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Rangers/Stevie Gerrard 2020/21

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11 hours ago, Mook said:

Rangers & Celtic are absolutely huge clubs, two of the biggest clubs in the World & definitely bigger than Aston Villa, who are also a big club but don't have the same level of support the Old Firm have.

 

If you're measuring the size of a club by European Cup wins then Nottingham Forest are bigger than Arsenal, Spurs, Everton & Borussia Dortmund.

Yep. I tend to measure 'big clubs' by meaningful trophies and not cash turnover or projections. 

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Quality of competition has to play a part though.

 

If meaningful is league titles (and european cups) then Linfield and Rangers would be the biggest clubs in the world, Liverpool, Utd, Barcelona wouldn't make the top ten.

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1 hour ago, TD_LFC said:

Quality of competition has to play a part though.

 

If meaningful is league titles (and european cups) then Linfield and Rangers would be the biggest clubs in the world, Liverpool, Utd, Barcelona wouldn't make the top ten.

I agree. Scottish titles are now meaningless,unfortunately,when speaking of trophies. A good European run,UEFA or CL,is a better indication than a Scottish title or Cup. Of course you have to win one to compete in the other.

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12 hours ago, Halcyon Days said:

Who are the biggest club in France?

Tough call. They aren’t any really. Probably Brest.

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2.5 years to prove himself. Not the best of tests for Liverpool job as will likely have significantly larger budget than he would get here 

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0DB4E761-0CE0-4454-B3DE-DB27AD1604D4.jpeg
 

The mindset of Steven Gerrard is something only similarly rare competitors will understand, but it is one that thousands in Glasgow and Birmingham have been trying to access the last few days as he stands at the first juncture of his managerial career.

There was always going to come a time when he was offered an alternative route to what he hopes is his eventual destination — a return to Liverpool. That time has arrived, as Aston Villa are expected to make a formal approach to Rangers having sacked Dean Smith and made Gerrard their target. A compensation package will not trouble Villa but there will need to be discussions over the make-up of Gerrard’s support team.

“People tell me that it was a brave decision and that scares me a bit,” he said in December 2020 as he reflected, in the thick of an era-defining title race, on whether he regretted taking on such a high-stakes job as his entry into management.

“But I’m not scared of a challenge, of the demands, the pressures and responsibility… the way I look at it, if the challenge is bigger then the rewards are bigger, too. What you can achieve must be bigger as well.”

It doesn’t come much bigger in Glasgow than winning a league title that was Rangers’ first in a decade, stopping Celtic claiming a historic tenth title in a row in the process.

It made him a hero and he spoke about how that success had made him feel like a winner again after the cruel nature of missing out on the Premier League title in 2014. He spoke about how it didn’t stop here and how this had to be the launchpad to more silverware. He spoke about how being manager of Rangers, like being captain at Liverpool, is to live life in the fast lane and how he craves it.

What he also said, though, is that you can’t predict timing.

rangers-football
Gerrard stopped Celtic winning 10 league titles in a row (Photo: Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Gerrard still has plenty of reasons to think his time in Glasgow is not over. They are four points clear and on track for a second successive title. They are a two-goal win away from the knockouts of the Europa Leaguefor a third year straight and are due to face Hibernian in the semi-final of the League Cup next weekend, a game which on Sunday he seemed obsessed with winning in order to improve his poor cup record.

“We wish our international players good luck but it’s all about Rangers. We have a semi-final next game which is a huge game for us and full attention is on that,” he said.

However, there have clearly been enough positive indications given to Villa to convince them that Gerrard is gettable in the middle of the season.

With a rich history, a squad of impressive talent, investment from US billionaires Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens — who have overseen a net spend of around £200 million in Smith’s time — a familiar face in chief executive Christian Purslow, and a considerably shorter commute to his family home in Merseyside, all the ingredients are there.

But to achieve what? That is what he will have been weighing up as he assesses the potential and the risks of sticking with Rangers or moving to the Midlands.

It is not just about the career progression of going to a bigger league for the sake of it. Upward mobility only matters to Gerrard because, ultimately, all roads lead to Anfield where that elusive Premier League medal is still needed to complement what he says would otherwise have been a perfect playing career at his boyhood club.

