Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has tipped Rangers boss Steven Gerrard to achieve ‘special things’ at Ibrox and end the Gers’ wait for a premier trophy.
Rangers last lifted top-flight silverware when they won the Scottish Premiership in 2011, while being without a Scottish Cup since ’09 and a League Cup since 2011.
Alonso won five trophies including the Champions League and FA Cup during his time with Gerrard at Anfield, and is backing his former teammate to win a domestic honour in Scotland, as there is nobody better for the players at Ibrox to learn from than his ex-captain.
The Gers went into the international break atop the Premiership standings after taking seven wins from eight games, which placed them two points better off than their city rivals, who were beaten by Livingston last time out for their first defeat of the season.
Neil Lennon’s Hoops also trail the Light Blues on goal difference, after the Gers hit five past Hamilton Academical and Aberdeen in recent weeks to secure a plus-21 goal difference with a league-low five goals allowed against them.
Rangers are set for a Betfred Cup semi-final clash with Hearts next month, as well, and former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich man Alonso doubts silverware will be a long time coming.
“He is interested in making the people he works with better players, and if they want to improve, there is nobody better to learn from,” Alonso told the Daily Record. “I am sure trophies are just around the corner for Rangers now Stevie is there. I am sure he is going to achieve special things at Rangers.
“Stevie was not a normal player, and he will not be a normal coach. He is a winner and will be a winner as a coach. There was not a player he didn’t help at Liverpool. Not just in the first team, but the youngsters as well.
“For such a big talent, nothing was beneath him and I know he will still be that way as a coach. He wants to teach, he is always there to have an honest conversation, that is why Rangers will continue to improve under his guidance.”
This season is not the first time Rangers have found themselves in title contention under Gerrard, as the Reds icon helped mount a challenge to Celtic last season in what was his maiden campaign as a head coach.
Rangers ultimately fell nine points short, but Gerrard and the Gers will surely have learnt from that experience, and those teachings will help better place them this year, providing the Ibrox natives can maintain their current form after a string of draws in December and again in February-March last term proved costly.
Having Gerrard in the dugout will also be of great benefit to the younger members of the Gers’ first team, as he can draw on his experiences as a player to help nurture their mindset like Alonso alluded to.
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