Trevor Steven: Gerrard to Rangers is gamble worth taking
Rangers are in urgent need of a concerted effort to bridge the massive gulf between them and Celtic, who clinched a seventh successive Scottish Premiership title by thrashing their rivals 5-0 on Sunday.
Allowing Celtic to equal the league record of nine titles in a row or, worse still, make it 10, is unthinkable. For too long they have existed under a huge shadow looming from the East End of Glasgow to the West End; they now need an inspirational figure to light up Ibrox again.
Steven Gerrard could be that man. The former Liverpool and England captain is the favourite to succeed Graeme Murty, who left the club on Monday, and take his first steps in senior management.
Gerrard would make Rangers big news again. Suddenly there would be worldwide attention and that brings more money into the club. I think 99 per cent of supporters would love him to be appointed and as an ex-player Im in favour too.
He has great contacts in the game, so he should be able to attract a better calibre of player, which is desperately needed, and a strong backroom team of coaches.
He has also learned from and worked very closely with some of the very best managers over the years, including Kenny Dalglish, Jurgen Klopp and Brendan Rodgers – now his potential adversary at Celtic.
Gerrard is inexperienced, of course, and must still work out his style of management: how he treats the dressing room, what sort of training sessions he uses, even matchday routines. Its all a jigsaw and the best managers have completed it; hes still got to put the pieces together.
And great players dont always make great managers. John Barnes made a similar move north of the border and it didnt work out for him at Celtic. Time has shown that maybe coaching wasnt for John, though, while Gerrard has been pursuing it behind the scenes for some time.
I can see why Rangers would appeal to Gerrard too. He would probably have to start in the Championship if he stayed in England, and thats a very difficult division to get out of which seems to favour managers who know it well.
If he can cut the gap to Celtic next season and challenge them for the title the year after then hell be seen to have done a good job. As Rodgers has shown, success in Scotland can lead to being linked with top jobs such as Arsenal and Chelsea.
And if it doesnt work out Gerrard can probably put it down to a lack of experience, go back to Liverpool, resume coaching and wait for another chance.
Its a gamble for both sides. A lot will hinge on the quality of player and coach that Gerrard can bring in, but if he has assurances from the board that resources are there to improve the club on that level then I think its a gamble worth taking.