Few people could have predicted just how quickly Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard would take to senior football management. Plenty of eyebrows in Glasgow and beyond were raised when Gerrard was given the Rangers job despite having no previous experience. Fans were worried that he’d been given the position on the strength of his name alone and wasn’t the right man to close the gap on Celtic. They couldn’t have been more wrong. After a spectacular undefeated season in the league and a first league title in a decade, Gerrard has proven himself to be an exciting young coach. Rangers fans love him. The problem for them is that he’s also loved and wanted elsewhere.
It’s obvious to everybody that Gerrard would like to be Liverpool manager one day. When he took the Rangers job, there was a feeling that he was biding his time and staying out of Liverpool’s way until current manager Jurgen Klopp decides to step aside, after which he’d be the first name in the picture so long as he performs well in Scotland. If that’s true, he has two problems. The first is that Klopp probably isn’t stepping aside any time soon. The second is that he’s achieved more at Rangers than he probably expected to, and he might risk looking unambitious if he doesn’t go on to seek sterner tests elsewhere.
Even for those who love Scottish football passionately, it’s impossible to argue that the league isn’t weak compared to the competitions that Gerrard could be managing clubs in. That’s the reason Brendan Rodgers traded Celtic for Leicester City. He might have won the treble with Celtic, but it seems like his recent FA Cup win with Leicester meant more to him. There are limits to how much you can achieve in Scotland. If you win the league with either of the Glasgow clubs, all you’ve really done is the minimum that fans expected of you. Winning a European competition is probably impossible and will remain impossible until something is done to plug the financial gap between Scotland and the biggest leagues in Europe. The best Gerrard can do with Rangers from this point on is replicate the success that he’s already had. If he doesn’t, he’ll look like he’s going backwards.
The question of how long Gerrard will stay at Ibrox will become ever more pertinent now that he’s a title winner. Every time a significant job opens up in the Premier League, newspapers and pundits will mention Gerrard’s name. Even now, he’s being linked with the Everton job. John Barnes has told him he should go for it, as has his friend and former teammate Jamie Carragher. Even Rangers legend Ally McCoist thinks it’s possible, although he doesn’t think it’s likely. Gerrard may or may not have supported Everton as a child depending on who you believe, but he’ll know that taking the Everton position means he can never be Liverpool manager. He’s unlikely to take that risk even if the role is offered to him. If it’s not Everton, though, another position will open up soon. There have been rumours that Spurs might be interested, although that seems like a long shot. Leicester would be a good bet if Rodgers were to move on elsewhere. If Newcastle United finally get new owners, Gerrard would probably be close to the top of their managerial shopping list.
Only Gerrard knows whether he’s already considering saying goodbye to Rangers. He’s probably looking forward to testing himself in the Champions League, and he’ll be aware that leaving would be a risk. There are no rewards without risks, though. This is a question every player asks themselves when they’ve had a small win playing online slots. Is it better for them to walk away, or should they re-invest their winnings in the hope that their online slots game of choice is close to paying out the jackpot? They’ll never find out if they don’t push on, and that’s what keeps so many players spinning the reels at Rose Slots NZ. The flipside of the argument is that choosing to take risks when you’ve already won is why online slots websites tend to make more money than their customers. This is a difficult problem for Gerrard to weigh up – which is why we don’t think he’ll make any rash decisions this summer.
It would probably take a spectacular opportunity for Gerrard to leave Rangers before the end of the 2021-2022 season. We could see it happening if, for some reason, Klopp suddenly left Liverpool. Aside from that, we think the Englishman is good for at least another season in Scotland. He’s proved a lot, but the competitor in him will also want to prove that he can take Rangers further in Europe than his predecessors. He wouldn’t want to sully his chances of getting his dream job at Anfield by taking a role with one of the club’s rivals, so that rules out Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea. He might be tempted by Arsenal if Mikel Arteta doesn’t improve things considerably during the first half of next season, but even then, we think he’d probably hang on. He won’t stay at Rangers forever – and nor do fans have any right to expect him to – but he’ll give them at least another year. Hopefully, it will be every bit as successful as the year they’ve just had.
We suppose what this amounts to is that Rangers fans should enjoy Steven Gerrard while they’ve got him. It’s been a very long time since the club has had a coach who would be considered hot property by English Premier League teams, and an even longer time since they’ve been able to crow about success to their neighbours. The good times are here for now, and they should be enjoyed to their fullest. We’ll probably look back in years to come as the start of the great Rangers revival and thank Gerrard for laying the foundations. By that time, he might also have gone on to be a managerial legend elsewhere.