Nine of Steven Gerrard’s best comments as Rangers manager
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has taken his first step into management this summer, taking over at Scottish giants Rangers.
Gerrard has taken no time to settle into his new role, and has been at it with journalists in interviews, not being afraid to share his views and speak openly and frankly.
We’ve taken a look through his interviews and picked out the best bits, speaking about subjects from referees to disappointing transfer offers and everything in between.
Only a friendly
Rangers defeated Wigan by three goals to nil in a friendly at Ibrox in late July, but Gerrard was far from impressed after the match.
He claimed he vented at his players at half-time, saying after the match: “The message is ‘don’t wait for me to give you a rollicking at half time. Do it yourselves before the game and start the game properly’.
“In the first half you saw a side that waited for the opposition to work them out. We weren’t compact, we were disjointed, we didn’t pass the ball well enough and that’s the side of Rangers I don’t want to see.”
“The Wigan game was the first I’d seen the manager as angry but it was deserved after the first half,” added captain James Tavernier.
Rangers took on Croatian club Osijek in the second qualifying round of the Europa League, and their opponents did their best to wind Gerrard up before the second leg.
“We’re better, stronger, more skilful and better organised than Rangers,” said midfielder Robert Mudrazija, before he bizarrely added a dig at Gerrard.
“I was closely watching Steven Gerrard when he came out – I couldn’t believe it because he was such a tiny man.”
“We will always be respectful to opponents both individually and collectively here at Rangers,” Gerrard responded. “We will go do what we’re capable of doing. We can’t control what comes out of opposition camps.”
“Steven Gerrard's a 'tiny man' and we're 'better, stronger and more skillful' than Rangers 👊
Cocky Osijek star mocks Gers ahead of tomorrow's Europa League showdown at Ibrox”
This from the lads who’s manager looks like someone you’ve got befriend then kill on GTA Vice City pic.twitter.com/stEg7Qg42t
— Gavin Shearer (@GavinShearer) August 1, 2018
The real response
Rangers drew 1-1 in Croatia to win the tie on aggregate, and Gerrard said there was one main reason for the victory.
“Talking doesn’t win you football matches, it doesn’t get you results. Sometimes it doesn’t help your players, it just motivates the opposition,” he stated after the match.
“We thrive on all that kind of talk. We enjoyed it. My players came out and played like men and we did our talking on the pitch.”
And in that match, Gerrard was particularly impressed by midfielder Ryan Jack, who was making only his second start of 2018 after a knee injury last term.
“This is a kid who missed six months at the back end of last season. I am delighted with Ryan’s performance,” the former Liverpool No.8 said.
“I think he made one minor mistake during 90 minutes in a big football match. As a midfielder, I was jealous of Ryan’s performance tonight.”
After an all-action first SPL game, in which Gerrard’s side drew 1-1 with Aberdeen, the Rangers boss wasn’t holding back.
“Anyone at this game or who watched on TV must know we were much better than Aberdeen,” Gerrard said.
“Aberdeen didn’t have any idea against us, they only had one idea and it was to lump it into the box. Today we’re a class above Aberdeen. I thought we were tremendous.”
Alfredo Morelos was sent off after 12 minutes of the match for a questionable apparent kick out – with the red card downgraded later.
“It’s not just today, I believe it’s been happening for seasons. That’s just my opinion,” Gerrard fumed.
“It seems like the world is against us. I’ve watched footage. Look, I don’t think we ever get anything to go for us. Everything we have seen today is about Rangers. So someone should give me answers on that.”
Morelos has been subject to some transfer interest with European windows still open until the end of the month, but Gerrard was not happy with a £3.75million bid from Bordeaux.
“Teams can’t think they can knock at our door and pinch our best players for derisory bids,” he said. “It’s nowhere near high enough. It’s not going to happen.
“If they want the player then they need to show some respect and come blow us out the water with a massive, massive bid. Otherwise don’t pick the phone up.”
“They had confidence, they had ego, and they are devastated,” Gerrard said after his side drew 0-0 in the second leg against Maribor, winning 3-1 on aggregate.
Rangers went on to the final qualifying round, where they will face Russian side FC Ufa, thanks to the win against a side who qualified for last season’s Champions League group stage.
“They had no respect for us,” Gerrard added. “But my players have proved over two legs we are better than Maribor, and that gives me great confidence going forward.”
Age is just a number
Goalkeeper Allan McGregor was the hero in the away match, saving a penalty among other acts to earn the 0-0 draw and progression to the final round.
“It’s a shame he’s nearly as old as me because Rangers fans love him and I love him,” Gerrard said. “We’re lucky to have him. We wish he was 10 years younger.
“The save he made before the penalty was world class. The penalty save was world class and I think his all-round performance was too.”