Former Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra believes that the Ibrox club made the right decision in appointing Steven Gerrard as manager in May 2018.
The Algerian, who is now managing Al-Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates Gulf League, praised the “modern football philosophy” of the 39-year-old and also commended the way in which he relates to the players at Ibrox, adding that he could attract some big names to the club.
Speaking to the Daily Record, Bougherra said: “Rangers made a good choice in signing Gerrard. He is a young manager with a modern football philosophy and identity. He’s doing very well. He’s close to the players, he knows their mentality, especially the new generation.
“He can stay as long as possible and in the future bring in even bigger players when the money is back because he can attract the best with his name and create a good project. It was a very good choice.”
When looking at the impact that Gerrard has had at Ibrox, along with the way in which he has handled one of his key players, it is not surprising that Bougherra has been so complimentary of the Rangers boss.
After the club finished third in the Premiership in the season before Gerrard’s arrival, he took them to second last term and now has them just two points behind leaders Celtic, whom he has beaten three times in a year after Rangers had gone nearly seven years without a derby victory inside 90 minutes (as per TransferMarkt). He has also guided the club into the knockout rounds of a European tournament for the first time since 2011.
In addition to the on-field improvement, Gerrard has displayed strong management in his handling of Alfredo Morelos, the club’s top scorer this season with 28 goals. He recently spoke out strongly in defence of the Colombian after his red card against Celtic in the wake of criticism from Chris Sutton over a throat-slitting gesture he made in the derby, seemingly determined to make the 23-year-old feel highly appreciated amid reported transfer interest from Newcastle (as per Daily Record).
Gerrard has made some astute signings for Rangers, too. He brought in Jermain Defoe on loan after he struggled for game-time at Bournemouth and the veteran striker has since scored 22 goals in a year at Ibrox. Midfielder Glen Kamara, a first team regular with 12 league starts this season, cost just £50,000 from Dundee (as per Daily Record), while left-back Borna Barisic came to the club in August 2018 for £2.2m (as per BBC) and has been the team’s leading assists provider so far in 2019/20 with 13.
As Bougherra has claimed, Gerrard may be able to attract more expensive acquisitions given that Rangers stand to earn several million pounds in prize money from their Europa League run this season. Also, with the club fiercely contesting the Premiership title race and progressing in Europe under his watch, the prospects of luring “bigger players” to Ibrox could become greater. Taking all that into account, Gerrard has indeed proven to be “a very good choice” by Rangers, as Bougherra put it.
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