I recall an article written back in 2018, imploring Steven Gerrard not to make the move to become Rangers manager. It insisted that Rangers — the embryonic incarnation of the Ibrox club that was liquidated for financial dodginess in 2012 — should not be considering a coach with zero managerial experience, if they wanted to get to the top of Scottish football.
It claimed such a move would cost the club dearly as Gerrard would fail and he and his expensive backroom staff would require a big pay-off as the results failed to materialise.
It cited the last time an untested Liverpool hero came to Glasgow to try his hand as a coach — John Barnes at Celtic — and how it left his managerial prospects in tatters. “If he has any sense, professionally and personally, Gerrard will walk away from this insanity as it is destined to go horribly wrong,” the author insisted, saying he would end up on the coaching scrapheap like Barnes.
Crucially, the piece signed off with the claim that “an appointment like Gerrard at Rangers will only help Celtic edge towards the coveted 10-in-a-row” — referring to Rangers’ Glasgow rivals unrelenting dominance in Scotland as they homed in on a decade’s worth of league titles.
There was just one thing wrong with the article — all of it.
Gerrard and Rangers swept to their first league title in nine long years on Sunday, bringing the Celtic juggernaut down to Earth with such a thud, it was felt way back in 2018 for the author of the article I refer to.
How do I know? I wrote it.
I have such admiration for Gerrard, I am delighted he has proved me wrong — his heroics on the field for Liverpool did not deserve to be tarnished by a failed coaching career. Instead, he added the one thing missing from his glittering playing CV — a league title — and he profoundly proved me wrong in the process.
Rangers are undefeated this season in the league, 20 points ahead of Celtic and Scottish champions by early March, with six games still to play. They have a lot more on their agenda other than just proving me wrong. They are still in contention for the Europa League, and are targeting an ‘Invincibles’ season by going to the end of the campaign undefeated.
While Gerrard plots a fitting end to this season and looks ahead to further glory with Rangers, I’m off to eat some humble pie.