Steven Gerrard enduring first major crisis of management career at Glasgow Rangers
- Steven Gerrard's chances of succeeding Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool recede with every disappointing defeat in Scotland.
On 12 December 2019, Glasgow Rangers announced that their manager, former Liverpool and England captain, Steven Gerrard, had agreed to extend his stay at the club until the summer of 2024.
The following day Liverpool announced that their manager, Jurgen Klopp, had extended his deal at the club for the same duration.
It didn't take a genius to work out that their appeared to be some succession plan going on. Four more years of Klopp at Liverpool, and four more years experience at Rangers for Gerrard and he would, theoretically, be ready to take over the Anfield hot seat.
When Gerrard's new deal was announced it came off the back of an agonising defeat by city rivals Celtic in the final of the Scottish League Cup. However the new contract showed faith in a manager that had restored much pride to the blue side of Glasgow. At that time Rangers were still right in the title race, and going well in the Scottish Cup and Europa League.
What has followed since has been a collapse of epic proportions. Following a dire run of form since the turn of the year, Rangers have gone from genuine title contenders to also-rans as Celtic have extended their lead at the top to 13 points. They also crashed out of the Scottish Cup, losing to bottom-of-the table Hearts, with Gerrard's second year in charge set to end trophy-less once more as Neil Lennon's Celtic continue their dominance.
This drastic drop in form has rightly raised questions about Gerrard's management. Over the last 18 months he has been given significant backing in the transfer market yet they are no closer to catching up with Celtic. There has been some great European nights but it is domestically where the success of Gerrard's reign will ultimately be judged.
If Gerrard is to one day manage Liverpool he simply must make a success of his time in Glasgow and that means winning domestic trophies, with the league title a must.
He undoubtedly still has some credit in the bank but if the malaise continues in to next season the patience of a club so used to success will begin to wear thin.Published 11 Mar 2020, 22:29 IST