What John Hartson has said about Brendan Rodgers after Rangers hire Steven Gerrard

It’s easy to understand why Steven Gerrard has decided to take on the managerial role at Rangers.

The Gers are one of the most famous clubs in European football and the challenge of returning them to the top of the Scottish Premiership is one that Gerrard couldn’t ignore.

But on the other hand, he arrives at a time when the chips aren’t entirely in his favour.

Rangers are considerably behind Celtic at the moment, both on the pitch and off it.

Indeed, the Bhoys have won the Scottish title for seven straight seasons and their wage bill is £52 million, compared to £18m at Ibrox.

It’s currently unclear how much Gerrard will have to spend on improving his squad in the summer but the fact that the club are hoping an impending share issue will raise £6m suggests there won’t be a great deal in the kitty.

Best of luck to you, Stevie.

John Hartson’s thoughts

Former Celtic striker John Hartson realises the task that is staring the Liverpool legend in the face.

Hartson says that Gerrard must be able to improve his players in the same way that Brendan Rodgers has at Celtic.

“I have heard the argument he may be able to improve players the way that Brendan Rodgers did at Celtic, but you can’t just make these players better overnight,” Hartson told the Evening Times.

“People maybe underestimate what the few signings Brendan did make brought to the party, particularly the key signing of Scott Sinclair.

“He paid £4.5 million for him and he was remarkable in that first season, and the impact Moussa Dembele had was tremendous as well.

“Rodgers will see this as a challenge, and he will want to make sure that Celtic are even better again next season, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dip into the transfer market as well.”

Hartson added: “Steven Gerrard is a global superstar, but ultimately, he’ll need help to strengthen the Rangers team if they are to challenge Celtic at all,”

“Anyone who saw the last Old Firm game can clearly see that it was like men versus boys, and the semi-final of the Scottish Cup was exactly the same.

“Will the money be available though to close the gap in quality significantly on Celtic though? He must have been told it will be, otherwise, I can’t fathom out why he would have taken the job, because Rangers will just get beaten again by a similar margin.

“The place has been in disarray, so the arrival of Gerrard has lifted the whole club, and there has been an injection of optimism.

“Stevie is very professional, and I’m sure he wouldn’t have taken the job without feeling that with a little bit of help he can make Rangers better.

“So, it is a coup for Rangers to get such a class act as a manager, but Dave King can’t hang him out to dry. I know he said in his press conference that recruitment isn’t that important, but I actually think that it is everything, particularly for this Rangers squad.”

If Gerrard isn’t given the funds in the summer, then Celtic’s dominance is almost certainly going to continue.

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