Football

Scottish Football's History Suggests Steven Gerrard Is Doomed To Fail

Scottish Football's History Suggests Steven Gerrard Is Doomed To Fail

Given the outstanding success Scottish managers have had in English football, one would be forgiven for thinking that Rangers' appointment of Steven Gerrard was one more in a long line of English managers that made the return journey up north.

Yet, as he takes his first step on the professional ladder, Gerrard's move to Glasgow carries with it more significance than it may initially appear to.

Before Mark Warburton's 16-month stint at Ibrox began in 2015, no English manager had ever managed the giant Glasgow club.

A Dutchman in Dick Advocaat, and a Frenchman in Paul Le Guen had been trusted with the position before Warburton's arrival. Since then, the Portuguese Pedro Caixinha has had a short spell in charge also.

Rangers' city rivals Celtic have been slightly more adventurous in their managerial searches.

Given the strong Irish links the club upholds, Sligo's Sean Fallon has held the role on a temporary basis, while Liam Brady held the position for a little over two years in the early 1990s. With Martin O'Neill, Neil Lennon and Brendan Rodgers, adding to that list since, Ireland's contingency can boast a great deal of success with Celtic.

Yet, once again, before the brief reign of England's John Barnes in the 1999-00 season, the club had already vouched for the Dutchman Wim Jansen, and Slovakian¬†Jozef VengloŇ°. When Celtic experimented with an English manager again a decade later, Tony Mowbray only managed to last one month longer in the role than Barnes.

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Across the rest of the teams that make up Scottish Premiership this season, a smattering of English managers can be found.

Terry Butcher has had spells with Motherwell and Hibernian; the latter of these also employing the likes of Alan Stubbs and Mowbray. Ian Baraclough, the man who led Sligo Rovers to league success in 2012, also had a brief spell in charge of Motherwell a few years after.

Former Newcastle United midfielder Lee Clark had a brief spell with Kilmarnock in 2016/17, while former Arsenal and England international Graham Rix spent less than a season at Hearts.

Perhaps the most crucial detail of all however is that not one English manager has ever managed to win the Scottish top-flight in the modern era.

With the notable exception of Frank Heaven and his stellar work with Third Lanark A.C. in the 1903-04 season, no English manager has ever won the competition, period.

In 145 years of the Scottish Cup, two English managers have guided teams to victory; Reg Smith winning with Falkirk in 1957, whilst Stubbs memorably lead Hibernian to the summit in 2016. The Scottish League Cup has never been won by an English manager.

Whatever then of Gerrard's ability to overcome Celtic in the race for domestic success, if the former Liverpool and England international is to be a success with Rangers, he is going to have to rewrite Scottish football history in the process.

See Also: Outrage From Irishman As Englishman Takes Scottish Job

Arthur James O'Dea

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