For most, Steven Gerrard remains Liverpool’s best player of the Premier League era. The question, ever since he hung up his boots, is how that would translate to coaching—and if one day he would get a crack at the Liverpool job.
The best players don’t always make the best managers, but there have been signs of promise for Gerrard at Rangers—along with a few setbacks—and former teammate Jamie Carragher feels confident that at some point there will be a decision for the Reds and their ex-player to make.
“Rangers to Liverpool is a jump,” Carragher noted recently on the Maych x Pajak podcast. “But because Steven Gerrard is who he is I think he could make the jump and the club at least wouldn’t be too big for him.
“But is managing Rangers enough experience for Liverpool and should Liverpool be looking for the best manager they can get or someone who knows the club could be a conundrum for the club at the time and also Stevie.”
If it seems a touch silly, perhaps, for the fans and pundits to keep bringing up the possibility of Gerrard managing Liverpool, Carragher says there’s a good reason for it beyond that he spent so long captaining the Reds—namely that it’s a big part of why Gerrard will have gone into management.
“Stevie’s gone into management and I’m sure that’s in the back of his head,” the former defender and current Sky pundit noted. “He wants to manage Liverpool. Frank Lampard’s gone into it because he wants to manage Chelsea; John Terry’s the same; Thierry Henry wants to manage Arsenal.
“It’s maybe not like they want to be managers for thirty years, they all want to manage their club. And he’s doing a really good job now, but you can’t tell me that Frank Lampard wouldn’t be a better manager in ten years.”
The good thing, then, is that it doesn’t seem likely Liverpool and Gerrard will have to make a decision on whether or not he’s ready any time soon. And even when Jürgen Klopp eventually does leave the club, there are likely to be other options.
Whether that’s current assistant Pepijn Lijnders or a more established manager from outside the club, when the job does become available there should be no reason to look to Gerrard unless he’s fully ready—and if he isn’t fully ready when Klopp leads, that doesn’t mean his chance wouldn’t eventually come.
“You look at what Stevie’s going through now, just lost a game to the team at the bottom of the league, that will help him,” Carragher added. “He’s got to go through all these things. The Liverpool job, you want him to get it when he’s got experience.
“Maybe after Rangers he would take a smaller job in the Premier League and then maybe gets the Liverpool job. Or maybe it’s right for him right [after Rangers]. That’s going to be the decision for both parties.
“It’s difficult because it’s not like the Liverpool job comes around often. Sometimes it’s just timing, it’s there, it’s available, but I think in a perfect world, when those big jobs come around you want to be fully ready.”