Wayne Rooney’s comments on Steven Gerrard were, as you would expect, warm and full of praise.
The DC United striker, formerly of Everton and Manchester United, knows Gerrard inside-out. The pair spent lots of time together as friends with the England national side and foes at Liverpool and United respectively.
But even that old rivalry hasn’t stopped Rooney being the latest big-name figure in football to praise the Rangers manager.
Last week, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke about how Rangers are “closing the gap” on Celtic since the arrival of Gerrard. This week, it’s Rooney’s turn to talk up the Liverpool legend.
Speaking today about his own ambitions to become a manager, Rooney said the following when touching on Gerrard and Derby County boss Frank Lampard:
“Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have moved into management and I think it is brilliant for those two. It is the right time for young English managers to step forward.
“I just think it a shame when you see players who have had careers like mine, when they have been footballers from a young age, you see them finish and they just walk away from the game.
“I am sure in two or three years there will be clubs in the Premier League coming to try to snatch them away.”
Here for the long term
Whilst Rangers fans won’t take too kindly to the idea of anyone taking Gerrard away, it’s clear Rooney rates him highly. Who doesn’t after the beginning to his tenure at Ibrox?
Rooney is just one of the millions of fans in awe of the Rangers manager, who of course will draw comparisons to Frank Lampard for their similar introductions to management.
Every Rangers fan accepts one day that their manager will eventually move on, but only after he takes the club back tot he top of Scottish football. Toppling Celtic has to be his aim before he even harbours any thoughts of a move down south.
The new manager has had a huge effect both on and off the pitch since arriving in June. From a rocket in the club’s YouTube views to qualifying for European football group stage competition for the first time since 2010. Rangers are on the right track.
It’s no surprise that Rooney has come out from his luxurious US lifestyle to praise his former England team-mate. He would be right to look up to him if he’s ever thinking of making the jump into management himself.