And, so, this decision boils down to what best positions him to make that a reality.

Rangers fans didn’t take kindly to his arrival being framed as a form of an apprenticeship, but it replicated the challenges he faced for two decades at Liverpool of coping with a worldwide fan base, a suffocating football culture and the relentless demand to win.

Gerrard has invested emotionally in the club and there is a mutual affection there, but leaving in the middle of the season could risk tarnishing that reputation in the eyes of some fans. It is not the way he would want to leave — in an ideal world — but is he going to get a better offer in England?

This is probably as good as it gets when you consider that the top six is out of bounds due to either the rivalries with Liverpool or the elite-level coaching pool in which they fish. Leicester, Newcastle, West Ham and all those second-tier clubs are all currently sewn up.

Villa are 16th, two points above the relegation zone. There is the immediate threat of relegation but, providing their quality shines through as expected, what is achievable thereafter? Gerrard is not motivated by the prospect of simply surviving — he needs silverware and ambition to drive him.

It’s been 25 years since Villa last won a major trophy and 10 years since they last finished in the top half. Owners NSWE are expecting a top-half finish this season at least. What would be the gauge of success that would qualify him as a contender for the Liverpool job, say, when Jurgen Klopp’s contract expires in 2024?

Would simply a few consecutive top-half finishes suffice? It feels like the uplift would need to be more startling, akin to the building job David Moyes has done at West Ham.

Brendan Rodgers’ two fifth-place finishes and FA Cup win with Leicester City is the benchmark, but he seems to have hit the same ceiling that Martin O’Neill had punched through when he guided Villa to three sixth-place finishes in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Would that be enough to get the Liverpool job or would he then need a cup too?

It is not exact science but positioning himself in the Premier League gives him a better platform for his achievements to be assessed against his peers, and he will back himself and his backroom team to succeed. However, the damage of failing at Villa could conceivably do his chances of moving to Liverpool more irreparable harm than if he was to stay at Rangers and rack up another few trophies, where the only questions remaining would be how that work would transfer to a higher level.

If you fail at Villa, where do you go next that can catapult you to Anfield?

On the other hand, the danger of being loyal to Rangers is that he stays too long and undoes the job he has done. There is also a strong argument that no matter what he achieves at Ibrox, it would not be enough to take him to Anfield as Jurgen Klopp’s successor given Scottish football’s reduced standing.

This is a completely different era to when Graeme Souness upped sticks for Merseyside 30 years ago and Rangers (£7.3 million) trailed only Manchester United (£7.6 million) and Liverpool (£7.7 million) in the table of British football’s wage bills.

Liverpool’s owners are not dyed-in-the-wool Reds who make emotional decisions. They are clinical thinkers and he will have to match up with the best managers in the world. That’s not to say any move in the future would be straightforward. Villa are aiming to be in a position where they hold more power over their staff to avoid losing key assets to so-called bigger rivals.

The astronomical gap in finances that exists between England and Scotland now means that, comparing the most recent accounts available, Rangers’ wage budget of £44 million is dwarfed by Liverpool’s £325 million. Even the jump to Villa, where the average wage is around £50,000 a week, is more than double that at Rangers and working with those extra resources, particularly when funds have dried up at Ibrox, is an attractive proposition.

Gerrard has undoubtedly transformed Rangers, taking them from the emasculating losses to Celtic and European embarrassment against Progres Niedercorn in 2018 to a league title within three years.

GettyImages-954627280-scaled.jpg
Gerrard has bonded well with Rangers’ fans (Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It has been a story of gradual improvement, but he has had £40 million to spend in that time which, in Scotland’s climate, is a considerable amount. His detractors will point to a single trophy out of nine as proof he has not fully conquered the game north of the border but that seeks to give equal weight to the three domestic trophies and dilutes the monumental significance of last season’s league title.

It also ignores his remarkable European record of coming through 12 rounds of Europa League qualifying unbeaten and competing well with Porto, Villarreal, Benfica, Braga, Galatasaray and Feyenoord.

