Today Steven Gerrard formally begins work as the new Rangers manager. And yet, despite it being confirmed weeks ago, and the 38-year old being paraded in front of thousands of fans at Ibrox, it still doesn’t feel real that one of the biggest British football legends of the past 30 years (up there with Beckham, Giggs and Bale) is now Rangers boss.
There’s a real tingle about this one, a real sense of excitement that frankly feels alien to Ibrox Noise with respects to Rangers in recent years.
Sure, we’ve brought in some big names – Joey Barton, Niko Kranjcar to name just two – but no one we have signed since Paul Gascoigne in 1995 comes as close to Gazza for sheer global stardom as Steven Gerrard does.
There is no coincidence that the fanfare over Frank Lampard’s identikit move to Derby County (good luck Frank) has achieved minimal media interest by comparison – we wish him the best there, he’s a good man and was a wonderful player, but Steven Gerrard to Rangers is one of the biggest British football events in a long, long time and goes beyond box office.
We sense a buzz about this that we just cannot recall recently in Scottish football at all. Rangers down the years were always the box office team – the ones who made the Galactico signings, the ones who brought in Gazza, Boli, Alves, De Boer – with varying success, sure, but the headlines, and the impact on the reputation of the Scottish game brought in global exposure you just can’t buy.
And Gerrard is as big as any of these – his first job in management,and a world class midfielder, who most England fans would probably consider the best player they’ve had in 20 years, goes to the Famous Glasgow Rangers who have been down on their luck but whose global reach is almost as big as Gerrard’s.
It’s box office meets box office and there is little doubt Gerrard will command absolute respect in the dressing room while we await to see just how good a manager he will turn out to be.
The number of fans tuning in worldwide now to see Gerrard in Govan has given Rangers a stunning new number of followers – Gerrard has millions of fans worldwide, and putting him in the hotseat has created interest in Rangers we previously didn’t have – ergo, revenue.
We must never underestimate the size of Rangers. We are a sleeping giant. But Gerrard is a superstar, there’s no other word for it. And he can wake us up, which will send his reputation into the stratosphere while restoring where Rangers should be and perhaps creating even more in this new era of Scottish football.
We truly are excited.
Steven Gerrard Rangers Manager.
Even now it still doesn’t seem real.