Last week, Steven Gerrard “celebrated” his 40th birthday miles from Glasgow, in the loving arms of the family who refused to relocate north with him.
I don’t blame them for that.
Everything about his time up here has the feeling of “temporary” about it, and wives and kids are wise not to uproot their own lives whilst husbands and partners engage in such adventures.
A few weeks ago, Chris Sutton asked some hard questions about when Gerrard starts to be properly judged for his failures as a manager.
Neil Lennon was asked, during a live interview, whether he thought he would have been sacked had he gone two years without a trophy and he agreed that he would have.
Everyone in Scottish football knows this.
Before I write another word let me make one thing abundantly clear; I do not want to see Steven Gerrard fall on his sword. As far as I’m concerned, Sevco should give this guy the Ibrox master key and a contract lasting as long as he likes. Hilariously, he still has three years left of his current one.
I hope he sees out every single day of it.
Gerrard has not been a good appointment.
He has squandered millions on bad signings, he has failed to close the gap with Celtic and he has not come close to delivering a trophy although there are folk in their support who mourn the League Cup Final as the one that got away; they played most of the match against ten men and missed a penalty.
So why has Gerrard not been put under sustained pressure by the media?
Why aren’t the board at Ibrox demanding better, and threatening his job?
The answer to that lies in those birthday celebrations last week, when half of the English press was writing about Gerrard the player. All those articles invariably mentioned Sevco. Gerrard has given that club a temporary lift south of the border. He is good for PR.
Sevco has appointed a manager who is bigger than their club, and that’s one of the reasons they did it.
They have been in existence for eight years and have yet to win a major honour. At first they tried to market themselves as one half of the “Old Firm” but Celtic and our fans squashed that idea, and the routine and savage beatings we handed out during the last few years further eroded it.
Yes, they improved somewhat but we’re still winning all the trophies.
Gerrard towers over the club in terms of his global reputation. Without all those stories last week much of the world would have forgotten Sevco even existed … and when he goes most of English football will go right back to sleep as far as they are concerned.
This is one of the reasons Sevco cannot fire Gerrard; where do they go from there? A lesser known boss and probably no better off for it. On top of that is that mammoth contract he’s on, and his backroom team with him, and that club is in a real bind.
Two seasons without a trophy in Glasgow is a sacking offence unless you’re at Thistle or Queens Park, and when your club thinks of itself as the biggest in the country it is especially true. It doesn’t matter that we know these Peepul are delusional … they believe what they believe and yet Gerrard continues to run the show.
A bad start to the next campaign could easily change that.
If it looks like he’s not going to be able to turn things around the Sevco fans will not care how big a name he is … nor what it will do to their club to sack him.
For now, let’s just enjoy the show … Gerrard being in charge suits us just fine.
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