‘gerrard’s-legacy-is-stopping-celtic-winning-10-in-a-row’

‘Gerrard’s legacy is stopping Celtic winning 10 in a row’

Steven Gerrard has left Rangers to take over at Aston Villa, but how will his achievements at Ibrox be assessed in years to come?

The club’s former striker and Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd discusses the Englishman’s impact at Rangers, how the club’s fans will feel about his departure, what he has left behind for his successor and how he may fare at Villa Park.

Gerrard left his role as Rangers manager to replace Dean Smith, who was sacked last weekend after a run of five successive defeats.

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Sky Sports News reporter Gordon Duncan says former Rangers player Giovanni van Bronckhorst is ‘comfortably the frontrunner’ to replace Steven Gerrard as the club’s new manager

Compensation of between £3.25-4m was agreed with the Scottish champions for the former Liverpool midfielder and his assistant Gary McAllister.

Gerrard, 41, had been in charge of Rangers since June 2018 and led the club to the Scottish Premiership title last season, ending Celtic’s nine-year reign as champions.

Rangers said they “flourished” under Gerrard’s management and that he helped build an “outstanding, highly competitive playing squad which is capable of both winning and entertaining on all fronts”.

SNS - Steven Gerrard

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Gerrard won the Scottish Premiership in his second season in charge at Rangers

Gerrard took to Instagram shortly after confirmation of his move to Villa to address the Rangers supporters and said he hoped fans would understand his decision to leave Glasgow.

“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone associated with Glasgow Rangers, especially the fans, for the love and support you’ve all shown me during my time in Scotland,” his post said.

So how will the Englishman be remembered at Rangers and what sort of club has he left behind for whoever replaces him at Ibrox?

Rangers fixtures

Had he taken Rangers as far as he could, or was there still unfinished business for him at Ibrox?

“If he had stayed and won the league this season and got Rangers back into the Champions League, then you could say he had taken them as far as he could,” Boyd told Sky Sports.

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A look back at Steven Gerrard’s career at Rangers which saw him lead the Ibrox club to the Scottish Premiership title after three years

“If you look at his overall record, some people will say one trophy in nine is not good enough, but I will counteract that with ‘it is the one trophy Celtic fans crave’.

“Had Gerrard stayed and won the title this year and got Rangers back into the Champions League, then you could say he had a hit a glass ceiling, but there was still work to go.

“And just like with everything else, it is the same with Brendan Rodgers a few years ago, when you are doing well, people will come for you. When you have the name Steven Gerrard has got, then jobs become available and there is a good chance you are going to move on and that is exactly what has happened.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 27: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard during a Cinch Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen at Ibrox stadium, on October 26, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

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Gerrard stopped Celtic’s march to ten straight titles in Scotland

“There are a lot of upset Rangers fans, but he was brought in to stop Celtic winning 10 in a row and he’s done that.”

How will Rangers fans feel about his exit?

“Because of the circumstances and you are halfway through a season, and everything was recently pointing to the fact he was going to stay – it is my understanding he has had other offers to go, but he has turned them down as he wanted to stay – and you have to bring family into it.

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Former Rangers midfielder Stuart McCall believes Steven Gerrard’s managerial time at Rangers was a ‘major success’ after he left the Scottish champions to become Aston Villa’s new head coach

“He has been away from his family now for a number of years, it can be difficult and take its toll, but for me, when you look at the big picture and the dust settles, Rangers fans will realise what he has done for the football club.

“Not only Steven, but his coaching staff and the people who are in the building right now – enormous credit has to go to them as there must be infrastructure there that allows the manager to work.

“So massive credit needs to go to people behind the scenes at Rangers FC as well, to be able to transform the club from where it was to the way it is in this moment in time.

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Rangers’ failures in the domestic cup competitions last season can’t distract from the success of winning the Scottish Premiership title under Steven Gerrard, says Kenny Miller

“Yes, Steven was at the forefront of that, but the club will go on. There have been managers in the past that have left, there have been iconic figures in the past – it was only last week that we were talking about the sad passing of Walter Smith, but he left Rangers.

“So there have been great managers who have left the football club, so I’m pretty sure the football club will be fine, the process will have already started to get his replacement and Rangers fans will be excited to see who that is.”

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In the cold light of day, Gerrard will be remembered as the man who stopped Celtic winning ten in a row, there is no doubt that.

What he has he left behind in Glasgow for his successor?

“When you look at Rangers from where they were before he came in, the infrastructure that has been put in place for them to build for the future.

“I will always say that you are not in control of results, but what you are in control of is making the environment you are working in a better working environment for players to come to work and people to turn up and represent Rangers FC.

“And there is one thing, he definitely has done that and with the help of everyone else behind the scenes.

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Lee Carsley and Emile Heskey believe Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has learned his trade and can understand why Aston Villa would be interested in his services

“But off the field, Ibrox is night and day compared to where it was a few years ago – yes, a lot of the success on the field has helped to finance that and build for the future. But whoever the next Rangers manager is, they are getting a good job with a team four points clear at the top of the table.

“People will say it is bad timing, but if you look at it the other way, a lot of people have mentioned he has only won one trophy in nine. Well, the new manager is six weeks away from actually lifting a trophy that Gerrard failed to do, in a cup, if he wins two games.

“So there are opportunities there as well and it could be good timing for a new manager to come in too.

“Rangers fans will be hurt right now because of the way it has happened, but in the cold light of day, Gerrard will be remembered as the man who stopped Celtic winning 10 in a row, there is no doubt about that.”

Is he ready for a Premier League job?

“I said last week Steven would decide which offers would be the right move for his career – it will have nothing to do with his finances, he will have made the decision based on family and also what it will do for his managerial career – so if he feels it is the right move for him.

“And only he will know his thoughts behind it, but if you look at the way Steven and his coaching staff were able to organise the Rangers team last season in terms of the record number of points, winning the league by 25 points with a record number of clean sheets, they only lost 13 league goals all season as well.

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Watch Gerrard’s last match in charge of Rangers….

“So when you take into consideration, yes it will be a step up in terms of the quality of opposition he will be facing every week, but there is one thing about Steven and his coaching staff – they do know what they are doing, which appears to be why they have landed such a big job at Villa.

“At the end of the day, Rangers and Celtic cannot compete with the finances in the Premier League, that is where we are at at this moment in time and obviously, Steven being a proud Englishman being back in a league he served so well as a player, he will want to cut his teeth as a manager there as well.

“So he will be looking forward to that. A lot of people in Scotland will be upset with the way he left, but Gerrard is not from Glasgow, he is not a Rangers fan, he bought into the culture when he came up here.

“But at the same time, he is closer to home, closer to the league he knows, he is passionate about English football and managers are the exact same as players – and every single players’ dream is to play in the English Premier League and I would imagine every manager’s dream is to manage in English Premier League.

“Gerrard has now completed both of them.”