Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard has revealed he leaves Anfield to take up his first managerial job with Rangers on June 1st with the “blessing” of the club and supporters – but admitted that he could not pass up the “huge opportunity to manage the Ibrox giants.
Gerrard was confirmed as the next Gers manager last week on a four-year contract after a spell in charge of Liverpool’s Under-18s following his retirement as a player.
The 37-year-old will be joined at Ibrox by former Anfield team-mate Gary McAllister as he tries to end Celtic’s recent dominance of the Scottish game – and revealed his “excitement” at the challenge facing him in Glasgow.
“It’s excitement in terms of the challenge that lies ahead, and the opportunity for me to progress as a manager – which is what I want to do for many, many years,” Gerrard told Liverpool’s official website.
“I go this time with the supporters’ blessing and everyone within the club’s blessing because they see the opportunity, they see the size of Glasgow Rangers and how difficult it would have been where I was to turn down.
“I’ve had a magnificent time at the Academy. I’ve been supported by fantastic coaches who have helped me grow and educated me in terms of getting used to being on the pitch on a daily basis.
“But when Glasgow Rangers come knocking and you’re the youth-team coach, it’s a huge opportunity. I’m going with the club’s support and the club’s backing – and I’m really excited to get started.”
Football Insider verdict:
The Liverpool icon has spoken really well on the few occasions that he has discussed the Gers role. Gerrard is not stupid and will be acutely aware just how big a job awaits him on Glasgow. He will also be under no illusions just how much work is needed to turn the Gers around. While he’s away doing promotional work for Liverpool in Asia, it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall with Gerrard and McAllister both currently away representing the Anfield giants. If Gerrard comes up to Scotland and stops Celtic winning an eighth title in succession, the 37-year-old stock’s as a manager will skyrocket as he takes his first steps on the managerial ladder with what must be one of the toughest jobs anywhere in European, if not world, football. Hopefully for the Gers, if he has Liverpool’s blessing, they will be willing to help him out with the odd loan player here and there moving north to get some first-team experience while playing under massive expectations.