Ibrox Noise often speaks on behalf of the Rangers support, not always, but often. We would never claim, unlike some, to be the universal voice for many thousands of very unique people. But we do wonder how many share our curiosity over the Stevie Gerrard back to Liverpool story of recent days.
As many will know, Gerrard returned to Liverpool over the weekend to play for their Legends v Milan’s Glorie – a pitch packed with superstars as the home side won 3-2, in order to raise proceeds for the Liverpool Charity Foundation.
The oddity? Seeing Steven Gerrard back in ‘Liverpool mode’. Yes, he’s an Anfield legend and that’s his team, but his intensity and focus on Rangers since May last year has honestly made us here on the site almost forget at times that he is a Liverpool fan born and bred.
Whatever you make of his management performance at Ibrox, and that’s a debate for another day, on a pure football, emotional and personal level he has done so much to be Rangers for the past year that actually seeing him in what would be ecologically valid for him now seems quite strange.
He’s put it in a few ways too, that while he keeps an eye on Anfield, Rangers is his day job and that’s what his focus and energy is on now.
Our favourite expression though was this one:
“So we’re (Liverpool) in a great place – and I say ‘we’ because I’m a fan and always will be. But I’ve got two teams in my heart now. Rangers and Liverpool.”
Interesting to see it’s perfectly legitimate to have two teams in your heart, as ‘authorised’ by the manager.
And therein lies the nub – Gerrard really has become one of us. As we reiterate, regardless of how well or otherwise he does as Rangers manager, the job and the fanbase has won him over totally and he is a true Bear now. He’s defended us extremely well, he’s criticised both himself and the team where need be, and generally he’s conducted himself with the kind of dignity we’d expect from the manager.
So we’ve got totally used at Ibrox to seeing him in his familiar Rangers suit, or the blue training gear – even if at first the sight of the club tie on his suit was surreal, it’s become utterly the norm.
Which is why seeing him back at Anfield was so strange.
Never did we think seeing Steven Gerrard involved with Liverpool FC would be odd.