Gerrard can bring a winning mentality to the Light Blues
With £3m man coming in and the backing of the board, new boss just needs to instil spirit of Walter in side
THE Rangers squad will return to pre-season training on Friday and I know Steven Gerrard will be looking to make his mark right from the first day in terms of the standards, the discipline and the expectations he will demand from his players.
He, along with the staff he has brought in, need to create the right environment and forge that winning mentality around the training ground and Ibrox.
That starts from the first day and the first impression is important for the manager and the players. Steven will gain respect straight away, as will Gary McAllister.
Everyone is quite excited about the new season and hopefully Connor Goldson will join up as well.
At around £3million, he is certainly a significant signing for Rangers. You have to say fair play to the board for backing the manager in that way.
I know that they have been criticised a lot in the past but they have always backed their man when it comes to transfers.
They did it with Pedro Caixinha last summer. That might have ended badly, but he got the money from the board for fees and for wages.
We all know that Steven needs finance to bring in players and a signing at that level is a bit of a statement of intent from Rangers.
At 25, Goldson fits the profile of player we should be looking at and there is a potential resale value there. That is something we haven’t had recently.
If he does well, he could be worth double the money we are paying for him. He is still young, so there should be more to come from him. Getting the players in is so important but there has to be a degree of Rangers clearing the decks this summer as well.
I am sure Steven will know who be surplus to requirements, and most of the players will know themselves that their time is coming to an end.
How you deal with that depends on you as a professional and a person. You still need to go in and do your job and hope that you get a new club.
You don’t want to be sitting in the stands and not playing, so it is in your interest to be as professional as possible. If you don’t, you could find yourself training alone or with the 20s.
That squad that has been there for the last few years needs a disciplinarian and I can see Steven being that kind of manager because his standards will be so high. I think his qualities are just what Rangers need.
The squad go to Spain for a training camp at the weekend and the time off the park will be so important in terms of bonding between the players and getting to understanding the manager.
Steven will get to know the players on a personal level and it is a chance for him to get inside their heads and see what makes them tick.
Those days away are crucial for any side. That is where the first bonds are built and the foundations are laid for the season.
I worked with Gary Mac at Scotland and he will have a big part to play in that, he is brilliant at bringing groups of players together and he is very approachable. He will be the bridge between the players and the manager.
We always went to Germany with Walter. It was in the middle of nowhere, there were two sessions a day and we played two or three games in the time we were away.
When it came to a night out, all of the players in the squad would be there. We had that togetherness and had an amazing bond.
But at pre-season we knew the hard work had to be done. Walter would say if we wanted to go on a night out, we could go out.
That didn’t really happen, though. We all knew how important the season coming up was and what was expected of us so we had to put the hours in.
We had European games coming up and then the start
to the league so when it was time to work, we knew what was expected of us.
That came from Davie Weir, and the likes of Barry Ferguson. We had a few mad men, but we were sensible when it mattered and it all came together.
Watching the last couple of years at Rangers, when there has been six trophies up for grabs and we have won none of them, the thing that stands out for me is the lack of togetherness in the team on the park. That comes from off the park.
We had that. Not every one of us got on, but there was a professionalism and we had each other’s backs in the dressing room.
There was a nastiness, if you like, but a real winning mentality and that is why I think Steven Gerrard can be a success because that is the way that he thinks.
That will filter through his coaches, staff and players.
That is what Walter had. He had that streak, that mindset, and Steven will bring that to Rangers.