Stevie G to Rangers... Really?

So it’s been confirmed that Steven Gerrard will take over as Rangers manager next season on what is being reported as a four year contract but is it really a good idea?

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This is a big risk for both player and club. Rangers have been in the doldrums in recent years after their financial collapse but make no mistake, Rangers are a MASSIVE club. They have a global, fanatical fan base that are badly hurting from recent years and there is a huge weight of expectation on the club to get this latest appointment right.

It’s also not just on the field that the Rangers manager has huge responsibility, it’s off it as well. I lived in Glasgow for many years and while the sectarian problem is not as bad as it once was, it’s still a major issue. You wouldn’t believe the number of orange walks there are around the 12th of July. Huge parts of the city centre are cordoned off and in my experience, it was far from a party atmosphere. It was oppressive and intimidating and that was just as a passer by.

The actions and words of the Rangers and Celtic manager have to be thought through, you can’t just go on an anti-Celtic or Rangers rant in the way Keegan did about Man U or the way various other managers in the Premier League have done over the years, it will likely lead to serious violence within the city.

To that end, you can’t take on Rangers as your first managerial job... Can you?

My initial thought was this will end badly for all parties but the more I think about it, the more I think it may actually benefit Liverpool in the long run. Bear with me on this one...

The gulf between Celtic and Rangers both on the pitch and financially has never been greater and Stevie isn’t going to have tens of millions to spend. What he will have however, is an open door to our academy. The problem with the loan market in the way we traditionally use it is that we send our youngsters out to championship or league one clubs to give them experience of playing men’s football which they get but there is no real way to replicate what it means to play for Liverpool - the demand for success, the 24 hour scrutiny, the huge crowds and expectation of the fans.

Step forward Glasgow Rangers. 55,000 fans every week, global following, constant media scrutiny and you don’t get much more of a pressure game than the Old Firm derby...

Rangers fans won’t expect Stevie to immediately overtake Celtic but they will expect him to make them comfortably ‘best of the rest’ and become more competitive with Celtic and a few choice players from our academy could do that if they aren’t going to get game time with us. The likes of Harry Wilson, Ryan Kent, even Dom Solanke depending on who we sign. They would hugely benefit from a season at a club of Rangers stature and they would already be comfortably as good or better than everyone in the league not at Celtic.

In summary, it’s a huge risk but one that just might work. It’ll give us a much better insight into Stevie’s capabilities as a manager as well in a way being a youth team manager never could. It’s a typically bold move from Gerrard. He could turn out like John Barnes at Celtic but he could also really make a name for himself at a massive club.

All the best Stevie lad, we’ll see you once your loan to Rangers is finished ;-) Walk on lad.
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