerrard, if he wishes to step into a management then he needs to ensure that he picks the right club, one where he will be given time to develop and discover success, otherwise his managerial career may be over before it begins.

Martyn Cooke

Martyn is currently a PTA and Research Assistant in the Department of Exercise Science at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). In addition to his teaching role he is also undertaking a PhD in Sports History that is exploring the origins and development of football in Staffordshire. Prior to working at MMU, Martyn spent a decade operating in the sport and leisure industry in a variety of roles including as a Sports Development Officers, PE Teacher, Football Coach and Operation Manager.

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