Belfast Telegraph

Gerrard tipped for manager success

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes Steven Gerrard has all the qualities to make a successful career in management, but the club did not offer him a coaching role as he wanted to continue playing.

The Red captain, who turns 35 in May, will leave in the summer ending a 27-year association with his boyhood side.

Rodgers said he would welcome Gerrard on to his coaching staff if he was still manager when the former England international finally retires, but now was not the right time to do so.

"I believe Steven has an ambassadorial role here within his contract but at this moment in time there was not a coaching offer," Rodgers said.

"He has just started to take his badges and Steven is a type who is just not going to go into it blind, he is a thinker of the game, but his focus is very much on the present in terms of playing beyond this season.

"When that has finished then there will be plenty of years ahead for him to coach.

"If I was here as manager at that time he would be someone who would be great to have on the staff.

"I genuinely believe he can offer great advice. The experience he has of Liverpool and those bits of gold dust he can give players would be invaluable to youngsters.

"But coaching and management is not something you just click your finger and move into, there is a lot of commitment.

"I don't see any reason why he couldn't be (a manager). He is a wonderful leader in the changing room."

Rodgers accepts the club may have allowed negotiations to drag on over a new deal for Gerarrd, but he rejected claims the player was upset at how things had panned out.

"I can only talk about the conversations I've had with Steven and he has never felt unhappy," he added.

"Whatever has gone on with the club and agents I haven't been party to that but he is obviously someone we wanted to keep here.

"The club offered him a deal as I still wanted Steven to be a part of what I was doing but it went on and on and at the time nothing was agreed.

"The closer you get to January and you are in the last year of your contract you are not going to rush into anything.

"The timeline moved on and it gave him more thinking time."

Rodgers now faces the unenviable task of filling the void Gerrard will leave behind, but he believes he will have the chance to bring in an experienced player if necessary.

"It is near-on impossible to find a direct replacement for someone of that stature and quality but we have to continue with our work and find the top players to come in," he said.

"It is certainly something I know the owners look at. They know every player can't be a young player. If you are going to keep progressing you have to do.

"The model here at the football club is clear in terms of our owners who want to bring in young players and develop them into that world-class players, which is a longer and more difficult process.

"The large part of our squad are here to be developed but if you are to make steps forward you have to get some ready-made ones."


From Belfast Telegraph