Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is right to turn down approach from Newcastle


Steven Gerrard has turned down the chance to manage Newcastle United and it seems the ex Liverpool legend has made the right choice.

Gerrard is new to the managership game and has chosen Rangers to make his debut in the dug out. Gerrard did well and finished 2nd in the league only to Celtic and only by 9 points. That means that Rangers will be playing in the Europa League next season and he should be happy with his first season.

Rangers are trying to win their first league championship since 2011 after a troubled decade which has seen them relegated due to internal problems. Surely the challenge then for Gerrard would be to see Rangers as champions, and leaving after just one season would make little sense.

This would be underlined when it comes to Newcastle as Gerrard has seen his former Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez not treated so well at the Magpies by owner Mike Ashley, so why would Gerrard leave a stable job like Rangers to manage Newcastle who could well be a likely candidate to struggle next season and could be relegated. With Rangers there are goals to be won and one of those is finally displacing Celtic and bringing the league back to Ibrox after 9 years.

Gerrard is also showing total respect to Rangers as he has already been involved in pre season and this week Rangers will be taking on St Josephs in the Europa League qualifying. Rangers are expected to win the game against the minnows from Gibraltar but this is over 2 legs.

One could take a leaf out of Gerrard’s book though. It is still puzzling that Brendan Rodgers left Celtic in March, two months before the end of the Scottish season to take charge of Premier League team Leicester City, why not wait until the end of the season, after all that is what it is about respect.

Anyhow Gerrard has decided to stay and done the right thing, and there would have been no guarantee anyway that he would have gotten along with Mike Ashley- few seem to do.

Gerrard’s long term plan looks evident enough and that is to put Rangers back on the map to winning trophies and then one day return to the Premier League and manage his beloved Liverpool. Well if Frank Lampard can do it for Chelsea why not Gerrard for Liverpool, it will take longer to achieve but that will be his ultimate goal no doubt.

Why are Allardyce and Pardew still seen as progressive?

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So, Sam Allardyce is given his cards yet again, this time at Everton. The fourth job in succession where he’s either been sacked or left via ‘mutual consent.’ Sacked in other words.

Alan Pardew was given the old heave-ho a few weeks ago, and incredibly West Bromwich Albion’s fortunes took a sharp upturn after he’d left.

What is difficult to understand is why the pair, and others of their ilk, continue to be seen as somewhat progressive and are almost the first port of call when Premier League coaching jobs are available.

Overlooking Allardyce’s penchant for a quick few hundred thousand which in itself is a thorny issue, to essentially bring in someone whose best years in management were almost two decades ago and expect them to perform miracles is asking for trouble.

He’s nothing but a saviour, and from the route one school at that.

His teams play as he did. Physically imposing, limited in their capabilities, but willing to battle all day long. Just the ingredients required if you’re in the midst of a relegation battle or need promoting from the lower leagues.

But a European push? Don’t make me laugh.

The Dudley-born former central defender likes to use ProZone and the odd sports science methodology to help get his points and tactics across, but he’s still the same old northern hoofer underneath the Emperor’s new clothes.

And yet, clubs are still falling for it. His agent must be on huge bunce because he’s the true miracle worker here.

Everton, like Crystal Palace, Sunderland and West Ham before them, now have to honour the outrageous contract that was negotiated whilst poring over what exactly they’ve paid him for, for the last six months.

Pardew is cut from the same cloth as Allardyce. Arguably, his last successful stint at any club came at West Ham, where he took them to the 2006 FA Cup final.

Only Steven Gerrard’s desire on the day took Liverpool to the promised land because for long periods, the Hammers were the better team in what has since been labelled the best-ever FA Cup final.

The following season, he took the Hammers on their worst run of defeats in 70 years, but somehow this was enough to convince Charlton Athletic to hire him just a fortnight after his dismissal in east London.

Charlton were in dire straits when he took them over, so their subsequent relegation can’t be pinned on him, but eight games without a win saw them in the Championship’s bottom three. Off he went again.

Southampton was his next port of call but player unrest and low staff morale, allegedly because of Pardew’s insistence at following outdated and unworkable methods, saw a swift exit.

Quite how he then went on to land one of the biggest jobs in the country – Newcastle United – is anyone’s guess… though they did also employ Allardyce!

A four-year stay wasn’t overly successful and neither did his stint at Crystal Palace where, finally, a chairman hit the nail on the head. Steve Parish said of Pardew “his style of football hasn’t and doesn’t work.” Hallelujah.

Five months at West Brom was more than enough for the Baggies, Pardew leaving the club at the foot of the table and 10 games without a win. Their relegation, despite Darren Moore’s best efforts, was ultimately down to Pardew.

Both Allardyce and Pardew are relics from the past, trying to make themselves relevant in a game that’s now far ahead of their level of understanding. Simply put, football has moved on. They haven’t.

