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RAB DOUGLAS: Steven Gerrard is the same as Brendan Rodgers – neither were ever going to put down roots in Scottish football

Is Steven Gerrard about to follow Brendan Rodgers across the border?
Is Steven Gerrard about to follow Brendan Rodgers across the border?

Things can change quickly in football but the messages coming out from sources close to Steven Gerrard tell you that the Aston Villa job appeals to him.

An even if he doesn’t end up at Villa Park, Rangers fans shouldn’t kid themselves on that he’ll be at Ibrox for much longer.

The comparisons with Brendan Rodgers are obvious ones.

Neither is Scottish or has long-standing connections with our game.

Their football home is the English Premier League, end of story.

Nobody needs to tell me how big Celtic and Rangers are but fans of both clubs can get a bit carried away with what that actually means.

And putting their fingers in their ears.

In Gerrard’s case, we all know what his end-game is.

And that’s getting back to Anfield.

But even if that wasn’t the case, and the stars never aligned for him to replace Jurgen Klopp or another Liverpool boss, he would still want to go as high as he can.

And Villa – and plenty of other clubs down south – are higher up the food chain than Rangers.

They’ve got a relatively good squad, owners willing to spend money, great history and traditions and scope to vastly improve on where they currently are in the table.

Doing reasonably well up here, combined with his profile as a player, will always open doors.

But the jobs getting offered won’t be of the same quality if he stays too long at Rangers.

These are all factors that will be going through his mind.

But the fundamental point remains – he was always going to be passing through Scottish football and, as with Rodgers, it has been good for our game that he’s been here this long.

There might soon be a managerial vacancy at Ibrox but there is definitely one at East End Park.

For me, there are two obvious candidates.

There’s Stewart Petrie and there’s somebody else I won’t mention because I don’t want the Arbroath chairman to fall out with me!

Stewart Petrie.

SP has a good job outside of football but the prospect of going back to Dunfermline, where he was so popular as a player, might be too much to resist.

I don’t buy into the part-time to full-time thing being an issue.

A good manager is a good manager. The principles are the same.

And I’m sure Stewart would do a great job for the Pars.

Talking about doing a great job, Steve Clarke is on the verge of clinching our place in the World Cup play-offs.

That would be a real achievement.

With Scotland, people always go back to previous slip-ups, of which there have been a few down the years!

This is a squad and manager who now have the experience of qualifying for a tournament and of winning big games to do that.

They give me confidence and I’m fully expecting the win we need in Moldova.

Then we can try to upset Denmark to secure a home tie in the play-offs.

I have my doubts whether Ryan Fraser will be in the squad for those play-offs mind you.

Training with Newcastle after pulling out of the Scotland squad isn’t a good look.

I know he’ll want to build bridges with Eddie Howe, looking back to the end of his time of Bournemouth and what Howe had to say about it, but he might have more to worry about with his national manager soon!

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