Rangers: Gerrard's men crowned Scottish champions
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Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group should not consider replacing Jurgen Klopp with Steven Gerrard this summer, in order to avoid falling into the same trap as Chelsea did in appointing Frank Lampard, according to former Reds defender and BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson. Gerrard scooped the Scottish Premiership title with Rangers on Sunday after Celtic failed to beat Dundee United, capping off an excellent season for the Liverpool legend, who has thrived since making the step into management.
The 40-year-old joined Rangers in May 2018 after the Glasgow giants had only managed a disappointing third-placed finish, but has since transformed the club’s fortunes, helping them to re-establish their dominance at the top of the Scottish game alongside Old Firm rivals Celtic.
The Light Blues have been ruthless throughout the campaign, earning an insurmountable 20-point lead over the Parkhead club without losing a match all season.
Gerrard’s success, when considered alongside Klopp’s struggles as of late, has led supporters and pundits alike to speculate that the former England midfielder may be lined up by FSG to replace the current Liverpool boss in the summer.
Klopp is overseeing a crisis at Anfield, with the Reds having lost six consecutive home games for the first time in their history and facing a battle to retain their top-four status between now and the end of the campaign.
Despite the German manager’s failure to mount a sustained Premier League title defence, Lawrenson has urged Liverpool’s hierarchy to stick by their man and resist the temptation to give the job to the successful but inexperienced Gerrard.
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He indirectly alluded to Lampard’s rocky tenure at Chelsea, with the Blues legend appointed in 2019 after a single season as Derby County manager before he was sacked just 18 months later.
“It would be a big gamble for the club’s owners – Fenway Sports Group – to appoint him,” Lawrenson wrote, discussing Gerrard’s situation in his BBC Sport column.
“I think the one-eyed Liverpool fan would be saying ‘Get Stevie G in’ if Jurgen Klopp were to leave, but I think others would take a step back and go: ‘he’s done an absolutely fabulous job at Rangers, he was a great player, but maybe he would need to take another job in the Premier League first’.
“I also don’t see Klopp going anywhere. He has been as close to Bill Shankly as the club have ever had, he won’t be losing his job anytime soon.
“The trouble for Steven then is that other managers who have moved on from their first job as a stepping stone to something bigger end up not having the same success, so he has to be very, very careful.”
However, although he believes that the Liverpool job is too big of an ask for Gerrard at this time, Lawrenson claimed that he would be unable to turn it down if the club were to approach him at the end of the season.
“He’ll already be thinking about winning the Premiership again next season and the chance for a shot in the Champions League with Rangers will be at the forefront of his thinking too,” added Lawrenson.
“But, in the unlikely event that Liverpool come calling this summer, Steven could not say no. Because you won’t get asked twice.”
Gerrard is one of Liverpool’s most loved legends after making over 700 appearances for the club over the course of his playing career.
His biggest achievement came in 2005 when he captained the side to a remarkable Champions League triumph, helping to produce one of the most impressive comebacks in sporting history in the final against AC Milan.
Upon his retirement, Gerrard began to cut his teeth in coaching with a role as manager of Liverpool’s under-18 side, a position he occupied before Rangers came calling three years ago.
It is believed by many that a return to Anfield is inevitable, but it remains to be seen whether he will be drafted in before the start of next season or possibly in the summer of 2024, when the deals of both Gerrard and Klopp are set to expire.
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