Gerrard is already down as a significant figure in the club’s history, but when he arrived his plan would have been to cement Rangers as the dominant force and exit only when that reputation was undisputed. To leave now, with the team having declined in performance this season and Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side challenging, would not only feel premature but would mean that status is contested.

If he stays and wins a domestic double or treble, which would secure automatic entry into the Champions League group stage, it would feel like a job complete.

Villa and their resources may well be too strong to wait for the perfect timing but it will limit his legacy at Rangers to that of a transitional manager; someone who re-established the club at the top after a low point but without ticking every box in Scotland. It will be an incomplete CV that means he has passed up the chance of going on to be ranked alongside the likes of the late, great Walter Smith.

But he may decide that is something he can live with.

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Hope he insists on a clause that he's not even going to try in Villa's fixtures against us and celebrate our goals instead with Jurgen. 

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Gerrard will get plenty of opportunities to manage in England. Personally I think he should stick with Rangers to the end of the season rather than walk out halfway through. 

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4 minutes ago, Baltar said:

Gerrard will get plenty of opportunities to manage in England. Personally I think he should stick with Rangers to the end of the season rather than walk out halfway through. 

Agreed

Reading that article it would make more sense for him to stay there for now.

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12 minutes ago, Baltar said:

Gerrard will get plenty of opportunities to manage in England. Personally I think he should stick with Rangers to the end of the season rather than walk out halfway through. 

Taking my Celtic hat off, I agree. They're favourites for the title (It's not gonna be as easy as last year) and his stock is hardly going to drop come the summer even if they finish second. Jobs come up all the time in the premier league. 

 

 

I still hope he leaves them though. 

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Can he afford to wait though? If he stays at Rangers, his best shot at getting a job at a decent Premier League team is out of his hands e.g if Rodgers jumps ship to Arsenal leaving the Leicester job free.

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Stevie knows he aint going to turn Villa into title winners. I can imagine the Rangers fans being gutted at the news if he does leave.

 

Think he'll be a massive improvement over Dean Smith myself. Wish him well except when he plays us and hopefully, Villa wont roll over for city, chelsea and united any more.

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4 hours ago, Captain Turdseye said:

0DB4E761-0CE0-4454-B3DE-DB27AD1604D4.jpeg
 

The mindset of Steven Gerrard is something only similarly rare competitors will understand, but it is one that thousands in Glasgow and Birmingham have been trying to access the last few days as he stands at the first juncture of his managerial career.

There was always going to come a time when he was offered an alternative route to what he hopes is his eventual destination — a return to Liverpool. That time has arrived, as Aston Villa are expected to make a formal approach to Rangers having sacked Dean Smith and made Gerrard their target. A compensation package will not trouble Villa but there will need to be discussions over the make-up of Gerrard’s support team.

“People tell me that it was a brave decision and that scares me a bit,” he said in December 2020 as he reflected, in the thick of an era-defining title race, on whether he regretted taking on such a high-stakes job as his entry into management.

“But I’m not scared of a challenge, of the demands, the pressures and responsibility… the way I look at it, if the challenge is bigger then the rewards are bigger, too. What you can achieve must be bigger as well.”

It doesn’t come much bigger in Glasgow than winning a league title that was Rangers’ first in a decade, stopping Celtic claiming a historic tenth title in a row in the process.

It made him a hero and he spoke about how that success had made him feel like a winner again after the cruel nature of missing out on the Premier League title in 2014. He spoke about how it didn’t stop here and how this had to be the launchpad to more silverware. He spoke about how being manager of Rangers, like being captain at Liverpool, is to live life in the fast lane and how he craves it.

What he also said, though, is that you can’t predict timing.

rangers-football
Gerrard stopped Celtic winning 10 league titles in a row (Photo: Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Gerrard still has plenty of reasons to think his time in Glasgow is not over. They are four points clear and on track for a second successive title. They are a two-goal win away from the knockouts of the Europa Leaguefor a third year straight and are due to face Hibernian in the semi-final of the League Cup next weekend, a game which on Sunday he seemed obsessed with winning in order to improve his poor cup record.

“We wish our international players good luck but it’s all about Rangers. We have a semi-final next game which is a huge game for us and full attention is on that,” he said.

