Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp reckons Steven Gerrard’s start as Rangers boss has been ‘brilliant’

Jurgen Klopp was the centre of attention at Celtic Park yesterday, and obliged these fans with a selfie (SNS Group / Roddy Scott)
Jurgen Klopp was the centre of attention at Celtic Park yesterday, and obliged these fans with a selfie (SNS Group / Roddy Scott)

LIVERPOOL boss Jurgen Klopp insists Steven Gerrard has made a brilliant start as Rangers manager.

The German reckons some people are unrealistic in expecting the former midfielder to instantly create a team that can compete with Celtic.

Gerrard was widely praised for leading the Light Blues to the Europa League group stage, but a disappointing 1-0 defeat in last Sunday’s Old Firm game has dampened the euphoria.

Klopp said: “I’ve seen a few games because Steven has three of my former players – two on loan and Jon Flanagan.

“He’s doing well. I’m not sure what Rangers fans expect.

“The start was brilliant and then he lost against Celtic.

“Wow, what a surprise! They’re the top team in the league and it’s not like they were 50 or 60% better than Rangers – like they have been in the last few years.

“They’re getting closer and that’s the only way to get there one day.

“That’s Steven’s job, but so far he’s been more than good.

“It was brilliant for him in Europe. He’s putting a good team together and they have to improve.”

Klopp flew to Glasgow in a private jet yesterday to take part in the Match For Cancer charity game at Celtic Park.

He expressed delight that Liverpool full-back Andrew Robertson captained Scotland for the first time on Friday night.

“Unfortunately, it was not the perfect opponent to celebrate it in Belgium,” he said. “A lot of teams would have struggled against them.

“Andy has made big strides and he’s now the Braveheart for Scotland.

“He’s still young but he’s already a leader and he’ll be even better in the future.”

Celtic fans were able to wallow in nostalgia and raise money at Parkhead.

Two teams of former players and celebrities were captained by former Hoops’ favourite Stiliyan Petrov and Liverpool midfielder James Milner to raise money for cancer charities.

The sight of Henrik Larsson in the famous green and white shirt was probably worth the admission money for most supporters.

They also saw Robbie Keane looking fit as a fiddle at 38, a cuddly Hristo Stoichkov, Artur Boruc back between the sticks and Paddy McCourt
walking past defenders in the way only he can.

Burnley goalie Joe Hart took off his gloves and played outfield for most of the second half.

The game ended 3-3 with goals from Keane, Manchester United’s Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor for Stan Petrov’s XI.

A penalty by freestyle footballer Jeremy Lynch and two from Spanish World Cup winner Joan Capdevila counted for Milner’s side.

Petrov revealed that Brendan Rodgers – who managed the Celtic side – doesn’t really do friendlies, especially against a team in Liverpool shirts.

He said: “He was great, obviously he wanted to win the game.

“He said, ‘I was at Liverpool and they kicked me out of there, so I want to win’.

“Henrik Larsson actually said sorry for not scoring with a good chance.

“I said, ‘Henrik, you have scored so many, I’ll let you off with that one’.”