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Gordon Smith: Would Steven Gerrard’s new Rangers spine include John Terry?

John Terry (PA Wire)
John Terry (PA Wire)

I HAVE been over in Calgary as a guest of NARSA, the North American Rangers Supporters Association.

As a former Rangers player, I’ve been invited a few times, and it’s always a great event, wherever it is staged.

But I can’t remember there ever being the same buzz as this year.

And there is one man responsible for that – Steven Gerrard.

Everyone I spoke to is convinced he is a good appointment, a man of huge standing in the game with the potential to lead the club back to the pinnacle of the Scottish game.

They can’t know he is going to be a success, but they think there is every reason to believe he will be.

I don’t think any supporter underestimates the scale of the task Gerrard is taking on in attempting to build a side to win the Premiership title, which is the job he has to do.

Having won seven in a row, Celtic have huge momentum, and a core of strength running right throughout the club.

They will take a lot of beating.

However, as he said on his appointment, Gerrard’s record with England and Liverpool prove he is no stranger to big challenges.

His record of achievement was truly exceptional and should guarantee that, as a manager, he will have the respect of every player in the Rangers dressing room.

I mentioned Celtic’s strength, and I think in order to overhaul the club’s great rivals – and his own former Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers – Gerrard is going to have to emulate them.

He will need mentally and physically-tough players right throughout the spine of his side.

He already has the keeper, Allan McGregor, who has been a great player for Rangers in the past and shown himself to be a winner.

Now he has to find a top-quality centre-half, central midfielder and goalscoring striker to add to the mix.

The talk in Calgary was that he needs a John Terry, and should move heaven and earth to persuade him to come north.

He is out of contract after his season at Aston Villa, so would be available.

But even at 37, he would be able to command a salary far out of Rangers’ reach, with Manchester United credited with an interest.

So he would have to take it on as a footballing mission, something we have seen plenty of players do in the past – Bruno Alves being a recent example.

There are historic similarities with Terry Butcher, albeit he was at the other end of his career.

But I think John Terry would have a similar impact in helping the club to bring other big names north.

In attempting to reshape the team, Gerrard is going to need to be strong himself to deal with all the challenges.

He can ignore all the off-field stuff involving chairman Dave King – like his current spat with the SPFL over chairman Murdoch MacLennan’s alleged relationship with Celtic shareholders.

That is that is not in his remit.

But he will have to deal with ongoing issues involving his players, specifically what to do with Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace, who have been fined for their row with Graeme Murty.

Out of contract, I expect Kenny to move on. Lee could be given another chance, but will have to prove himself worthy of the opportunity.

Gerrard himself is past that point. His feats as a player have earned him the chance he’s been given.

All he has to do now is succeed.