It is an alliance that will prove incongruous to many embroiled in the bitter rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United. But Steven Gerrard has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson has been available for advice during his tenure with the Rangers.
In an interview with The Guardian published on Monday, Ferguson praised Gerrard’s “magnificent” work, after the former Liverpool captain made the Rangers champions of Scotland for the first time since 2011.
“It’s high praise and I’m extremely flattered,” Gerrard said. “He is an iconic figure in the game. Through no fault of our own, we became great rivals in Liverpool and Manchester United, the two biggest clubs in British football.
“We were great rivals for many years and he is someone who, although he was a rival, I admired him immensely because he is such an iconic figure in the game. What he accomplished in the game is up there with the best that have ever lived. So I am really flattered and humbled by his words. “
It turns out that the former Manchester United manager, and Rangers player, knows a little more about Gerrard’s three years in office at Ibrox than he revealed. Gerrard was speaking while collecting the manager of the year award from William Hill Scottish Football Writers in Glasgow.
“I’ll tell you a little secret: I’ve had a couple of conversations with him,” Gerrard said. “Since I retired, we have parked our rivalry and he gave me time on the phone to bounce some things off him, some questions to ask with management here at Rangers.
“He was fantastic in those conversations. At some point moving forward, I would love the opportunity to sit down with him and have coffee. He agrees with that and that’s great from his point of view because he doesn’t have to give me his time, especially as a rival. But I think that shows what kind of man he is. He’s not just the iconic coach we all know. “
Gerrard has previously spoken about the value of leaning on praised former Rangers managers Graeme Souness and Walter Smith for support. “When you try to learn and strive to be better, you don’t just listen to these people after you’ve won a league,” he said.
“This has been a journey and sometimes you feel like you are going the wrong way or you are hitting some potholes or maybe you need some advice that is not related to football.
“I wouldn’t say that everyone is a mentor, that’s a bit extreme, but it’s nice to know that you can phone someone who has been there and has. When you try to learn and grow, have people who have been so successful and who have gone through what I am going through now many, many times, that is invaluable to me. “
The Rangers have two games left, beginning with the trip to Livingston on Wednesday, in what remains an undefeated league season. “I don’t want to score out of 10; I think it’s for other people, ”Gerrard said. “But I just won an award for being the best coach among a group of fantastic coaches, so obviously I’m not doing that bad.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism