Rangers: Gerrard's men crowned Scottish champions
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Jurgen Klopp’s immediate future at Liverpool may be under serious threat after Steven Gerrard ended Celtic’s dominance in Scotland by leading Rangers to glory at the weekend, according to Chris Sutton. Gerrard’s future in management has long been intertwined with expectations that he will eventually stand in the dugout at Anfield.
He started his coaching career with Liverpool’s under-18 team before taking up the vacant role of Rangers manager back in 2018.
His main task at Rangers has always been to dethrone Celtic and, this being his third season in charge, there was added pressure on him to deliver.
The Hoops were also hunting for an historic 10th consecutive league title – something Rangers just missed out on in 1998.
But Rangers have blown their rivals away this season with one of the most comprehensive title wins in Scottish football history.
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They were confirmed as Scottish Premiership champions on Sunday after Celtic failed to beat Dundee and will be given a guard of honour by their bitter rivals at Parkhead this weekend.
In contrast to the celebrations in the Rangers dressing room, Klopp was on the receiving end of another dismal defeat at the hands of Fulham.
Liverpool now sit eighth in the table and face the very real prospect of missing out on European football for next season altogether.
Gerrard has long been seen as the eventual successor to Klopp – albeit some time in the distant future.
Both managers’ current contracts expire in 2024, but Sutton believes Liverpool will seriously be considering Gerrard if Klopp fails to turn things around.
“With Celtic aiming for a 10th consecutive title, the pressure on Steven Gerrard and his players will have been as intense as it was back in 1997,” he wrote in the Daily Mail.
“They didn’t crumble. They stood up to the challenge and conquered.
“The club deserve credit for showing patience — that isn’t easy, given the rivalry there — and Gerrard deserves applauding for how he’s transformed this team since taking over in 2018.
“He couldn’t win a league title as a player, but he’s won one as a manager and Rangers fans will love him for ever for it. The importance of him stopping that 10 cannot be understated.
“The higher-ups at Liverpool must be looking at Gerrard now and thinking he’s got to be their man in the future.
“Maybe the near future, if things continue to go so pear-shaped for Jurgen Klopp.”
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