All eyes are certainly on Steven Gerrard this season. As a rookie manager, taking on one of the most high profile jobs in British football, and doing so as massive underdogs compared to their rivals, was always going to be a risk.
So far he appears to be relishing his first steps into management, whipping his first team squad into shape ahead of massive UEFA Europa League qualifiers.
His first competitive match comes next Thursday at home to Macedonian minnows FK Shkupi and it’s crucial the Gerrard-era gets off to a winning start.
The last thing he needs is to hear the latest patronising comments from Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.
Gerrard’s former manager has again been talking in the media about the task ahead of his former midfielder and it’d be naive to think the words were simply friendly advice.
As quoted by The Daily Record, Rodgers said of Gerrard:
When you go into management at whatever level then, no matter what you have done or achieved as a player, once you close that door behind you as a player, then you are entering a different sport.
As a player, you are always looking after yourself and making sure that everything was okay. As a manager you have to look after everything.
But Stevie has got experience in terms of leadership and leading the team, so that will stand him in good stead, like you’ve seen with other captains who have gone into management positions.
Wherever you go as a first time manager, it is always a test and, of course, he’s gone to a big club at Rangers, so that will be a test, but I’m sure its one he will enjoy.
A different sport? Really?
Gerrard will be more than aware of the challenge he faces in the coming weeks and months. He’s taken on the role of Rangers manager purely for the challenge. For his entire career he has thrived on the challenge.
Rodgers’ latest comments should serve as motivation for the Liverpool legend.
With the first derby between the two sides coming so early in the season, securing a shock result against the Scottish champions would be the perfect way to ensure that the Celtic manager stops talking about him in the media like he’s a school pupil.