Although he has undoubtedly had to deal with greater insults, the Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has been drawn into responding to claims that he is a "tiny man."
Issued by Robert Mudrazija, an opposing midfielder with Rangers Europa League opponents Osijek, the comments came in light of Mudrazija's claims that his side were “better, stronger, more skilful and better organised” than their Scottish opponents, despite losing their first leg 1-0 to Rangers.
The Liverpool legend Gerrard was largely unruffled by the Croatian's attempts at disturbing his pre-match preparation.
Putting it down to their opponent's desperation for upsetting the odds against Rangers, Steven Gerrard held a rather nuanced view:
Reading between the lines I think the opposition are very confident. I don’t think they have had many positive words to say about us. But we can’t control what they say and how they are feeling about the position they are in.
My focus is on how my squad feels. Does their comments give us any extra motivation? Not really. My job is to prepare my team and my players.
Determined that he and Rangers will look to respect their opponents "both individually and collectively," Gerrard conceded that he "can’t control what comes out of opposition camps.”
Confident that the Glasgow club can compete on the continental stage, the 2001 UEFA Cup winner with Liverpool wants to create some special nights in his first job at this level:
We’re confident, we can’t wait for the game. We’re looking forward to a special atmosphere. The stage is set for us to go play how we are capable of playing. I made it very clear to the players at the weekend what Ibrox wants to see from us in possession and out of possession. The players will know the game plan and now they need to go and deliver.