Sven: I apos;d Bet A Lot Of Money That Stevie Will Bring Trophies To Ibrox

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In a coaching career spanning 17 jobs in eight different countries, Sven-Goran Eriksson has learned that the wide world of football is filled with unpredictability.
Success is often a fragile commodity.

Manager's jobs can hinge on the slenderest of margins. This is not a trade noted for certainty or longevity.
There is one outcome, however, on which Eriksson would be willing to place a substantial wager. Despite no silverware yet arriving at [/sport/teampages/rangers.html Rangers], he expresses not a shred of doubt about Steven Gerrard developing into a successful manager.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard can handle pressure of altering the Old Firm balance of power
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‘I am very happy for him and he is doing great in my opinion,' the 72-year-old Swede told Sportsmail.

‘Of course, he will look at winning trophies as a next step. That will happen. He will be a success. I would take a big bet on that.
‘Why? Because of his character and his knowledge of football. The Stevie Gerrard I remember didn't speak very much.
But when he did, people listened to him.
‘He had that about him, whether it was in training or matches. That is a big thing if you want to be a manager.
‘He is also a very serious and professional person. If he gets a job, he will not give 99 per cent to it.

He would try and give 200 per cent if possible. And you can see that Rangers did very well in the Europa League.'
The 2019-20 season in Scotland was called to a halt this month, crowning Celtic as champions
Eriksson was speaking to mark Gerrard's 40th birthday and to pay tribute to a man who was a key part of his England squad between 2001 and 2006.
His admiration for Gerrard the player was boundless.

Now that the Liverpool legend is a manager, Eriksson can empathise with the situation confronting Rangers as Celtic aim to win a record tenth successive Premiership title next season.
There was a 13-point gap between the Old Firm when coronavirus forced Scottish football into lockdown in mid-March, icoach.tonez.uk eventually leading to the Parkhead side being crowned champions on a points-per-game basis.
To now try to tilt the balance of power, while history looms for a more financially-powerful rival, is a task that could chill even the most experienced of coaches.
‘Rangers and Celtic are two huge clubs,' continued Eriksson. ‘Not only in Scotland, they are huge internationally.
‘Every country has these big powers.

In Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid, I experienced Benfica in Portugal and in Scotland you have these two.
‘To coach one of these huge clubs is a great honour. It's fantastic, but you need a strong personality. Stevie has that. I'm sure Rangers can get back and seriously challenge Celtic.'
Eriksson supported Gerrard's decision to leave his post as Liverpool Under-18s coach and move to Ibrox in 2018.
Gerrard was central to Sven-Goran Eriksson's plans at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup
‘It was a fantastic challenge, a fantastic club,' he added.

‘And Scotland is a big football country.
‘Have I ever had the chance to work there? Not really.
‘There were some rumours many, many years ago, I think about Rangers, but I never had any contact with any Scottish club.'
Now back home in Sweden after his most recent post in charge of the Philippines, Eriksson was eager to extend birthday wishes to Gerrard.
‘Forty, wow,' he laughed.

‘Time flies. Big congratulations to Stevie.
‘I have met him a couple of times since we worked together. It's not like we call each other but I follow him through the media and see the Rangers results. I will always wish him well.'
A winner of league titles with IFK Gothenburg, Benfica and Lazio, Eriksson had serious pedigree when he was appointed by the FA to become England's first foreign manager in 2001.
His tenure promised much through the emergence of an exciting ‘Golden Generation' but the quarter-finals remained the ceiling of achievement across three major tournaments.
A groin injury ruled Gerrard out of the 2002 World Cup.

He was, however, central to Eriksson's plans at both Euro 2004 in Portugal and the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
‘When I was appointed, Tord (Grip, Eriksson's assistant) came to England some months before me,' reflected Eriksson.
‘I remember Tord phoned me when I was in Sweden and said that we had to start at once to look at a young player from Liverpool.

He told me: "They have a complete midfielder".
‘One of the first things I did when I came to England was to go and see Stevie. We liked him at the first sight. He was picked and became a regular player for England for many, many years.
‘Steven was just 21 then, I think.
He was young, but we were focused on his quality. His character back then was very quiet. He was perfectly behaved in the squad, worked hard and never gave me any problems.
‘After a few years, he became the captain for some games.

You cannot be the captain of England if you do not have a good, strong personality. That's impossible.'
Three months into Eriksson's reign, England stormed to a 5-1 victory over Germany in a World Cup qualifier inside the Olympic Stadium.
Gerrard had signalled his arrival on the international stage.
‘Stevie scored a great goal in that game just before half-time,' said Eriksson. ‘That was of course a great game for him and he was still young at the time.
‘But he produced so many huge games for England.

He was one of the most important players, extremely important. You could put him anywhere in midfield. In some games, he even played right-back for a while.
‘I said then that he would be easily the best right-back in England, but that we cannot afford to have him there!
He is too good in midfield.
‘Listen, when I think about people I have worked with, Stevie Gerrard is one who was a complete football player. He could tackle, he could pass, he saw things. He would do a good job in any position in the team at that time.
‘And he was extremely tough, too.

Mentally and physically. No doubt that attitude still serves him well.'
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