Steven Gerrard will be a “success” in management after being confirmed the new boss of Rangers, according to his former Liverpool team-mate Dietmar Hamann.
The Kop icon, who has been coaching Liverpool’s under-18 and under-19 sides in various leagues and tournaments since January 2017, now has the task of taking on his former manager at Anfield, Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers, and restoring the blue half of Glasgow to their former glories.
According to Hamann, a man who came off the bench at half-time to partner Gerrard in central midfield and unleash the Reds’ famous comeback against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, feels the 37-year-old has what it takes to step into the dugout in the first-team environment.
“I think he will become a very good manager,” German star Hamann told Sport360° on the sidelines of the Swing Against Cancer golf event at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“I saw him and spoke to him after he started working with the youth teams at Liverpool and I could hear and feel that spark in his voice. I could see it in his eyes, it was the same as he had as a player.”
Having played alongside Gerrard in the Reds’ engine room for the best part of seven seasons, few people knew the former England captain, on the pitch at least, better than Hamann.
Indeed, he feels Gers fans will see that same commitment and passion, of which Gerrard was famed for, throughout next season and the coming years of his four-year agreement with the Scottish giants.
“I think he will be a success because he is such a driven person and if he wants something he usually gets it. Whether Rangers is a good first step or not, is not for me to say or not for me to judge.”
Meanwhile, ahead of this season’s Champions League final against Real Madrid, Hamann insists the current Liverpool side is not comparable to the Rafael Benitez team he was part of that won the competition over a decade ago.
He said: “I think we were the exact opposite because we were a defensive-minded team and didn’t concede many goals.
“But, we didn’t score many either. Jurgen Klopp’s team are completely different and are better in defence now since Virgil van Dijk’s arrival and more free-scoring.
“Still, they are prone to the odd mistake at the back which is something we didn’t do in 2005.”
He also praised the work of experienced midfielders, Jordan Henderson and James Milner, for their role in helping to provide the buffer and assurance for attacking trio Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, allowing them to do the business at the top of the pitch.
“You’ve got to compliment and give the front three the freedom and security to do what they do. For that, you need defensive-minded players who keep the balance of the team and defend when they need to.
“I think Henderson and Milner have done a fantastic job because although we all talk about the front three, we also have to acknowledge the fact that you need a functioning team for them to prosper and that’s what they help provide.
“I wouldn’t want to put a Mane or a Salah over a Henderson or Milner or even a Trent Alexander-Arnold or Andrew Robertson because I think they all do a fantastic job for this team. The make-up of the side at the moment works really well.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes Real Madrid are favourites to win the Champions League final later this month but the Kop club should not be ruled out given the attacking talent Jurgen Klopp’s team possess.
Hamann, who was part of Rafael Benitez’s 2005 side that went on to lift the trophy after a thrilling comeback and penalty shootout win against AC Milan in Istanbul, also feels Los Blancos may lack the appetite to win a fourth European Cup in five years – something that could potentially tip the balance in Liverpool’s favour.
Speaking to Sport360 ahead of his participation in the Swing Against Cancer at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Thursday, the German said: “It’s the old ageing boxer up against the new kid on the block who wants to knock him off his perch.
“I think the question will be are Real Madrid as hungry as they were two years ago.”
Holding a 5-2 lead from the first leg, Liverpool were cruising after going 2-1 up in the return in Rome.
But Roma equalised after the interval and scored twice in the final moments of a dramatic tie which set a Champions League semi-final goal record.
Reds captain Henderson conceded Liverpool had made it more difficult than necessary as Jurgen Klopp’s side set up a final showdown with holders Real Madrid on May 26.
“We never do it the easy way unfortunately. We could have done better in this game but we’ve made it through to the final,” Henderson told BT Sport.
“Overall we handled the situation well apart from the last 10 minutes. We need to stop that but I’m delighted we’re in the final.
“We knew it was important to score and get one early on. It was an amazing effort.
“We have another important game on the weekend against Chelsea and then we have Real Madrid in the final. We will go there with confidence.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 2, 2018