He knows what Gerrard is about.
Steven Gerrard could become the next Rangers boss, as he leads the race to take over from Graeme Murty at Ibrox.
It would be his first ever managerial role, but the 37-year-old has been working as a youth development coach at Liverpool since 2016.
His former manager and the current Newcastle boss, Rafa Benitez, has backed Gerrard to succeed as a first team coach, highlighting the range of coaching styles Gerrard will have benefitted from during his playing career.
“His understanding of the game is good. He has had different managers, foreign managers, British managers, so he will have seen different visions, which is important”, Benitez said.
“I have been in three different countries as a manager, so when you play in your country, you have the visions of your coaches, the style you play in your country. When you go to another country, everything is different.
“For him to have different coaches with different ideas, I’m sure, has been positive.”
Benitez also backed Gerrard to become Liverpool boss one day, following in the footsteps of fellow Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish. Asked about the chances of that happening in the future, Benitez responded:
“Yes, maybe. I think in his head, it will be that. But it depends how he is doing in his career.”
Playing ability doesn’t just translate into management, as so many top class players have found out in the past. Benitez sounded a warning for Gerrard on these perils, but the Spaniard does feel he has what it takes to overcome these difficulties.
“It depends on each one. Not too many top-class players can be managers just like this. You have to have a very good team – sometimes you can do almost nothing and win.
“I’m sure he would like to coach, to manage Liverpool in the future, but because he has this chance now, he has an opportunity to go to another place and learn and see the problems you have as a manager.
“I’m sure it will be positive for him.”
Rangers are currently third in the Scottish Premiership, ten points behind arch-rivals Celtic, whom they play tomorrow at midday. They are somewhat of a sleeping giant, still underachieving. If Gerrard could bring them back to where they feel they belong, it would lift his stock on the managerial market and open a lot of doors. Fail, though, and it’d likely be slim pickings.