THE Miracle of Istanbul will always stand alone as the greatest night, the greatest achievement, in Steven Gerrard’s glittering career.

But Jamie Carragher believes there would be a new entry at number two on the list should his former Liverpool team-mate lead Rangers to title glory this term.

It is 14 years since Gerrard inspired the Reds to their fifth European crown and ensured his name would forever be enshrined in Anfield folklore.

A similar fate would await at Ibrox if the 39-year-old could end Rangers’ long wait for league and cup silverware and a fanbase that already have huge admiration for their boss would hold him in even higher regard.


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Gerrard played down the achievement of his side moving top of the table earlier this month. If Rangers are still there come the end of the campaign, it would undoubtedly go down as one of his proudest moments in the game.

“I think it will be right up there, I really do,” Carragher, a member of the side that beat AC Milan on penalties, said. “Because it is not a title that is expected in some ways. “There is no doubt that Celtic probably have the edge in terms of the squad, financially also. They have the belief that they almost win the league every year. I think Celtic have a lot of advantages that Rangers don’t have.

“But I think they will do it this year. I have seen in some of the European and Old Firm games how the crowd and the atmosphere has been. You think there is something bubbling here at Rangers.

“I know myself from Liverpool how it feels when the manager has the crowd and the players pulled together. It feels like that at Rangers when I watch them. I think, for him, it is probably difficult to top that (Istanbul), really. But I think it would maybe be a close second or certainly in there and about.

“It would be the first title he had won as a manager if he pulled it off. That would be massive. Also, it would be stopping Celtic on the run they are on – when Celtic have a bigger budget and are seen as the more successful team, the favourites going into many games.”

Rangers may be in pole position in the title race but many will still see Celtic as the ones to beat.

The momentum that Gerrard’s side have built in recent weeks was temporarily halted by the international break but the Gers have a chance to pick up where they left off when they face Hearts at Tynecastle this weekend.


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Carragher got his own taste of Rangers last Saturday as he turned out in the Legends game at Ibrox and the 41-year-old got a feeling of what Gerrard is building both on and off the park these days.

“It’s a huge driver for a team,” he said of the unity between Gerrard’s side and the Rangers fans at present. “You look at the amount of goals Rangers have scored in games at Ibrox this season and you know something is happening.

“I know myself that European games have a better atmosphere than a regular 3pm game on a Saturday. But, even then, you look at some of the celebrations.

“I now follow Rangers on Twitter, so I see all the videos and different things of Steven and the players celebrating a big result. There is a togetherness there.

“It was a big thing for Rangers to get into the Europa League group stage. That got them a few quid and probably gave them the means to go and get Ryan Kent just before the window closes. Fingers crossed, he can push on even further now.

“He definitely has that [no-nonsense style]. We all know the personality and character he had as a player. You can’t go on and kick someone from the bench, but you can imagine the messages Steven delivers and the way he delivers them to the players on a daily basis.

“He will be putting a bit of himself into those players. That’s what great managers do.”

Gerrard was left with no silverware to show for his efforts during his first term at Ibrox as Celtic swept the board once again.

But Carragher believes there will be a far stronger challenge across the Old Firm divide after an encouraging start to the campaign.

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He said: “I think he has done brilliantly, absolutely fantastic. He has obviously put Rangers in a position this year where I think there is going to be a real challenge for the title. Hopefully for him, because he is my big mate, he can stop 10-in-a-row. I know it is nine-in-a-row this year, but just to stop that sort of that run. I was a big Celtic man more than Rangers, I must say, but that has had to change since Stevie got the job.

“He has done really well. When he took it, people were saying Rangers were miles behind Celtic. They bridged some of the gap last season and beat them in a couple of Old Firm games. The fact they lost the first Old Firm game this season and are still top of the league shows how consistent they have been. It will be really tight and that’s brilliant for Scottish football.

“I am not really surprised, because of who he is. He wouldn’t take short-cuts. He is a massive name and a lot of people in his position might think they don’t need to do coaching courses or whatever. But he does it properly. He just has that stature. He is Steven Gerrard. When he walks into a room, you feel that presence.

“You could feel the connection he has with the supporters even during the Legends game. He has got the crowd in the palm of his hand and I’m sure it will be the same in the dressing room.”