Following Steven Gerrard's shock appointment as first team manager of SPFL club Rangers, 90min have been given exclusive access to the Liverpool legend's diary entries throughout the 2018/19 season.* Below are the entries from July 2018.
*This is a parody
2nd July 2018: Great day of training with the lads. I introduced the rest of the team to my good friend Jonny Flanagan; he's going to be a real asset for us going forward. Flanno has got that winning mentality that we're all taught at Liverpool, which is what we need here at the Glasgow Rangers. I love Flanno, he's just a really nice guy. He's a quiet lad off the pitch, he wouldn't hurt a fly, but on the pitch he's a different beast. He's a real beast.
We went through a few useful drills today. I got the lads to try and recreate my volley against Olympiakos. I shouted 'AHHH YA BEAUTAYYYYY' every time one of the lads hit the ball. Most of the time it wasn't necessary, but it was still really funny. I laughed a lot. Jak Alnwick was really good at it, he scored two absolute pearlers. I thought he would, as goalkeepers are good at kicking the ball hard. I said to him 'Jak, you should be playing up front with a right foot like that' and he laughed.
The lads seems to think I'm funny, which is good, I like that even though I've just started my first job in management, I have a pretty much unrivalled ability to make players happy. It's brilliant.
Alfie Morelos wasn't so good at it. Three of his volleys went out for throw ins. It was funny at the start, but after half an hour of the kid not hitting the target, it wasn't so funny. I had to stop shouting 'AHHH YA BEAUTAYYYY' because none of his shots were beautiful, and my throat was getting sore.
4th July 2018: I got the lads to play an 11-a-side game today. I brought up 2014/15 Liverpool kits for them all to wear; one team wore the yellow away kit and the other wore the famous red home kit. It looked funny though because all of the kits had 'Gerrard 8' on the back of them.
A few guys did the kits, and my name, justice. Declan John and Flanno played so well at the back in the first half in fact that I ended up putting them up front for the second half. I thought their brilliant showings deserved to be capped off with some goals. Their performances dipped a bit when I put them up front though, so I don't think I'll do that again. Oh well. Lesson learned.
The game finished 4-1 to the Liverpool home kit team. Every time one of the players had a shot on goal I shouted 'GERRRAARRRDDD!' It was funny, the lads on the bench laughed a lot. I'm funny.
It could've been different though, Morelos missed a lot of chances. He doesn't look much of a striker. I might swap Alnwick and Morelos around next week and see what happens. That could be an ingenious move.
6th July 2018: We had a friendly game against Bury today, I didn't go though. I had to go down to Liverpool for an Anfield meet and greet. It's great for us legends of the game to go back and meet the fans, it brings me great joy.
I decided to let the boys have the weekend off to be with their families after the game. Being able to see your family is good for the soul. It makes you happy, and I'm all about making the players happy. That's what makes me such a good man manager.
11th July 2018: The lads looked worse for wear today in training. Andrew Halliday threw up twice during our 'Steven Gerrard vs. Marseille' drill. I think the lads might have went out this weekend without me. I heard Jordan Rossiter and Josh Windass laughing about Flanno getting kicked out of Weatherspoons for trying to drink a slot machine.
It's nice that the lads are bonding, as it's good for team morale, but I'm a bit disappointed I wasn't invited. I'm funny. It would've been a real laugh had I been there, instead, it was probably just an ok night on the town. It could've been a great one. Their loss.
I hope they're over their hangovers tomorrow because we have a Europa League game against some random team from Morocco.
12th July 2018: Today was bad. I made my bow at Ibrox but we lost our Europa League game 2-0 to the Moroccan team.
Morelos was terrible, he missed a penalty and an open net. Those misses really cost us.
It was embarrassing. I said as much to the team in the dressing room. I told them that they had disgraced themselves, the club and, in particular, me.
We have to go to Macedonia on Tuesday to play the second leg. I thought we would be going to Morocco? They must have to play their European games elsewhere because their stadium isn't up to scratch.
15th July 2018: After this week's Europa League defeat I've decided to write up a list of transfer targets that'll improve the starting XI. This is who I've come up with so far:
- Andriy Voronin
- Mark Gonzalez
- Charlie Adam
- Jay Spearing (What. A. Player)
- Andre Wisdom
- Brad Jones
- Martin Skrtel
That's a list of seriously talented footballers. Martin Skrtel and Brad Jones are the two I want the most. Skrtel was a hero for us at Anfield, and even though he's 33 years old, I reckon he could still do a brilliant job for the Glasgow Rangers as the beating heart of our defence. Brad Jones is also a necessity. I tried Morelos in goal and it didn't work at all. That was probably a bad idea, but everything is worth a try in this life, you know?
The World Cup final was today, so I got all the boys around the house. Instead of watching the World Cup final though I put on my DVD copy of the 2005 UEFA Champions League final because that's the greatest final of all time.
I said 'look lads, there's no way the World Cup final will be as good as Istanbul' and they nodded their heads. I'll never forget that night. It was the best night of my life. The night I became the champion.
17th July 2018: So we're out of Europe. Embarrassing. It was another disastrous performance from the lads. They just aren't doing what they're told! We need a big change, and fast.
18th July 2018: I'm thinking of asking to change the home strip to red. Red is the colour of winners. Liverpool are winners and I think we will be too if we change our home strip to red. I'm going to have a word with the chairman this week.
Training was good today, probably our best one yet. The lads really enjoyed the drill I got them to do. I got them to try and recreate my FA Cup final wonder goal against West Ham, and I have to say, they absolutely smashed it.
Alnwick was brilliant again, as was Flanno and Rossiter. I'm starting to think we should use Alnwick as our free kick taker, but instead of letting him hit the dead ball, we could flick it up to him and he could volley it like that lad from the 70s.
21st July 2018: Terrible day. So I asked the chairman about the kit change, and he said that it probably wasn't a good idea. I said 'look, if we want to win we have to wear red'. He disagreed and then I shouted at him and stormed out. In hindsight, it probably wasn't a good idea to say that he was just as bad as Brendan Rodgers.
Should I apologise? Probably not. It was the heat of the moment and I'm sure he understands that.
I had more bad news when I went back to the training ground as well. Apparently flicking the ball up from a free kick isn't allowed? That's what Flanno said. This is very disappointing. I reckon Alnwick could've hit 10-15 goals for us this season had that been a legal way to take free kicks.
25th July 2018: I cracked a great joke in training today. Declan John slipped before kicking the ball and I shouted 'Decky is the new Stevie G!', everyone laughed. It was brilliant. I'm funny.