Rangers ended a long and painful nine-year wait for a Scottish Premiership title on Sunday afternoon when Celtic’s draw at Dundee United confirmed the news many supporters had been dreaming of all season. Steven Gerrard’s men have been utterly dominant throughout the campaign, with their superiority reflected in their insurmountable 20-point lead over their Old Firm rivals who have endured a torrid time all season.
The former Liverpool midfielder has made a sensational start to his career in management since taking the Rangers job in May 2018.
Gerrard arrived after the conclusion of a disappointing campaign in which the Glasgow giants finished in third place behind Celtic and runners-up Aberdeen.
His appointment was initially met with a mixed reaction, with some supporters optimistic given his illustrious playing career while others expressed their preference for a manager with more experience.
The scale of the challenge in overturning Celtic’s dominance could easily have scared Gerrard away in search of an easier introduction to senior management.
However, his decision to take on the role has proved to be the best thing to happen to Rangers since their liquidation nine years ago.
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The 40-year-old has utterly transformed the club’s fortunes, displaying a brilliant combination of tactical prowess, effective man-management ability and shrewd transfer dealings in order to fire the Light Blues back to the top of the Scottish game.
His astonishing work, rewarded with Sunday’s elation after helping Rangers to reclaim the domestic crown, suggests that he could be a natural heir to Jurgen Klopp when the Liverpool boss finally departs.
The decorated German is overseeing a crisis on Merseyside, with the Reds on a run of six straight defeats at home for the first time in their long and storied history.
Although it seems unlikely that he will be sacked as a result of their recent woes, it would not be impossible for the club’s hierarchy to wield the axe in search of a clean slate under a new boss.
If Liverpool decide to replace Klopp before the expiry of his contract, they would be crazy to pass up the opportunity to seal a fairytale return for one of their greatest players.
Gerrard knows the club inside out and back to front, and would undoubtedly receive the instant backing of nearly every Reds fan on the planet.
Although some may feel that it could be too early for the former England midfielder to try his luck in the Premier League, especially at one of the biggest and most prestigious clubs in the country, Liverpool could do a lot worse.
It is important to remember that Rangers are no minnows; the Gers are still one of the biggest sides in Europe with fearsome expectations despite their various struggles in the last decade.
Ending the nine-year dominance of Celtic, who had firmly established themselves as the sole powerhouses of Scottish football, represents an unbelievable achievement that was surely far more difficult than it would be to rescue Liverpool’s fortunes with the resources available to the Reds.
Gerrard’s budget at Rangers is a far cry from the deep pockets of Fenway Sports Group, who have backed Klopp to the hills since making the switch from Borussia Dortmund in 2015.
His proven ability to overcome adversity also serves as a significant selling point.
He successfully worked through a tricky period last season in which he came close to the sack, recovering well to write his name into the history books a little over 12 months later.
Gerrard has, like every manager, made mistakes during his time in Glasgow but has successfully used them to change his outlook for the better, a key trait that any boss with Premier League ambitions needs to show in order to be successful.
It seems inevitable that he will take over the reins at Anfield at some point during his career, with the Reds legend and Klopp both on contracts that will see them through until the summer of 2024.
However, Liverpool could benefit from calling on the former playmaker during the summer, with his appointment sure to bring a wave of renewed optimism if the club decides to make the brave step into a new era.