Now Gerrard: The last 6️⃣ managers to swap Scotland for the Premier League | OneFootball

Now Gerrard: The last 6️⃣ managers to swap Scotland for the Premier League

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Padraig Whelan

Steven Gerrard has became the latest manager to swap Scotland’s top flight for the English equivalent, leaving Rangers for Aston Villa.

But how have those who followed a similar path fared in the past?


Brendan Rodgers

The most recent example of a manger swapping the Scottish Premiership for the Premier League has quite a few similarities with Gerrard’s situation.

The Irishman was a popular figure at Celtic, having guided the Bhoys to a double treble (and an invincible season too) but soured his reputation when leaving for Leicester mid-season.

Rangers supporters have already shown a similar anger towards Gerrard for departing in the midst of a closely-contested title race.

Rodgers may feel his choice was vindicated though because despite late season collapses in successive seasons which cost the Foxes a top four finish, they did win the FA Cup and compete in Europe in back-to-back campaigns, both of which were club firsts.


Martin O’Neill

Prior to Rodgers, the last manager to make the move was a fellow Irishman going from Celtic to the midlands when O’Neill made the move to Aston Villa.

Although Alex McLeish made a similar switch, he did stop off for a brief spell at Scotland in between, and O’Neill too didn’t quite make the move directly, stepping down from Celtic in summer 2005 after five successful seasons to care for his ill wife.

After a year out of the game, he then returned with the Villans, where he is still remembered fondly for his four campaigns in which he finished sixth three times, qualified for Europe and reached a League Cup final.

His time there ended in a shock departure on the eve of 2010/11 season over a lack of agreement on the direction of the club and he has subsequently managed Sunderland, Republic of Ireland and Nottingham Forest in the years since.


Jim Jefferies

Jefferies worked wonders with Hearts in the mid-to-late ’90s, flirting with a real title challenge and delivering the Scottish Cup in 1998.

That earned him a move to struggling Bradford City in the Premier League but he was unable to prevent them from sliding to relegation.

Jefferies stayed for little over a year before exiting after a poor start to their Championship campaign.


Walter Smith

After unprecedented success at the helm of Rangers in the 90s, Smith announced he would stand down at the end of the 1997/98 campaign.

He swiftly returned to football within a month to take over at Everton but with finances tight, he couldn’t guide the Toffees to a top half finish during his three full seasons there.

In March 2002, Smith was sacked due to relegation fears in the wake of a chastening FA Cup exit against Middlesbrough but bounced back to finish his career on a high north of the border.

He enjoyed success with both the Scotland national team and Rangers before he passed away last month at the age of 73.


Graeme Souness

Souness initially arrived at a struggling Rangers in 1986 as a player-manager and helped turn the fortunes of the club around, bankrolled by David Murray’s extravagant spending.

By the end of his tenure, he had phased out the playing side and it was his abilities in the dugout that caught the attention of former club Liverpool.

After Kenny Dalglish’s resignation in 1991, it was his compatriot and old team-mate who took over at Anfield but it proved to be a frustrating three years in charge before his own eventual resignation.

Although he does have an FA Cup win to his credit in 1992, Souness was recuperating from heart surgery at that time and not in the dugout for the victory.


Alex Ferguson

Hard as it may be to believe given how much his presence has hung over Old Trafford for 35 years but Ferguson did actually manage elsewhere before moving down south.

It was at Aberdeen where he broke the Glasgow duopoly on Scottish football and helped the Dons to become the only Scottish club to lift multiple European trophies, with Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup successes in 1983.

That earned him a move to Manchester and after an initially bumpy three years, he repaid United’s faith with an FA Cup win in 1990 to set the ball rolling.

The rest, as they say, is history.