As a player, Steven Gerrard could not be described as deferent. The bombastic Liverpool captain did everything from the heart of midfield.
It was real Roy of the Rovers stuff. Hollywood passes. Slide tackles. Long range piledrivers. Steven Gerrard had the ability to do it all, and he did.
Steven Gerrard became the latest former player to take a massive coaching job that belied his experience when he became Rangers manager two seasons ago.
His greatest quality as a coach is anathema to his greatest qualities as a player: his ability to defer.
While Gerrard will take all the plaudits for Rangers’ 55th title and stopping a Celtic ten in a row, his team is what made him what he is.
He hired Garry McAllister, a big influence on him as a player, to be his assistant coach. McAllister had 16 years head coaching experience behind him.
As well as that, he brought Michael Beal, his assistant from the Liverpool U18’s team – his only previous coaching job.
“What I’ll never do is try and do someone else’s job better than them,” said Gerrard.
“I’d been working on a coaching team behind the scenes when I was the manager of Liverpool’s under 18s and under 19s for some time. People wouldn’t believe how close I was watching certain people to take with me when the opportunity eventually came.
“I haven’t had the luxury of retiring early from the game or not being a player in terms of having that pitch time and to really become a coach who’s coached for 20 years like a Brendan Rodgers, a Mourinho or a Michael Beal who’s my first team coach here. It’d take me 15 – 20 years to get as good as Michael Beal as an on pitch coach, to deliver sessions on a daily basis so I let Mick be Mick Beal.”
Messrs Mikel Arteta, Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer, and Frank Lampard could learn a lesson from Gerrard. Arteta is rather Authoritarian at Arsenal. The only member of his coaching staff older than him is his assistant, Steve Round. All of his coaching hires have been younger than him. Arsenal are 10th in the league.
Lampard and Solsjkaer got by on being bona fide club legends at Chelsea and Manchester United. Lampard lost his job, and Solskjaer is in a perennial loop of rescuing his job from the brink.
Gerrard went away from the Premier League to make his name. When he comes back to England, and he will, he might well be the best prepared of all the novice coaches.