There’s a reason why the pair keep being sacked from each club that offer them a route back, but perhaps their reputations are now so tarnished that everyone has learnt their lesson.

One can only hope.

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World Cup 2018: Kane, Sterling and Rashford vying to end England’s 52 years of hurt


Another major tournament rolls around, and the hopes and dreams of England fans across the world once again dare to ignite in the name of hope and desire. England, who couldn’t play football – they had it in the bag 52 years ago, but to be fair they have struggled to get anywhere near replicating the glory days of 1966 since then. They may have managed to get to a few quarter-finals in World Cups – and indeed that seems to now be the benchmark for a decent tournament – but they haven’t got to within touching distance of the final in the intervening years. Following on from last week’s look at Argentina’s chances this summer, it is now time to take a look at just how Gareth Southgate’s men could fare in Russia.

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Will Steven Gerrard swap LA for Milton Keynes?


The hot topic this week was Steven Gerrard’s announcement that he will not renew his contract at LA Galaxy and at 36 it seems that this decision could well spell the end of his playing days.

Time moves quick in football and reports suggest the Liverpool legend has already taken steps to become a manager. Whilst many would have believed that a return in some capacity to his beloved Liverpool could have been the next step, Gerrard has instead opted for MK Dons.

The League One side currently in 21st place have confirmed that they have opened talks with Gerrard for the role of manager. The news has surprised many because instant failure at a club with little resources has somewhat tarnished other ex players careers. Roy Keane and Tony Adams included. On the flip side of course is the experience that Gerrard craves and right now the only way is up for the Dons who have suffered a miserable start to their League One campaign.

He would certainly fill the dressing room with an awe and respect and this is what MK Dons chairman Pete Winkleman would be looking for.

Gerrard left LA Galaxy without getting his hands on the MLS title unlike his former England team mate David Beckham and some have suggested that his move there was a mistake. Indeed when he first decided to go many pundits believed he was still good enough to remain in the Premier League.

Gerrard left Los Angeles having played 38 games in total including cups and scoring 5 goals. Goals wise Gerrard had never been so poor since his 3rd season with Liverpool in 2001/02.

If Gerrard which it now seems highly likely has decided to hang up his boots he has a glittering career of trophies with Liverpool which includes winning the Champions League, the FA Cup twice, the League Cup 3 times, UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Cup in 2000. In total Gerrard has won 9 trophies. However there is a huge gap in his trophy cabinet and for now will ever be as a player and that is a league title.

Gerrard will aim to correct that as a manager and work his self up slowly but steadily. He is already confirmed to begin working on his UEFA A licence which is a requirement of UEFA for coaching in Europe.

Gerrard has confirmed that he has many options on and off the pitch and will evaluate these in the coming weeks with a possible announcement in January as to his future.

Should Liverpool leave out returning captain Steve Gerrard for Sunday’s Manchester United clash?

Liverpool host fierce rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, with the Reds favourites to pick up all three points as a result of their fantastic form in the Premier League of late. Brendan Rodgers’ men are fifth in the table after 29 games, and have won five league outings on the bounce. They have returning long-serving midfielder and captain Steven Gerrard available to start, but should he come straight back into the side?

The Merseysiders have beaten the likes of Tottenham, Southampton and Manchester City in consecutive weeks to boost their chances of finishing in the top-four of the table come May, and their unbeaten run in the division has been stretched to 13 games. Their impressive form has also coincided with the absence of club captain Steven Gerrard, who has missed six of Liverpool last 11 top-flight fixtures. While the ex-England international has been out of the side, Liverpool have won every game, conceding only two goals.

Rodgers scrapped playing three central midfielders in the side months ago, and has turned their form around with a 3-4-3 formation. Gerrard had floated around in a number of positions, playing as one of the three attackers, wing-back, and as a deep-lying central midfielder. Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson have impressive while the 34-year-old has been sidelined, so why would the manager make a change to a winning side?

“Who do you leave out? Henderson, you don’t leave out. Allen was maybe one of the best players on the pitch against Man City. I don’t think (Rodgers will) play Steven Gerrard. The team is playing well. They’ve been on a great run since Steven has been out of the team. Unfortunately, he’ll know himself, when you go out the team and the team continue on a great run, it’s hard to get back in. It’s unfortunate for him but we’ve all been there towards the end of our career,” said former Liverpool player and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher.

Manchester United have been woeful away from home this season, dropping points from five of their last seven games on the road. Liverpool are the big favourites to win, which will see them replace Louis van Gaal’s side in the top-four too. They can win without Gerrard in the team, but the captain is the lifeblood of the club, and knows what’s required in this fixture than any other. He’s not as young as he once was, but remains an influential figure in the team.

Should Liverpool leave out Steven Gerrard in Sunday’s clash against Manchester United? Or does he deserve to start?