Rangers set to announce appointment of Steven Gerrard as manager

The Liverpool and England legend has verbally accepted the post following fresh talks with the Ibrox hierarchy.

And, barring a late hitch, Rangers expect to confirm the 37-year-old as the permanent successor to Pedro Caixinha after sources acknowledged an agreement was ‘very close’.

Currently the coach of Liverpool’s Under 18 team, Gerrard could be unveiled to the media on Friday or early next week, with former Scotland captain Gary McAllister and Liverpool academy coach Tom Culshaw expected to form his backroom team.

And Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes believes the stunning capture for the Ibrox club will be box-office gold for Scottish football.

McInnes was the first choice to replace the sacked Caixinha in December before staying put at Pittodrie.

And the 46-year-old is in no doubt the hype surrounding Gerrard arrival will boost Scottish football’s profile.

‘Someone like Steven Gerrard coming into Scotland can only enhance the spotlight on the Scottish league,’ he said.

‘Certainly Steven, if he was to come into it, on the back of his playing career, would be a box-office name.

‘It would be another high-profile name coming into the game if it happens. He is a global name and someone who has had a fantastic career.

‘He was arguably the best midfielder around for a while and a leader of Liverpool and the England national team.

‘We have a lot of good managers operating here at the minute. Steven would only add to that. There’s a lot good about our game but we’re too quick to criticise and look at the deficiencies.

‘As a country we look at our neighbours in England who have the richest league in the world on our doorstep and sometimes the comparisons are unfair.

‘The game is not perfect up here but there are a lot of positive stories going on at the minute and a lot of good work is done.

‘We’ve always been very competitive and arguably our league has been more exciting than the Premier League in England this season. This season has probably been the best for drama and excitement for a long time.’

Hibs counterpart Neil Lennon, however, questioned Gerrard’s decision to leave Liverpool for the Rangers cauldron and is baffled by the idea that his status as a star player guarantees him success in a completely new environment.

‘People are citing the example of Pep Guardiola,’ Lennon said. ‘Well, yeah, but Pep was at Barcelona for years and years and years.

‘Zinedine Zidane was at Real Madrid for years and years and years.

‘That’s why they are successful, that’s why the big clubs give these guys the job – because there is a trust there, an understanding of the club.

‘Rangers tried a guy from outside Scottish football in Pedro Caixinha, then they tried a guy with no managerial experience – and now they’re looking to do that again.’

Lennon famously took his first managerial job in trying circumstances, stepping up from the Celtic Park boot room to succeed Tony Mowbray.

Pointing out that he’d been at the club for ten years, including time spent coaching the first team, he asked: ‘Would Steven not be better off staying at Liverpool?

‘He’s been there all his life, he knows the club, he knows the surroundings, the culture. He is cutting his teeth at development level.

‘Any manager with decent experience could turn it around at Rangers very, very quickly. Because it can’t get any worse. It can’t.

‘If the remit is to finish second next season, with the budget and the support that they’ve had this season, that’s fair.

‘They should have been out of sight in second this season, with the money they’ve been able to spend in comparison to ourselves and Aberdeen. So I don’t think it’s that insurmountable in that aspect.’

Asked what the arrival of Gerrard would do for the Scottish game, Lennon said: ‘All it will do will create a bit more interest. There will be a lot of hype around it.

‘But it’s just noise. Ultimately you have to get down to work. If he does take the job on, he’s got to get results.’

Lennon has also been left unimpressed by the most recent soap opera episode at Ibrox which saw Graeme Murty lose his job.

‘It’s scandalous the way he’s been treated,’ he said. ‘That’s just my opinion but he’s been hung out on his own.

‘I’ve been in that sort of position myself at Bolton when there is no leadership or structure.

‘There is a structure at Rangers but there seems to be a lack of real genuine support.

‘When it really got tough a lot of people turned their back on him, which I found unpalatable.

‘I’ve spoken to him this week to offer my support. At the end of the day Graeme is a human being. People forget that.

‘It was a very difficult position he was put in and even an experienced guy would find that situation very difficult.

‘So I just rang him for a few words of encouragement and to wish him well in whatever he decides to do.’

Copyright Declaration

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *