WHO ARE MONACO?

Soccer 360 - - Bundesliga -

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.

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