Rangers made an emphatic return to the SPFL on Saturday afternoon as they recorded a 4-0 win over Dundee at Ibrox on a weekend in which Wayne Rooney made a bold prediction regarding Steven Gerrard’s future at the club.
A 1-0 defeat in the Old Firm derby prior to the international break served as a gentle reminder about the scale of the task which lies before Gerrard. Indeed, Rangers are not quite light years behind Celtic in their development but there was a notable gulf in class which certainly cannot and will not be addressed overnight.
It will take Gerrard time to instigate a significant improvement at Rangers but he will certainly write himself into club folklore if he can enable the Gers to clinch the SPFL title in the coming years.
Although he has not made any predictions about Rangers’ chances of winning the title under Gerrard, Wayne Rooney has recently suggested that the club are destined to improve under their new manager.
During a lengthy interview with the Daily Mail, Rooney stated that in “two or three years there will be clubs in the Premier League coming to try to snatch them (Gerrard and Lampard) away.”
The departure of Gerrard within the next 2-3 years is a scenario that is certainly plausible given the intrinsic nature of modern day football management – especially if he does the unthinkable by leading them to the SPFL title.
But Gerrard’s departure is unlikely to be the only worry for Rangers supporters if he eventually gets snapped up by a Premier League club as his personal influence could convince James Tavernier to follow him south of the border.
It’s commonplace for key players to follow managers onto pastures new and Tavernier’s glowing success as Rangers captain suggests that is well equipped to return to English football.
Not only is Tavernier an excellent defensive talent who is willing to throw his body on the line for the cause, he is a marauding threat down the wing with the goal scoring ability and vision to make a decisive impact in the final-third.
As captain, Tavernier will work closely alongside Gerrard behind the scenes and that dynamic could well form the basis of a strong working relationship, and there’s no doubt that Tavernier would be tempted to follow the Rangers boss onto his next chapter if he eventually attracts interest from the Premier League as Rooney has predicted.
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