‘He’s a natural’ – What they’re saying about Steven Gerrard the manager

Quick Reads

After his incredible playing career at Liverpool, Steven Gerrard has enjoyed a promising start to his managerial career with Rangers

Gerrard took the reins at Ibrox in 2018 and has made a blistering start to 2020-21, leading Rangers to a 17-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

We’ve taken a look at what players, pundits and managers have said about the manager’s work so far.

Alex McLeish

“Steven has done an amazing job. He’s got the gravitas and he’s a superb guy,” McLeish said in October 2019.

“You’d maybe think someone with such a huge, world-class reputation would come here and show an ego but no. He has been really humble, he has been brilliant in the press and I really think this is the man Rangers needed.

“I would never criticise fellow managers but this guy is pretty special and you can see that he wants to have a really successful managerial career just by what he has done already.”

Gordon Strachan

“I see a lot of Liverpool in Rangers,” Strachan said in December 2019. “Obviously not their tempo, fitness or technique, but the way Rangers play is definitely inspired by Liverpool.

“And that’s understandable, it’s clever – Steven’s had a look at what Klopp does and applied it at Rangers. He plays the Liverpool way, with brave, exciting football which is progressive, not tippy tappy that can send you to sleep.”

Tommy Wright

“Just like at Celtic, the target for Rangers is simple – win the league,” Wright told the Sunday Post in July 2020. “Steven will know that. That is what he was brought to the club for. I think he has done extremely well to date.

“He came in – a huge character with a big personality – and he gave the whole of Scottish football a lift.

“He has had Rangers playing attractive football, which is what you would expect given the quality that he has at his disposal. And they have done brilliantly in Europe.”

READ: Seven of Steven Gerrard’s best moments at Liverpool: FA Cup, Istanbul

Jermain Defoe

“He’s going to be a top, top, top manager,” Defoe told talkSPORT in March 2020. “It’s a funny one because when I signed for Rangers, obviously you have a bit of banter in the changing room and the lads saying about how I’m pals with the gaffer and stuff like that, but he’s a natural.

“In terms of management he’s still fresh and he’s new but you can see that naturally he’s got everything. He always says to the players, ‘if you want to come speak to me about anything then my door is open’

“He’s approachable, which is really important as a manager. Sometimes there’s stuff you want to talk about and you might have personal problems and you might have stuff you want to talk about but feel uncomfortable going to the manager.

“But with Steven, you can talk to him about anything. He reminds me a little bit of Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce where you can just approach them and speak about anything.”

Alfredo Morelos

“Steven Gerrard has been a brilliant manager for me,” Morelos said in August 2018. “I’m learning a lot from him and he’s been a great teacher for me. I am happy to have him as a manager because he’s helped me a lot.”

Pieter Huistra

“He’s doing a good job especially with the good players he has brought in,” Huistra told Express Sport in March 2019. “When I see him and when I hear him he sounds to me like a reasonable coach who always does and says the right things.

“He has his priorities right, he doesn’t try to talk to cleverly but sticks to his point and keeps it very straightforward. I think that is always a sign for the best coaches.

“Maybe behind closed doors you can go into more detail. Outside you should keep to it simple and stick to the main things you want to say. He is doing that well.”

READ: Fallen Giants: Remembering Rangers’ glorious era under Smith & Advocaat

Thomas Buffel

“He’s brought his football knowledge and his experience of a physical game to the team, which is key away from home, and it works,” Buffer told DH in October 2020.

“I met him a few months ago. He’s a gentleman and a winner. He’s demanding. I would have liked him to be my manager… and even more my teammate.”

Alan Brazil

“On the other side of Glasgow, no doubt about it, Steven Gerrard is stamping his authority,” Brazil told talkSPORT in October 2020.

“You look at the way he acts, he’s got the credentials to be a Liverpool manager. I think he’s building up to that.”

Jamie Carragher 

“There will be a clamour for probably a lot of people I think whenever Jurgen Klopp decides his time is up at Liverpool but hopefully that’s a long way away,” Carragher told the Liverpool Echo in November 2019.

“There’s no doubt Steven Gerrard will come into that because of the job he’s doing at Rangers but also because he’s a Liverpool legend.

“He’s doing a fantastic job at Rangers so that will certainly help him.”

READ: Liverpool’s most-used XI of the Premier League era: Only one current player

Jamie Redknapp

“Stevie is in Scotland and doing well,” Redknapp told The Lockdown Tactics podcast in May 2020. “Yet, it’s not easy because Celtic are so strong. But Stevie has got it, you can see that.

“I think a few years at Rangers, and as long as he doesn’t make too many mistakes, it’s only a question of time before he manages Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp decides to go.”

Jason McAteer

“Steven Gerrard made a clever move going to Rangers to begin his management career – and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if stop two on his journey is Anfield,” McAteer told the Racing Post in November 2019.

“I’ve got an inkling that Gerrard will be the next Liverpool manager at the start of the 2021-22 season.”

Jurgen Klopp

“If Liverpool were to sack me tomorrow, then maybe Kenny would be the first choice to replace me, but they would probably bring Stevie down from Glasgow,” Klopp told FourFourTwo in September 2019.