Steven Gerrard has done a monumental job at Rangers and, to qualify that statement, you truly need to understand the depths we were in when he arrived at Ibrox. Those scars healed when he delivered 55 last season and for that he will always be immortalised in our clubs history.
The truth is when he goes, whether it is now to Villa or in the summer, he has earned that right to decide on his own terms. Regardless of how painful it will be to our club or us the fans.
Steven Gerrard took Rangers from a side getting regularly thrashed by our nearest rivals and turned us into unbeaten invincible champions in less than three years at the helm.
That achievement is legendary and always will be.
He has earned our ultimate respect and gratitude but here is the painful truth, we can’t afford to mope around and lament the moment he does go. When Graeme Souness left Rangers we acted swiftly and the legendary Walter Smith moved Rangers into a new era of greatness.
It was quick, it was precise and at the worst possible time we made the big decision. With a handful of games left Walter delivered that championship and the rest is indeed history.
Thirty years on the club must be prepared to be as strong and precise in it’s movement when that time arrives. The timing is never going to be good, it never is unless you are making the decision to remove the manager. Vital Semi final on the horizon, our ‘do or die’ European game and we are moving into a huge phase in the league season, it would be far from ideal.
The truth is though that Steven Gerrard has a young family and getting closer to home must be a huge draw for him and he shouldn’t receive any criticism should that sway his decision. Doesn’t matter what we think about Villa, they are a mega rich ambitious club and Gerrard will back himself to hit the heights they desire. It is also the English premier league. He is a winner, he is strong willed and head strong, he will back himself with the upmost confidence.
That’s his right and to be clear, I don’t want this to happen but if reports are right and the approach is coming, if Gerrard wants it then he will go. That’s the situation for me and whatever he decides it is with my respect.
He deserves that.
I sincerely hope Steven Gerrard stays and remains our manager.
I am not naive however, he wants that Liverpool job and he may see this as a new exciting challenge to take him closer to that. I have zero knowledge of his thoughts or if this is even a possibility, I tend to just try and look at the ‘What ifs’ should the situation develop.
Ross Wilson is moving into a hugely vital period in his Rangers career when ultimately he has to implement a player trading model and potentially spearhead the appointment of the clubs new manager.
This is the vital point, we have to be prepared for this moment and be well down the line with a potential succession plan. Now, the summer or in two years time, just be ready and be as swift as we were back in 1991.
I don’t have a preference and there doesn’t seem to be an attractive obvious appointment sitting on the sidelines waiting.
Michael Beale may just be that ‘Walter’ style replacement. He has the players respect, the transition would be seamless and the parallels are quite similar in that it would represent the same levels of gamble seen all those years ago.
Whether he would want it remains unknown, this whole situation is in fairness. That’s why this isn’t about now or even worth worrying about, but more about the inevitability around the situation.
At some point it will happen and we need to be ready, we should be ready now. That is a must. We can’t afford to be caught or be ‘unaware’ and spend weeks faffing like we did painfully before in the ‘Murty era’.
In an ideal world Gerrard will very quickly confirm his commitment and this will be put down to more unfounded speculation. He’s not reached his ceiling here yet and has so much more to deliver, only he will know his inner thoughts at this time.
Whatever happens he will have, or should have, the respect of everyone. The job he has done in the circumstances presented is remarkable. There is more to do, there is more to achieve and come Hampden I hope that those words to Emma Dodds, just weeks ago, remain as strong as now.
We have faced tough situations before and come through it, worse than anyone ever leaving the club. This would be a tough moment and a tough spot so our response, in the worst situation, is absolutely vital.
Whenever it happens, it will be, he is that important.
Ross Wilson must be ready and so must our club.