Gemmill tells Gerrard: key to management is intelligence not fame

Scot Gemmill: Different path. Picture: SNS
Scot Gemmill: Different path. Picture: SNS
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It is game knowledge rather than stature in the game that will decide how Steven 
Gerrard fares if he takes the Rangers job, according to Scot Gemmill.

The Scotland under-21 coach contends that illustrious players can often make the mistake of believing their on-field success provides them with the platform to understand the entirely removed world of management. The Ibrox post offers Liverpool icon Gerrard, who is in charge of the under-18s at the Anfield club, a very different entry into the coaching domain than Gemmill had to work towards. The Scot did so by immersing himself in watching youth football, famously spending a year watching the Barcelona youngsters train through the fence at the complex.

“I didn’t have a choice,” Gemmill said of that. “My profile wasn’t high enough. Would I have gone to Barcelona if I was of the same profile as 
Steven Gerrard? Probably not. It’s very difficult to turn that opportunity down because you don’t know when you are going to get it again. Very few people have the choice.

“You have to back yourself. Players, even top players, sometimes run the risk of thinking they know how to do the job. It’s a completely different skill set.

“Just because you score goals, create goals, whatever it was that makes you famous, it’s a completely different job to be the manager of any team, let alone a top team. So that’s where the intelligence of the individual comes in.

“It’s a real personal decision for Steven. He’s got a good job at a club where he is idolised. It’s about how he sees his coaching pathway and how quickly he wants to use his profile to get a job. He will know whether he feels there’s a real credible pathway for him at his club.

“I am sure he will be speaking to their current manager and the owners to determine that pathway. Whether he chooses to go a different path, it’s a personal decision and it is very difficult to advise him on that.”