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Steven Gerrard should avoid becoming the next Rangers manager

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

Martyn Cooke

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Photo: Getty Images

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 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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Rangers

Rangers must make a statement and refuse to sell Alfredo Morelos

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Photo: Getty Images.

Steven Gerrard’s appointment at Ibrox was a clear statement of intent from Rangers to challenge Celtic’s domestic domination, but now it’s time for the club to follow it up with another one by refusing to give in to pressure to sell young striker Alfredo Morelos.

Turkish outlet Yeni Akit have reported that Champions League side Besiktas are considering a move for the 21-year-old, who ended the season as Rangers’ top scorer with 18 goals.

What is key to the reports is that they say that the Turkish side are not prepared to try to buy him up-front, as sides from China did earlier on this year, but they want to sign the Colombian on loan with a view to a permanent move if he lives up to expectations.

For Rangers, and for Gerrard, it causes a dilemma. In February, Morelos showed that he was prepared to kick up a fuss, demanding a new pay rise amid interest from China, according to the Daily Mail, and any repeat risks destabilising Gerrard’s reign before it has even begun.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The former Liverpool captain lived through similar scenarios with Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez as a player and will find that his new club are in a strong negotiating position given that Morelos got his wish, penning a new three year contract in March.

Morelos is not the ideal striker for Gerrard. There is no denying that Gerrard may wish to look to an experienced partner to help develop his game and fulfill his undoubted potential, cutting out the glaring misses and inconsistencies which see him hit purple patches of form, 14 of his goals coming in two different spells of five and seven games respectively.

That said, Gerrard will see exploiting that potential as one of his biggest challenges and one that he is unlikely to be keen to surrender so early on in his time at the club.

Losing a key man in a deal that has no obvious benefit for the Gers would kill off any optimism surrounding the club following his appointment, whilst the club have the chance to show that they are prepared to gamble on success.

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Rangers target Martin Skrtel certainly has a patchy relationship with Brendan Rodgers

Steven Gerrard wants to bring the Slovakian to Ibrox, where he would face off with former boss in Glasgow.

Mathew Coull

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It looks as though new Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is already looking at some old pals of his to help improve the playing staff at Ibrox. One name who has been mentioned as potential arrival on more than one occasion this week is centre-back Martin Skrtel.

The Slovakian is said to be a target for Rangers, with the Scottish sun suggesting the £4 million target joins Jermain Defoe and Lucas Leiva in an ambitious transfer wishlist from the Liverpool legend.

Obviously, Rangers fans would love to see all three of these Premier League heroes at Ibrox but even just the arrival of Skrtel would be a huge boost. The bullish defender would go a long way toward improving the defence at Rangers – which has been weak most of the current campaign.

(during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers at Anfield on May 2, 2015 in Liverpool, England.

Of course, if Skrtel were to arrive, he would be going up against his former boss in Glasgow. In fact, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and Skrtel have something of a patchy relationship.

In 2013 the Slovakian was quite suddenly dropped by Liverpool, barely getting a kick in the second half of the season. It looked like he was on his way out and he publicly took aim at Rodgers. As quoted by The Telegraph he stated:

“He gave me some explanation (why he was dropped), but it’s hard to tell if it was the true reason he gave me. I don’t think it was and think there is something else behind it…

It all happened after our match with Manchester United in the middle of January,” he said. “We lost 2-1 but I think that particularly in the second half we played very well. Moreover, a lot of sources gave me a good rating. But he [Rodgers] told me we had lost the organisation of play in the defensive line and that this would be the reason why I would not play in the following matches.

“I don’t know which fixtures he spoke about because we had kept a clean sheet twice in a row and won both matches.”

Celtic boss Rodgers is certainly not a popular man at Ibrox, so such views will no doubt be welcomed by the Rangers fans.

(Photo credit should read PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images)

Problem is, Skrtel changed his tune later on. He fought his way back into the reckoning under Rodgers at Liverpool. The following season was perhaps his best yet in a Liverpool shirt. When asked about Rodgers last year, when Slovakia took on Scotland, he had this to say:

“Brendan is a great manager. I played with him for two to three seasons at Liverpool. I am not surprised he is doing a great job there,” as quoted by The Daily Record (printed edition; 7th October – page 61).

Rangers fans will certainly not disagree that Rodgers has done a great job at their bitter Old Firm rivals.

But if Skrtel arrives the hope will be that the Slovakian puts all past sentiment for his former boss way in the back of his mind.

They want to see the ruthless and brutal Skrtel who first caught the eye in the Premier League at Anfield. If they can get that, then Rangers are on to a winner and Rodgers may wish he was not having so many Glasgow reunions.

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Steven Gerrard should try and lure star of his under-18 side to Rangers

Rangers’ new manager Steven Gerrard knows all about the talent at Liverpool and should bring one of their best to Ibrox this summer.

Mathew Coull

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Back in March, a feature from The Sun was entitled ‘Liverpool wonderkid Curtis Jones is the ‘next Steven Gerrard’ with big hair and even bigger potential.’ Such a comment is, of course, sensational, considering the impact Gerrard had at Anfield.

But in the 17-year-old Toxteth teen, Liverpool certainly have a potential successor to the throne.

The original Steven Gerrard has of course recently taken his first step into management, by taking over the vacancy at Rangers.

So should he try and lure Jones to Ibrox this summer?

Gerrard needs to bring in improvements around the squad if Rangers are to challenge Celtic at all next season. Jones could be exactly the sort of player that is needed to help Rangers get closer to their Glasgow rivals.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The link between the pair is not just in the teenager’s potential. In fact, Jones played under Gerrard for the under-18 side at Liverpool last season. Jones was one of the stars of the UEFA Youth League, scoring four goals as Liverpool’s youngsters made it to the quarter-finals.

His brand of goal-getting midfield dynamism would be a massive tool for Rangers next season and, with Gerrard at the helm, Liverpool would surely be happy to let their prized talent head to Scotland this summer.

With Gerrard’s arrival, Rangers find themselves in a unique position when it comes to the teenager. This summer plenty of teams will want the player on loan, after his incredible campaign with the Under-18s.

In all competitions, he has scored 15 goals in 29 games this season from the centre of the park and Rangers would be the perfect place to hone his craft.   

Gerrard would be making a wise move if he returned to his old club and brought his star player to Rangers in the summer. It could be the sleeper signing that helps Rangers get closer to their rivals next season.

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