STEVEN GERRARD is already lauded as a legend in Liverpool. Now he could be greeted as a God in Glasgow.
An illustrious playing career on Merseyside saw Gerrard achieve almost every dream that he had in the game as he won domestic cups and European trophies as well as represent his country with distinction at major finals.
The one honour that eluded him, of course, was a league title. In a matter of weeks, Gerrard could have his first managerial success on his glittering CV.
If the 40-year-old can lead Rangers to the Premiership crown this term, his place in Ibrox folklore and the affections of the fans would be forever enshrined. Every league-winning boss is a hero, but this one means more than any other for a support that have been on an emotional rollercoaster for a decade and are now closer than ever to the victory that is so sought-after.
After four impressive and enjoyable years in Glasgow, Mark Walters would spend five seasons at Liverpool. He, then, can understand as well as anyone where Gerrard has come from and where he finds himself this term.
“The cities are very similar,” Walters told ‘The Rangers Fans Corner’ on Ten10Podcasts. “The young men there, there are three things they are interested in and that is women, alcohol and football, and not always in that order!
“The cities are very similar and he has lived here for three years now, so he should understand how big this is for the Rangers fans and he will be a God there now if he can get this Holy Grail of winning the league for the first time in ten years.
“He will understand it. It took me six months to understand what the club was about but, having been there three years, he should know what the club is all about.
“I can’t believe that he won’t have seen things on the internet and people must be coming up to him every day and congratulating him on how well he is doing at the moment.
“Last year, they were strolling it and then they had to stop the season and so forth. I can’t believe that he doesn’t understand, but once he does get over the line he will understand it if he doesn’t realise it now.”
This week on Fans corner podcast we asked Mark Walters @MEW1934 what was bigger, Steven Gerrard or Graeme Souness revolution?
High praise from a man who was key under Souness
You can hear full episode here with free month for all shows to try 👇🏻https://t.co/MBvMCOVjsx
— Four Lads Had a Dream (@4ladshadadream) January 19, 2021
When Gerrard was appointed as Rangers manager in May 2018, the questions were asked about whether he would one day return to Anfield as a boss.
READ: Steven Gerrard’s title focus message to Rangers after Premiership draw with Motherwell
There were comparisons made between Gerrard and Graeme Souness given the links between the clubs and the young ages at which they made the move into the dugout under huge pressure to deliver at Ibrox.
Walters was part of the famous Revolution in Scottish football in the late 80s and believes the current Ibrox gaffer has had a tougher task than his legendary predecessor in returning Rangers to the top of the game.
Walters said: “They are very similar. They were both world class players that did big things at Liverpool and now doing big things at Rangers.
“Unfortunately for Steven Gerrard, he didn’t get the money that Souness had so it has taken him a bit longer to establish everything. But I think this year he will achieve what he wants to achieve.
“It should have been last year, frankly, but this year he will achieve what he wants to achieve and start his career of winning things. As a manager, that is what you are judged on.
“It is definitely up there [in terms of Souness’ achievements]because, you have to remember, he doesn’t have the money that Souness had and he is dealing with players who may not know what is occurring at Rangers in terms of the history of the club etc.
“I think it is possibly is a harder achievement for Steven. It has taken him a bit longer as well to get his brand of football in and the rhythm of football that he likes playing.
“I wouldn’t argue with anybody that said to me that Steven Gerrard had a harder task in the situation to do what he has done.”
For the generation of fans that watched the side built by Souness and improved by Walter Smith go on to dominate our game, recent years have been barren and hugely difficult.
There are some supporters that have never seen Rangers lift major silverware and many for whom the memories of their last successes will be faint as they have lived through a tumultuous period on and off the park.
READ: Chris Jack: Rangers can welcome the chase after Old Firm power shift
It seems unlikely that a packed Ibrox will be able to hail Gerrard’s side in the coming months and Walters is sad to see the empty stands given the importance of the achievement for Rangers.
Walters said: “It must be murder for them to not be at the ground, just like all fans all over Britain, and all over the world probably. It must be terrible for them not seeing it, especially when it looks like we are going to win it this year as well.
“I think it is a shame because it would have been better for the players to have a night in Europe or to win one of these Old Firm games and it would have been fantastic for them to experience that.
“Hopefully things go back to normal eventually, but there is no doubt that with the fans there it would be an even better experience than they are having now.”
*Mark Walters was speaking on ‘The Rangers Fans Corner’ on Ten10Podcasts. For more information and to subscribe visit https://ten10podcasts.com/.