He might already have achieved legendary status in his playing days. But it’s as a manager that Steven Gerrard has truly immortalised himself, at least as far as delirious Rangers fans are concerned.
In his third year at the helm with Rangers, Gerrard has secured the Scottish Premiership for the famous Glaswegian club in spectacular style. Rangers have won their 55th top flight title with games to spare, as Celtic failed to beat Dundee United on Sunday.
That accomplishment has bought vindication for Gerrard – and monumental delight for supporters of the club, who, it’s fair to say, have faced plenty of tribulations over the past decade.
Even leaving aside the painful detail of Rangers’ previous woes, it’s been ten years since the side last won the Scottish top tier. And the fans’ joy at reclaiming their status as the reigning champions will also be enhanced by the knowledge that their bitterest rival’s bid to land ten championships in a row has ended in failure.
But talk of that rival club’s disappointment feels almost like an afterthought, at a time when there is such success to celebrate with Rangers – and with Steven Gerrard.
Over the course of this campaign, Gerrard has massively enhanced his reputation while some of his contemporaries – Frank Lampard, obviously, but also the likes of Andrea Pirlo – have found themselves exposed in unforgiving circumstances.
The Rangers job was surely a similarly daunting task – but Gerrard has performed masterfully to reinstate the pride and belief in this venerable Scottish institution.
The 40-year-old has seen his team go unbeaten in the league so far this season, winning 28 of the 32 matches they have played, scoring 77 goals and conceding a mere nine.
Rangers’ dreams of glory in Europe remain a possibility too, with the side having made it to the last 16 of the Europa League.
But Gerrard himself has already suggested this is just the start of his journey with Rangers, telling supporters “there is more to come and the next thing for me, when you win, it is always about what is next.”
For now, what’s next is the trip to Celtic Park on the 21st of March for an Old Firm derby. If only the fans could be there for that one…
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