However, there have clearly been enough positive indications given to Villa to convince them that Gerrard is gettable in the middle of the season.

With a rich history, a squad of impressive talent, investment from US billionaires Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens — who have overseen a net spend of around £200 million in Smith’s time — a familiar face in chief executive Christian Purslow, and a considerably shorter commute to his family home in Merseyside, all the ingredients are there.

But to achieve what? That is what he will have been weighing up as he assesses the potential and the risks of sticking with Rangers or moving to the Midlands.

It is not just about the career progression of going to a bigger league for the sake of it. Upward mobility only matters to Gerrard because, ultimately, all roads lead to Anfield where that elusive Premier League medal is still needed to complement what he says would otherwise have been a perfect playing career at his boyhood club.

And, so, this decision boils down to what best positions him to make that a reality.

Rangers fans didn’t take kindly to his arrival being framed as a form of an apprenticeship, but it replicated the challenges he faced for two decades at Liverpool of coping with a worldwide fan base, a suffocating football culture and the relentless demand to win.

Gerrard has invested emotionally in the club and there is a mutual affection there, but leaving in the middle of the season could risk tarnishing that reputation in the eyes of some fans. It is not the way he would want to leave — in an ideal world — but is he going to get a better offer in England?

This is probably as good as it gets when you consider that the top six is out of bounds due to either the rivalries with Liverpool or the elite-level coaching pool in which they fish. Leicester, Newcastle, West Ham and all those second-tier clubs are all currently sewn up.

Villa are 16th, two points above the relegation zone. There is the immediate threat of relegation but, providing their quality shines through as expected, what is achievable thereafter? Gerrard is not motivated by the prospect of simply surviving — he needs silverware and ambition to drive him.

It’s been 25 years since Villa last won a major trophy and 10 years since they last finished in the top half. Owners NSWE are expecting a top-half finish this season at least. What would be the gauge of success that would qualify him as a contender for the Liverpool job, say, when Jurgen Klopp’s contract expires in 2024?

Would simply a few consecutive top-half finishes suffice? It feels like the uplift would need to be more startling, akin to the building job David Moyes has done at West Ham.

Brendan Rodgers’ two fifth-place finishes and FA Cup win with Leicester City is the benchmark, but he seems to have hit the same ceiling that Martin O’Neill had punched through when he guided Villa to three sixth-place finishes in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Would that be enough to get the Liverpool job or would he then need a cup too?

It is not exact science but positioning himself in the Premier League gives him a better platform for his achievements to be assessed against his peers, and he will back himself and his backroom team to succeed. However, the damage of failing at Villa could conceivably do his chances of moving to Liverpool more irreparable harm than if he was to stay at Rangers and rack up another few trophies, where the only questions remaining would be how that work would transfer to a higher level.

If you fail at Villa, where do you go next that can catapult you to Anfield?

On the other hand, the danger of being loyal to Rangers is that he stays too long and undoes the job he has done. There is also a strong argument that no matter what he achieves at Ibrox, it would not be enough to take him to Anfield as Jurgen Klopp’s successor given Scottish football’s reduced standing.

This is a completely different era to when Graeme Souness upped sticks for Merseyside 30 years ago and Rangers (£7.3 million) trailed only Manchester United (£7.6 million) and Liverpool (£7.7 million) in the table of British football’s wage bills.

Liverpool’s owners are not dyed-in-the-wool Reds who make emotional decisions. They are clinical thinkers and he will have to match up with the best managers in the world. That’s not to say any move in the future would be straightforward. Villa are aiming to be in a position where they hold more power over their staff to avoid losing key assets to so-called bigger rivals.

The astronomical gap in finances that exists between England and Scotland now means that, comparing the most recent accounts available, Rangers’ wage budget of £44 million is dwarfed by Liverpool’s £325 million. Even the jump to Villa, where the average wage is around £50,000 a week, is more than double that at Rangers and working with those extra resources, particularly when funds have dried up at Ibrox, is an attractive proposition.

Gerrard has undoubtedly transformed Rangers, taking them from the emasculating losses to Celtic and European embarrassment against Progres Niedercorn in 2018 to a league title within three years.

