After playing with him during his time at Liverpool, Djibril Cisse has praised Rangers manager Steven Gerrard for Istanbul.
The pair were team-mates when Liverpool made that famous comeback against AC Milan in the Champions League final. Heading into half-time 3-0 down, the competition looked all but over.
But the Rangers manager grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck afterwards, bagging a goal and winning a penalty. The Anfield side never looked back, eventually going on to get an equaliser before winning the game on penalties.
I will never forget Steven Gerrard’s team-talk. Steven gets up and asks all the coaching staff to leave the dressing room, because he wanted to be alone with just the players. Stevie gets up and says that Liverpool is all he has, it is his club, all he has ever known and he does not want to be the laughing stock of the history of the Champions League. He scores the first goal, he gets the penalty. He has an extraordinary second half, finishing the game as a right-back.
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“I’ll remember it forever”
Cisse goes on to explain the moment will remain etched in his memory forever. It’s one of the real inspirational moments of world football, and those who witnessed it will never forget it.
Yet, more pertinently to Rangers fans, will be how inspirational Gerrard came across to his players. Tasked with bringing a team back from 3-0 down, Gerrard showed real managerial traits to haul his side into the match.
Rangers supporters will be delighted to know how passionate their manager is in the dressing room. Being a motivator of men is a massive part of what he’ll need to be a success in the Rangers job.
It remains to be seen whether the iconic Englishman can do it over a prolonged period of time. The project at Rangers is a slow-build, and he’ll have to be patient with his side and keep them motivated. So far, Gerrard has been a huge success at the club, despite the latest set-back before the international break.
And looking at the comments from Cisse, Gerrard has more than enough to make it in football management.