With the confirmation Germany’s Joachim Low is indeed to leave Die Mannschaft after the Euros this summer, the wires have gone ablaze over the inevitable domino effect.
The red-hot lava sizzling favourite to take over, and who has been eyeing up the national side for a long time, is of course Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.
The former Borussia manager has been linked with his country’s hot seat a long time and is well-known and on record as wanting that job one day.
But is this year the time?
And of course, what does that mean for Steven Gerrard and Rangers?
Let’s go through the facts one by one and see where this leads us.
Klopp has achieved his initial ambition at Liverpool, of winning the league. He’d already won the Champions League and then has followed it up with the Premier League trophy.
However there’s a big caveat here. Klopp has been a manager for 20 years. That’s right, since he was only 33 (early retirement to become manager of his main career team Mainz). And yet in those 20 years, for all he is regaled as maybe the finest manager around, he’s only won the Champions League once, and three league crowns, four if you include Mainz’ promotion. He has 9 club career management trophies, which certainly isn’t bad, but he’d want more.
But his follow up season to that maiden Kop crown has been an unmitigated disaster – the worst of his managerial career by some distance. Injuries aside, his team has been horrible domestically and in Europe, and his own stock has taken a bit of a battering.
Which leads us to his intentions. Does he want to fix this, to reverse a 7-month collapse of about 6 years hard work? Does he believe he can secure CL football for next season? Or does Klopp feel the Liverpool project has already completely imploded and it’s time for him to move on? Bear in mind, what is happening at Liverpool with Klopp is exactly the same as what happened with him at Dortmund, albeit slightly more dramatically – a decline followed by him moving on. And the time frame is almost exactly the same – 6 or 7 years.
But all this ramble is just background:
If Klopp does indeed leave Liverpool now for Germany, then Liverpool’s board has a big call to make. How do you follow up on maybe the best manager around? And then they look at Steven Gerrard and his time at Ibrox.
Liverpool fans know this man will be their manager one day – it’s his destiny. But as much as it’s a gamble to bring Stevie in so early on in his management career to a league as big as the PL where he’s expected to bring the PL trophy to Anfield, it’s a big gamble as well for Gerrard.
He is now a God at Rangers, already being a legend and close to God at Anfield.
Rangers fans arguably worship him now more than Liverpool fans do – does he really want to even consider giving that up to answer the call of his boyhood club?
The answer is no. Pure and simple. Not yet, not till down the line.
Gerrard has a colossal reputation at Anfield, and he doesn’t want to risk that by taking on that job before his time.
His time is at Ibrox, and he is a complete icon now of the support. He’s done the impossible in Govan, and destroyed Celtic while giving us 55.
He’s already said he wants more at Ibrox, and he wants the players on board with that.
While we don’t predict we’ll get years and years out of Stevie, there’s every chance we do have him for a fair old while.
And he’s got a LOT of unfinished business here.
So if Klopp does take that job (possible but unlikely) we doubt Stevie is going to replace him.
And you can quote us on that.