Former Liverpool star turned pundit Mark Lawrenson has warned Steven Gerrard that he is about to enter the “smallest goldfish bowl in the world” when he officially takes charge at Rangers.
Lawrenson, who made more than 350 appearances for the Anfield side, reckons the former Reds captain won’t really understand what the Old Firm is like “until he gets there”.
Speaking to Paddy Power, Lawrenson said: “I wasn’t surprised by Steven Gerrard’s appointment at Rangers, because I’d heard that he really wanted to go.
“The way football is now, for anyone to go anywhere, they’ve got to have certain guarantees about life and football at the club, so there is no way that Rangers have not said to him ‘you’ve got a certain amount of money to spend on wages and transfers,” Lawrenson added.
Insisting that the club must have given Gerrard guarantees “because he wouldn’t have gone otherwise”, Lawrenson continued: “It’s a tough job because of where Celtic are in relation to everybody else.
“If [Gerrard] gets Rangers second and a lot closer to Celtic, he will have done a really good job.”
However, the former Republic of Ireland international sent a stark warning to Gerrard about the intensity of managing Celtic or Rangers.
“I don’t think he’ll really understand what the Old Firm is like until he gets there. It really is like a city cut in half and, if you lose a couple of games, the fans are going to be chasing you,” Lawrenson said.
Describing Glasgow as “probably the most hostile place around” the Match of the Day pundit added: “Steven obviously fancies he can do it, he’s already looking at players, he knows what it will take, but he probably doesn’t know if Rangers lose three games on the run in September, it’ll be like the end of the world - but he’ll just have to cope with it.
“It’s the smallest goldfish bowl in the world, the focus is on you and the rivalry is so intense.”
• Mark Lawrenson was speaking exclusively to Paddy Power News. To read more, visit news.paddypower.com