New manager Steven Gerrard has a long season ahead of him at Rangers.
The Scottish giants finished a disappointing 0-0 draw against Macedonian club FK Shkupi on the road Tuesday in Europa League qualification, and following the result, Gerrard did not hold back.
“There is definitely a base there for how we want to look away from home,” Gerrard said. “It’s a platform to build on. But I’m disappointed with us in possession for the first 30 minutes. I don’t think we passed the ball well enough, and throughout the game there was a serious lack of quality in the final third.”
Gerrard, in his first season as a manager, has yet to lose, beating FK Shkupi in the first leg 2-0 in the season’s first match. Rangers opens its Scottish Premier League season on August 5th against Aberdeen, while they begin the next Europa League qualifying round on July 26th.
“I’m a bit mixed right now,” Gerrard said. “We’re pleased with one side of the game but there is certainly a hell of a lot of work to do on the other side. Out of possession we were good, our shape was good. We were aggressive and I’m pleased with the clean sheet.”
Rangers will draw either Moldovan club Petrocub or Croatian side Osijek in the next Europa League round. To reach the group stage, there is still a third qualifying round to pass followed by the playoff round. Premier League side Burnley has also progressed to the second qualifying round and will play Scottish side Aberdeen in late July.
A long-standing dominance from Celtic in Scotland’s top flight has created a clear divide at the top of the country’s top flight, but their bitter rivals made a major move at the head coaching position that could help close the gap.
Rangers announced on Friday the appointment of Steven Gerrard on a four-year contract, as the former Liverpool midfielder succeeds Graeme Murty as manager.
“I am honoured to become the next manager of Rangers. I have enormous respect for this football club, and its history and tradition,” Gerrard said following his appointment. “I can’t wait to start this new journey at Rangers as we look to build on the many successes that this Club has achieved.”
Gerrard, who completed his professional career in 2016 in MLS with the LA Galaxy, previously spent his time coaching Liverpool’s Under-18 squad in 2017/18 as his first official managerial position.
The 37-year-old finished his PL career with 186 goals in all competitions for Liverpool, which ranks fifth all-time in club history.
Rumors have begun to fly that Scottish club Rangers has offered former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard the open managerial position. Plenty of opinions have flown left and right about if Steven Gerrard should take the Rangers job, given he has no prior experience managing a club.
Finally, the rumors were confirmed by the man himself, but he claimed nothing is done.
“I have held initial talks and I have plans to pick them up in a couple of days’ time,” he told BT Sport. “I’m busy for a couple of days now and I’ll pick it up on Thursday and we’ll see if we can progress it.”
Gerrard, who will be 38 years old in late May, is currently coaching in the academy of his former club Liverpool. Reports in England say he has been offered a 3-year contract. Rangers officially let interim boss Graeme Murty go earlier today, having taken over for the fired Pedro Caixinha in October. The club was walloped by champions Celtic 5-0 on Sunday in the Old Firm derby.
Rangers has not challenged Celtic for the league title since winning in 2010/11. They were liquidated and sent to the lowest levels of Scottish football, and while they worked their way back up to the top flight for last campaign, they have not put up a fight for the league crown.
Steven Gerrard to Rangers isn’t just buzz, apparently.
Liverpool’s legendary midfielder is ready to move from the pundits’ booth and Reds youth academy set-up to first team football, and he isn’t dodging a challenge.
[ PREMIER LEAGUE: Saints go marching up; Chelsea close in on 4th ]
Gerrard, who turns 38 next month, was reportedly offered the Glasgow Rangers job and the club is confident he will accept the role.
“BBC Scotland understands talks between the club and Gerrard have gone well, with the 37-year-old believed to be keen on taking over at Ibrox.”
Rangers are back amongst the better teams in the Scottish Premiership but the new boss will be tasked with ending Celtic’s soon-to-be (soon, like perhaps by the time you finish reading this post) seven-consecutive seasons atop the league.
Steven Gerrard could get his first taste of first team management this summer. It just won’t be at Liverpool.
According to a report in The Times of London, Glasgow Rangers has offered the open manager role to Gerrard, and at this point it’s Gerrard’s if he wants it, the report states. Gerrard is coming off his first season in management, where he has been coaching Liverpool’s Under-18s squad.
[LISTEN: Rog Bennett of Men In Blazers interviews Jurgen Klopp]
Rangers are currently being coached by interim boss Graeme Murty, who took over last October for Pedro Caixinha when the Portuguese boss was sacked, but the club are looking for another this summer. Rangers currently sit in second place in the table, which would qualify the club for the UEFA Europa League qualification stages.
If given the job, it would follow a trend of recent professionals getting high-profile jobs with little experience at the youth or lower levels. Ryan Giggs was recently put in charge of Wales, while Gary Neville had an infamous difficult time as manager of Valencia, though perhaps that could be explained through other reasons.
Either way, it will be a great opportunity for Gerrard to leave his comfort zone of Liverpool and test himself in a similar fashion to Patrick Vieira, who is improving every week at New York City FC.
Gerrard would be just the second English manager at Rangers as well, following Mark Warburton’s year and a half in charge from 2005-2007.