It is once again the biggest fixture in Scottish football today, as Rangers host Celtic in the Old Firm Derby.
It will be manager Steven Gerrard’s first Old Firm at Ibrox, and that will bring a lot of pressure. Not to mention the fact that he will dearly need to win to keep the pressure on Celtic at the top of the table. He faces his friend and former manager Brendan Rodgers, who is getting used to this derby now, and having a lot of success in it too.
With that in mind, let’s compare these two managers…
The criticism of Gerrard when he became manager of Rangers at the beginning of the season was his lack of experience. He had only managed Liverpool’s academy setup, and this was suddenly a huge leap to a team where the pressure on him would be immense.
To be fair, while the Liverpool legend has showed a lot of promise so far, he has also looked inexperienced at times. For instance, in the last Old Firm, his side simply did not attack enough and ended up falling to a lacklustre loss.
Perhaps he can be accused of lacking the experience in the League Cup semi-final loss to Aberdeen, and his inability to guide The Gers out of their Europa League group despite being in a good position.
A promising manager, but maybe still a bit green.
TT Grade: B+
Since becoming Celtic manager in 2016, Rodgers has had more success than fans would ever have dreamed of.
In two seasons at Celtic Park, the Northern Irishman has won a historic double treble, and is now chasing a tenth Scottish Premiership title in a row. He has already won the Scottish League Cup this season, and could well be on course for a third treble in three seasons.
However, Rodgers will be judged by how he performs in Europe. The Bhoys escaped their Europa League group by the skin of their teeth, and now face La Liga outfit side Valencia. He will certainly eternize himself in Celtic folklore if he wins European silverware.
But with just shy of a 70% win record with The Hoops, Rodgers has undeniably been a huge figure in Celtic’s recent dominance.
TT Grade: A+
Of course, when comparing the two managers, Rodgers’ vast array of titles puts him ahead in this race.
However, when looking at this season on its own, the Northern Irishman is still proving to be ahead of his former player.
Where Gerrard’s Rangers just fell short in the Europa League group stage, Rodgers’ Celtic did not. Likewise, The Bhoys won the Scottish League Cup, while Rangers lost in the semi-finals. Furthermore, Celtic are just shading it in the league.
Clearly, Gerrard is nipping at Rodgers’ heels, but he is still proving that he is the best manager in Scotland.
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