Jurgen Klopp was crowned the Best Fifa Men’s Coach at a glittering awards bash in Milan on Monday night. And rightly so.
But it was a quote from him in a magazine interview that created more headlines in Scotland.
The Liverpool manager stated that if he decides to call time on his career at Anfield a couple of years down the line, then Steven Gerrard would be his tip to take over from him.
It’s a hypothetical scenario, but one that I can see the sense in.
I’m sure Jurgen is only echoing the thoughts of most of the club’s supporters.
However, let’s be clear. Jurgen is going nowhere, and nobody with the club at heart wants to see him depart.
He may have led the club to the Champions League last season, the biggest prize in European football.
But there is much more he still wants to achieve – in particular Liverpool’s first league title since 1990 – and this season has started very well.
But the time will come when he decides it’s time to take a break, and nobody would be critical of him for doing so.
At some stage, everybody needs a rest, a time to draw breath and take stock.
When that scenario unfolds, Steven Gerrard, I’m quite certain, will come into the thoughts of everyone at Liverpool.
He knows the club inside out and is proving himself to be a very capable young manager at Rangers.
Jurgen didn’t say what he did in order to angle a move away from Anfield for himself, or to unsettle Steven at Ibrox.
He was just speaking honestly.
For me, the way Jurgen answered the question put to him once again reiterated just how much he “gets” Liverpool, from the way some people are regarded by everyone at the club to the mood and feelings of the supporters.
Perhaps Steven might have been a wee bit embarrassed with Jurgen’s comments, but they would have been said with the best of intentions.
Deep down inside, I’m sure, Steven would have been very, very proud of Jurgen’s comments.
But right now he has a job at Rangers to be getting on with, just as Jurgen will be fully focused on matters at Anfield.
Steven is doing very well at Ibrox. He has improved the team, and helped the club make huge strides forward off the park.
The next step, of course, is to try to win silverware.
With a wee bit of good fortune for him and his players, that will happen. But it doesn’t come easily.
Celtic are a force to be reckoned with, and they are also in fine form. They are the lead club in the country and have won a treble Treble.
Neil Lennon and his players will not give up all of that without one hell of a fight.
Neil had a bit of turbulence to endure five or six weeks ago, but has come through it. He is a strong character and an extremely able manager.
We all expected there to be a close battle between the two biggest clubs in the country this season, and it’s shaping up that way.
For Rangers, going to Livingston last midweek and winning 1-0 in the Betfred Cup quarter-final tie showed there is a steeliness about them.
There appears to be as much resilience as quality in the squad.
They have a semi-final tie against Hearts to look forward to, while Celtic will face Hibs. So there is the obvious potential of it being an Old Firm final at Hampden in December.
There is, of course, a scenario that could see the showpiece occasion being an Edinburgh derby.
Whatever the outcome of both ties, a mouth-watering Final awaits.
Winning trophies and enjoying the moment is what football is all about, and why you work hard every day in training and make constant sacrifices.
In the past decade, or so, Andy Robertson is the classic example of that. His back story is well known, but he continues to keep his career moving forward.
During the week, one of my former players at Liverpool, Jamie Redknapp, was in Scotland playing golf and had his say on Robertson and the Scotland national team.
Jamie reckons it’s hard for Andy to replicate his club form at international level and that hampers him.
Well, I won’t fall out with Jamie. Equally, however, I will stick up for Andy and try to see the positives for our national team.
For club and country, he has been superb for a number of years.
Andy is a proud captain of his country and wants nothing more than for us to make it to Euro 2020.
He is a proud Scot and hurts when results don’t go to plan.
In terms of his club career, I don’t think being away with Scotland does Andy any harm.
Every player will not always reach the high level of consistency they achieve to get to play for a club such as Liverpool, and then stay in the team.
But on the very rare occasion Andy might take a wee dip, his performance will still be better than a thousand other full-backs.
Look at every performance level, and it can be about just how good your “bad” game was. Andy has never let anyone down.
He knows what is required and has the attitude and ability, on and off the park, to continue to grow for club and country.
I’m absolutely certain about that.
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