Steven Gerrard’s work at Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers is the ideal preparation he needs to take on the main job at Liverpool once Jurgen Klopp moves on.
On a special podcast from Blood Red, to be released on Saturday, January 2 ahead of Rangers vs Celtic, Jonny McFarlane from the Scottish Daily Record told the ECHO how every single facet of the former Reds star’s current role is geared towards a move to Anfield.
“It was a very smart career move from a career point of view because there are very few better clubs with a better grounding for the intensity you will find on Merseyside,” McFarlane outlined.
“Glasgow and Liverpool are in many ways twinned cities if you look at their cultural histories and they love football to the point of it being an obsession.
“Gerrard has been put under serious pressure at Rangers in a way that he would not have been at a Derby County or Bristol City [two clubs who have looked at him in the past], for example, in the Championship.
“At Rangers, you have to win every game and that is what he will get if he becomes Liverpool manager. That level of scrutiny will really stand him in good stead.”
There are clear similarities in the style of play that Rangers employ under Gerrard, with a high emphasis on full-backs like James Tavernier to provide creativity and assists, and forward Kemar Roofe acting as a Roberto Firmino style number nine.
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Off the field too, Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson is the Glasgow club’s version of Michael Edwards, with it being no coincidence that Gerrard chose a team set up almost identically to Liverpool on and off the field.
Where the playing style was different before Gerrard arrived, now, two and a half seasons into the job, there is a clear alignment with Liverpool, underlining the excellent job he has overseen.
“The gap between English football and Scottish football has probably never been bigger with the money in the Premier League now,” McFarlane continued.
“But you have seen what Gerrard has done in the Europa League and they could get into the semi-finals this year with a good draw – they are a very, very good European team.
“Does a move to a West Brom or a Bournemouth prepare him more than Rangers for the Liverpool job?
“I think it would have to be something like an Arsenal, for example, for him to be enticed. He knows at the age he is at that he will have plenty of time to stake a claim at the top level.
“Gerrard has done a really good job generally at Rangers and even though he is yet to win silverware, which is a big deal, we have seen intelligent and obvious progress.
“The style of play is very similar to Liverpool and it is the best football we have seen from Rangers since the early 2000s when they were spending as much money as any club in Europe.”