VIDEO: STEVEN GERRARD TO TAKE OVER AS RANGERS MANAGERDate: 2018-05-04
Rangers have called a press conference at their Ibrox ground on Friday afternoon where former England and Liverpool midfielder, Steven Gerrard, is expected to be announced as the Glasgow club's 16th manager.
This will be Gerrard's first step into first-team management, with his only other experience working with the Liverpool under-18 team. According to reports, Gerrard agreed to a three-year deal with the Scottish Premiership giants.
The former Liverpool midfielder, 37, will replace Graeme Murty, who was placed in interim charge following the October sacking of Pedro Caixinha.
Gerrard will have his hands full competing with bitter derby rivals, Celtic – who happens to be managed by Brendan Rodgers, his former manager at Liverpool – at the top of the Scottish domestic league. Considering Celtic's 5-0 walloping of Rangers on Sunday that sealed their seventh straight title, it's not going to be a walk in the park.
It's just short of two years that Rodgers has been in charge at Celtic Park and, in that time, has met Rangers 11 times – winning nine and drawing twice, with his side netting 30 goals.
The Scottish Premiership has always played second-fiddle to their English counterparts, especially in recent times as the booming television revenues of the Premier League is more attractive to top-flight players. It remains to be seen if the arrival of the former England captain is a catalyst for change that will draw high-class players to the league.
In their second season back in the top flight after recovering from the fallout of their liquidation in 2012, which saw them demoted to the fourth division as a result, Rangers are battling Aberdeen and Hibernian for second place, trailing Celtic by 13 points.
With what is expected to be a busy time during the upcoming transfer window, Rangers fans reckon Gerrard's arrival the Ibrox club could boost its ability to recruit a better quality player due to his stature as one of England's best players.
But, hedging your bets on an inexperienced manager, regardless of his reputation, especially one who has no experience in Scottish football, must be seen as another huge risk taken by Rangers' beleaguered board. In fact, they still have to overcome a huge financial disparity with Celtic who's extra Champions League revenue saw the club achieve a £90 million turnover last year – three times that of their Old Firm rivals.
Gerrard had a glittering career in his 19 tears at Liverpool, winning nine trophies in 710 appearances. He also won 114 England caps and captained the national team at three of the six major tournaments at which he played.
Gerrard retired in 2016 and joined the youth set-up at Anfield after rejecting an offer to become manager of MK Dons.
It will be a pleasure for many fans to see him do as well as a manager as he did as a player.