Saturday 25 January 2020

Gerrard enters frame for top job at Rangers


Steven Gerrard. Photo: Getty Images
Steven Gerrard. Photo: Getty Images

Roddy Forsyth

The lead-up to a potentially crushing Old Firm derby - and likely an extravagant Celtic title party - is an opportune time for Rangers fans to hear the name of Steven Gerrard connected with their team, albeit as an untried management candidate.

It is understood that the Ibrox directors have been in touch with representatives of the Liverpool youth coach.

The scar tissue sustained in the battering by Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals remains livid and, although the Rangers diehards will do their best to present a defiant face at Parkhead on Sunday, there is a ravenous appetite for any evidence to suggest that the Ibrox board has some form of viable plan to create a credible challenge to their arch-foes.

Brendan Rodgers, in his singular fashion, has brought Celtic to the brink of an unprecedented second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours.

He is unbeaten in 10 Old Firm derbies and has supervised four-goal winning margins in three.

Three successive Rangers managers have now been on the wrong end of these humiliations.

Mark Warburton's first taste of Old Firm intensity was a 5-1 drubbing at Celtic Park and his successor, the hapless Pedro Caixinha, was in charge when Celtic repeated the trick in Govan a year ago.

Between times, Graeme Murty supervised a 1-1 draw at Parkhead in his first stint as Rangers' interim boss and also quarried a goalless draw from the same location in December.

Murty could even make a decent claim to have come close to interrupting Rodgers' domination at Ibrox last month, when Rangers lost 3-2 to a Celtic side reduced to 10 men in the closing stages, but who were also fortunate that Alfredo Morelos extended his record of missing gilt-edged chances on such occasions.

Other managerial candidates to pique the interest of Rangers' head hunters have included Graham Potter, the Englishman in charge of Ostersund in Sweden, Cardiff City's Neil Warnock, Alex Neil of Preston and Steve Clarke, whose Kilmarnock side have beaten Rangers twice and beaten and drawn with Celtic. But Gerrard is the latest to top the bookies' rankings.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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