WHO ARE MONACO?
Thierry Henry isn’t the only 2000s star finding hisfeet on the bench. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, cornerstones of Liverpool and Chelsea, have branched out too…
Steven Gerrard, appointed by Scottish Premier League side Rangers in summer 2018, has had the proverbial mixed bag. His team have gone from top of the League to out of the Cup, giving the former Liverpool captain a baptism into the true nature of being a football manager.
Success for Rangers will always be measured against Glasgow rivals Celtic, though, and by that measure Gerrard is performing well. The clubs have been neck-and-neck for most of the campaign, although Gerrard did lose his first Old Firm derby in September. For a man well-versed in derbies after ruling the feisty Merseyside version, that’s not something that will sit well.
Rangers have also impressed in
Europe, looking more competitive than expected in their Europa League group. Drawn against La Liga’s Villarreal, Austrian powerhouses Rapid Wien and tricky Russians Spartak Moscow, it wouldn’t have been a shock to see the Gers down in fourth place.
Back in England, Gerrard’s former England teammate Frank Lampard is in charge at Derby County. The Rams, in search of a return to the Premier League, took a gamble on the former Chelsea midfielder, who had no coaching experience prior to taking the post at Pride Park. Gerrard, by contrast, at least had a spell in charge of Liverpool’s Under-18s.
Lampard though is a true rookie, albeit a serial winner as a player. The battle to get out of the Championship is one of the most competitive anywhere in football, and Lampard’s Derby have been at times impressive but generally inconsistent. They’re in the play-off mix and not out of the automatic promotion race either, leaving all to play for in the second half of the season.
But in the age of superstar salaries, it’s heartening to see Gerrard, Lampard and Thierry Henry, legitimately three of the biggest and most successful players of their era, eschewing the comfort of punditry and imparting their experience on to a new generation.