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Sir Kenny Dalglish: You didn’t need to be Einstein to see Steven Gerrard was manager material

© SNS GroupSteven Gerrard with Dave King on the day in 2018 when he was announced as Rangers manager
Steven Gerrard with Dave King on the day in 2018 when he was announced as Rangers manager

Dave King has been in the news, giving his thoughts on a few things, from Celtic’s current situation to his appointment of Steven Gerrard as Rangers manager.

He did ask for my opinion on Steven’s suitability to become the gaffer at Ibrox.

Back then, in 2018, he was managing the youth team at Liverpool. He was doing so in a first-class manner, and making a fine impression.

One of the biggest things Steven had in his locker early in his coaching journey was that it was clear he was able to improve players.

Many of the players he’d have to work with wouldn’t be on the same level as he was during his playing career. But he was patient, and able to get his messages and instructions across in the perfect way.

Being able to get the best out of players – and improve them – are massive ticks against anyone’s name.

So my view – as I have stated many times in this column – was that Steven had an excellent future in management.

But you didn’t need to be Albert Einstein to figure out that he the qualities to manage at a higher level!

© Alan Harvey / SNS Group
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Rangers offered him that opportunity, and he now stands on the verge of winning the Premiership title with them.

It’s worked out very well for everyone.

Apart from the domestic success this season, there has also been fantastic progress in Europe.

Rangers are in the last 32 of the Europa League and are back in action on Thursday night, away to Royal Antwerp.

They are doing well in the Belgian league right now, and should not be underestimated.

But the draw was favourable to Rangers, and I’d expect them to qualify over the two legs.

Beyond that, you never know. But I don’t think too many clubs will be hoping to get Steven’s team in the draw.

The Rangers players, I’d imagine, will be refreshed and looking forward to getting back into European action.

They have enjoyed the luxury of a few free midweeks in the past six or seven weeks and that should be beneficial.

Training will still have been taking place but it will have been measured. Players will not have been asked to go at full pace every day. They will be guided well.

Clearly, they have been given the correct information on many aspects in this campaign. That’s why they have such a strong lead at the top of the table, and have had so many clean sheets.

The way the defence has performed has been admirable. If you keep regular clean sheets, then you know you’ll get a at least a point from every game.

Allan McGregor deserves much credit. He has been in brilliant form, and was so again last weekend in the 1-1 draw at Hamilton Accies.

After the game, he let rip at the level of his team’s performance, and his honesty was commendable.

But it’s worth remembering that it’s impossible to be bang on it every single week.

Allan McGregor in action for Rangers © Alan Harvey / SNS Group
Allan McGregor in action for Rangers

That said, I’m sure Steven would have been pleased to see Allan being so forthright.

It was a timely reminder to the whole squad at the stage of the campaign where nobody inside Ibrox will want to take anything for granted.

They have worked very, very hard this season, and they are close to it all being rewarded in the best possible way.

But they still have work to do. That is for sure.

Celtic appear to be too far behind to make any real inroads towards the title, but Neil Lennon’s players are now three games unbeaten and won 4-0 away to St Mirren in midweek.

They play at St Johnstone this afternoon, and that will be a difficult game.

Saints are in good form, and Callum Davidson has his team playing entertaining football.

But Neil will want to make it as difficult and uncomfortable as possible for Rangers in the next few weeks.

But they have just been too inconsistent this season, and that will ultimately cost them.