GettyImages-954627280-scaled.jpg
Gerrard has bonded well with Rangers’ fans (Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It has been a story of gradual improvement, but he has had £40 million to spend in that time which, in Scotland’s climate, is a considerable amount. His detractors will point to a single trophy out of nine as proof he has not fully conquered the game north of the border but that seeks to give equal weight to the three domestic trophies and dilutes the monumental significance of last season’s league title.

It also ignores his remarkable European record of coming through 12 rounds of Europa League qualifying unbeaten and competing well with Porto, Villarreal, Benfica, Braga, Galatasaray and Feyenoord.

Gerrard is already down as a significant figure in the club’s history, but when he arrived his plan would have been to cement Rangers as the dominant force and exit only when that reputation was undisputed. To leave now, with the team having declined in performance this season and Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side challenging, would not only feel premature but would mean that status is contested.

If he stays and wins a domestic double or treble, which would secure automatic entry into the Champions League group stage, it would feel like a job complete.

Villa and their resources may well be too strong to wait for the perfect timing but it will limit his legacy at Rangers to that of a transitional manager; someone who re-established the club at the top after a low point but without ticking every box in Scotland. It will be an incomplete CV that means he has passed up the chance of going on to be ranked alongside the likes of the late, great Walter Smith.

But he may decide that is something he can live with.

 

Really, you've gotta ask, why should he give a fuck about his legacy at Rangers? Rodgers won everything for years and he's still seen as some sort of Judas for leaving Celtic for a proper club in a proper league. Not like staying a couple more years is going to make any difference. Those teams are two sides of the same coin. It's like caring about your legacy as a paper boy when the job of King of the World is in the offing a few years down the line. Fuck em. 

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He would be on a hiding to nothing at Aston Villa. Villa fans, a bit like Evertonians, have delusions of grandeur. Realistically speaking, what could he hope to achieve there? A Europa League place and a decent run in the League Cup.

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2 minutes ago, Chris said:

 

Really, you've gotta ask, why should he give a fuck about his legacy at Rangers? Rodgers won everything for years and he's still seen as some sort of Judas for leaving Celtic for a proper club in a proper league. Not like staying a couple more years is going to make any difference. Those teams are two sides of the same coin. It's like caring about your legacy as a paper boy when the job of King of the World is in the offing a few years down the line. Fuck em. 

“I have two clubs in my heart now - Liverpool and Rangers” - Steven Gerrard 

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I'm not a massive fan of Rangers but I've never been that personally invested in Scottish footie to be arsed that Gerrard went there. 

 

But, I can't be doing with Villa. Don't do it, Stevie lad. They're bad biffs.

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This basically confirms Klopp will be stepping down in 2024. He's taking this job to try and prove he can do it in the Premier League. Why else would he rush into it mid-season?

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1 minute ago, Boss said:

This basically confirms Klopp will be stepping down in 2024. He's taking this job to try and prove he can do it in the Premier League. Why else would he rush into it mid-season?

The lure of more money, exposure, able to work to a bigger budget, playing against top teams every week. Quite a few reasons.

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1 minute ago, Boss said:

This basically confirms Klopp will be stepping down in 2024. He's taking this job to try and prove he can do it in the Premier League. Why else would he rush into it mid-season?

 

Klopp never said anything that could be construed as any desire to stay beyond 2024. He's been pretty clear about it all.

 

As heartbreaking as it is, he's going in 2024 regardless of what happens.

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27 minutes ago, Tony Moanero said:

“I have two clubs in my heart now - Liverpool and Rangers” - Steven Gerrard 

 

They all say that though, don't they.

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9 minutes ago, manwiththestick said:

The lure of more money, exposure, able to work to a bigger budget, playing against top teams every week. Quite a few reasons.

 

Yep, all this and it's practically the perfect job for him at this stage.

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15 minutes ago, manwiththestick said:

The lure of more money, exposure, able to work to a bigger budget, playing against top teams every week. Quite a few reasons.

And he’s working a 90 minutes drive away from where his family lives instead of a 4 hour drive away.

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