Steven Gerrard’s arrival in Glasgow on Friday has seemingly ‘put Scottish football back on the map’ according to former Rangers manager Ally McCoist – what a load of horseshit.
The Liverpool legend has agreed a four year deal with the beleaguered Ibrox side and will take over in June.
While I agree with McCoist’s comments that a ‘global name like Steven Gerrard will create interest throughout the world’ to claim that it has put our game back on the map is ludicrous.
Just because the English game has ‘football tourists’ from all over the world doesn’t mean the Scottish game does not have its own supporters – true supporters that do not swap allegiances or have multiple allegiances with clubs from the same league because of who plays for what club.
If Gerrard’s appointment is simply down to the club trying to generate desperately needed revenue then it is a PR coup and one that the club – as well as the league – must milk for everything they can get.
But for some English pundits to claim that the former Liverpool man is coming up here to cut his teeth before going back down south. I’m sorry but I agree with Chris Sutton’s comments from yesterday when he stated: “I get fed up of hearing noise from down south saying he’s going to cut his teeth there. This is a brutal environment.”
Much is said about the lack of funds that Celtic and Rangers have when compared to English Premier League clubs, but when you look at the Glasgow side’s fan base both at home and abroad – it blows away the majority of the English clubs away with only the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool arguably bigger.
Take away the TV revenue and what do the English clubs have? Top flight clubs with huge debt and a fan base that cannot sustain them.
One-time future England manager Mark Warburton arrived on our shores and he was to take our game by storm. He had the contacts, he had the experience and he had the potential. He was chewed up and spat out by the Rangers job. It was far too big for the former Brentford manager and the problems at the club added to that.
Another Liverpool legend John Barnes paired up with Kenny Dalglish to manage Celtic at a time when Rangers dominated our game, he failed to last a season. He was inept as a manager and despite claims since then that he isn’t being given further roles because of the colour of his skin – it all stems from his days at Celtic and being a failure.
Career ending league
Scottish Football can end careers – Graeme Murty’s managerial career is at an end even before it has began, thanks to his short stint as Rangers manager, Ally McCoist, John Barnes and even to an extent Mark Warburton [despite his Nottingham Forest job] and the appointment of Gerrard is a huge risk for both club and Gerrard alike.
Gerrard has eyes on his greatest prize of all – managing Liverpool – and if he can become a success at Rangers and usurp Celtic then his CV will look very enticing to any club down south, but the odds are very much against him given the finances and players that Celtic have at their disposal compared to Rangers – even if they get fresh ‘investment’ in – investment that has been coming as long as Rangers have supposedly been.
He said that last year that the first six months of managing the Under-18 side at Liverpool aged him two years. Just wait until he starts at Ibrox in June with all the off field problems surrounding the club – even before he has to look at what he has to work with.
Gerrard’s arrival will almost certainly perk up Celtic, Brendan Rodgers and the club’s board also – their spending power can increase and they have the lure of Champions League football. Can the same be said for Rangers?
Moving to another English Premier League or Championship side would have been a gamble for Gerrard, but moving north of the border to Rangers is a bigger gamble. If he fails in Scottish football- a league that is belittled at every opportunity by English pundits and fans – then his hope of managing Liverpool will disappear as quickly as the Rangers board who appointed him.
Next season will certainly be an interesting one. The question is ‘how long will it last’?