When Steven Gerrard first got the job as Rangers boss, it’s safe to say nobody really know what to think. In addition to being quite a fresh face in the world of management he also came with quite a lot of critics, which is always going to be tough given the expectations behind a club like Rangers.
Gerrard finished off his career in Liverpool as a hero of the people and there was always an assumption he’d move into management. Whether or not he found success was always secondary to the idea of him actually doing it, as some felt like the role wouldn’t suit him.
Alas, he’s already proving the masses wrong with last season being his finest hour yet. He guided his side to the championship and an unbeaten season alongside a Round of 16 berth in the Europa League, and while they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage in both cup competitions, there was still enough to lead many to believe that another positive campaign is on the way.
When speaking about those achievements in his first pre-season interview, Gerrard had the following to say.
“Last year hasn’t gone – last year is history and we have created history which will never go and it will be there for the rest of our lives.
“The players have done ever so well and you don’t achieve something so big that then just vanishes and people forget about it.
“But, we are well aware the language of 55 has to stop now and we need to move very swiftly onto 56 to try and achieve that, and we have to work even harder to achieve that as the challenges are going to come from different teams all over the league.
“We are now the team that is hunted now rather than being one of the hunters, so it changes and the mentality needs to change, and we need to keep and maintain our standards that we have shown over the last 12 months and turn the dial even more and turn the heat up even more.”
The next phase of his career beyond his current position isn’t something that a lot of folks want to think about, but it’ definitely work discussing when you look at the two primary options that could be available to him.
The first is an obvious one: taking over as Liverpool manager. The stars could so easily align for the Scouse hero to finally take over at Anfield, but it’s probably still a few years away. The ideal situation for him, we’d imagine, would be having another few strong years at Ibrox with his exit aligning perfectly alongside Jurgen Klopp departing from the Reds after an epic tenure.
The outside option would be him taking over from Gareth Southgate as England manager if he’s unable to win the World Cup, or at least reach the final, next year.
It may feel unnatural or unlikely, but it could mark some real progression for Gerrard and the national team as a whole – depending on what happens in the next 16 months, of course.