When news broke that former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was in talks with Rangers about their soon to be vacant managers position the immediate response from football fans was one of intrigue.
For Rangers this move represents them moving into relevance once again after being demoted to the third division in Scotland back in 2012.
Why is this such a good appointment?
Yes, Gerrard has no experience as such beyond being a youth coach at Liverpool. Yes, he also has no prior experience of Scottish football. And yes, he also is getting this job on merit of his name and playing career.
But does that matter? No. In 2006 Sunderland hired Roy Keane. A man without any experience of the Championship nor any experience of coaching. However, he was a huge name. A name fans could get behind.
The man became the identity of the club, moulding them into winners and taking them from bottom to top within the space of a season. He transformed a club that was on its knees into a Premier League establishment.
Now clearly Gerrard and Keane are different in virtually every respect. What they both possess, though, is a name and a reputation that resonates with football fans, players, and owners. Can we really say that Gerrard will turn Rangers into a force without any experience? No.
What we can say, though, is Rangers are taking a shot on someone who only knows winning. A winning culture for a club that has spent its entire existence winning. Who better to end Celtic’s dominance on Scottish football than Steven Gerrard, a former Champions League winner and one of the greatest footballers the United Kingdom has ever produced?
So yes, we know little of Gerrards management style or abilities. But we do know that the former England captain, like Roy Keane, is a winner and he will bring that mentality into his managerial career.
In 1986 Rangers made the unorthodox appointment of former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness. The decision to bring him in was heralded at the time as a risk because he had no experience of management.
At the time Rangers were enduring one of their worst spells in football, they had not won the league since 1978 and crowds were dwindling. Souness provided a much-needed spark to the club and began won three league titles in four seasons.
The appointment was an incredible coup, orchestrated and planned by chief executive David Holmes, with the ramifications massive not just for Rangers but for the Scottish and British game as a whole. Souness smashed the wage structure at Ibrox, signed the cream of English football - including England captain Terry Butcher and Chris Woods - and brought the Gers back into footballing relevance.
He took a club that was enduring a torrid spell by their own high standards and converted them into winners. His spell led the charge for change as the club won ten titles in 11 seasons - unprecedented dominance.
While it would be silly to expect as much from Gerrard, Rangers fans will be taking heart from history and wonder if Gerrard can replicate the success of Souness 30 years before him.
A great move for Rangers
Since Walter Smith departed the club in 2011, Rangers have lacked a manager with a real pedigree.
Ally McCoist did an okay job but is often seen as a jokey figure in football. Mark Warburton did a decent job but is a Championship standard manager. Pedro Caixinha was a dreadful mistake which cost the club money and progress. And Graeme Murty has been an uninspiring stop-gap that has failed to move the club forward.
Gerrard represents a total shift for Rangers into relevance again. Scottish football needs a healthy Old Firm and this appointment would add real belief to their long-suffering supporters that they are truly back.
Added to that the obvious Brendan Rodgers vs Steven Gerrard story that will make TV companies and fans squeal with excitement. We see Rangers enter a new era of parity with Celtic regarding prestige within the game.
Gerrard does not immediately guarantee success
Of course, it is all well and good Rangers appointing a name like Gerrard, but all of that is irrelevant if they do not back him with time and resources.
While it is foolish to think that the Rangers hierarchy will give their new boss a Premier League budget, the club would be silly to appoint a manager like Gerrard and not provide him with adequate resources to challenge Celtic’s domestic dominance.
In essence, this appointment represents a shift in power in Scottish football. We will truly have the two heavyweights of Scottish football back, which can only make the game stronger and more fascinating.
The important thing for Rangers is getting this appointment over the line. If Gerrard does not take the job, it will feel like both parties have missed an opportunity.
Do you think Steven Gerrard would be a good appointment for Rangers? Let us know in the comments section below.