Rangers certainly ran Celtic closer in the title race last season but, despite improvements, Steven Gerrard’s first season in charge ended without a trophy. Gerrard went on record in The Scotsman to say he understood he must win trophies to keep his job.
And former rival and Chelsea captain spoke in glowing terms of his former international teammate and Rangers’ prospects of winning a trophy next season in The Herald.
Terry said: “I have seen those standards at first hand playing with him at England and against him at Liverpool and he is a winner.”
Additionally, he said: “That rubs off on the players as well and you can see that he is demanding with the group. The standards that he set for himself is why he got to the pinnacle and was one of the best players in the world. There was no surprise there for me.”
Terry went on: “You can see in the group that they have got that there is quality there and they are closing the gap on Celtic. That was a big job in itself and I think he done that last year.
“What he has done, for me, is make people down south talk about Rangers. For the last few years, everyone has been speaking about Celtic. But Stevie has brought that glamour to the football club again, which I think it deserves. It is a huge club.
“You can see that [the balance of power is shifting]. Listen, Celtic are still a top side and the points difference showed that as well but what Rangers did last season, from the games that I saw, is close that gap, for sure. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.”
Of course words don’t win titles, but Terry’s words go to show how the Scottish Premiership is seen in a better light south of the border, and hints towards it being an attractive destination for more players in the future.
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This is a big summer for Rangers in terms of recruitment and if their transfer targets think as highly of the club as Terry does then they should have no problem getting them to sign.
Terry also reminisced about the Rangers fans when he played against them in a pre-season – Chelsea visited Ibrox in 2007 and 2011, losing 2-0 and then winning 3-1.
He added: “Listen, it is incredible. It is a massive club. I was saying to Stevie that I remember when Chelsea went to Rangers and played a pre-season game there and all around the stadium the fans stayed behind to applaud us off the park.”
Although Terry speaks highly of Gerrard now and they played together for England, the pair were fierce rivals for much of their club careers. Terry skippered Chelsea while Gerrard captained Liverpool when those two were deadly foes both domestically and in Europe – between 2005 and 2009, Chelsea played Liverpool 10 times in the Champions League.
Interestingly, it’s not clear who Terry wants to win the Scottish Premiership this year. Despite such kind words for Rangers, Terry did reveal he was a Celtic fan in an interview with the club’s website in the past. This was later countered by Alan Hutton who told The Sun he was sure Terry was a “true blue”. It may not be crystal clear which side Terry supports, but it is clear he fancies Gerrard to end Rangers’ trophy drought this season.