Rangers boss Steven Gerrard calls Jermain Defoe a 'bona-fide superstar', as a player and as a person

BlueMeanie

Well-Known Member
T is quite the feather in the cap of any player if Steven Gerrard considers you a footballing superstar, but it is his assessment of Jermain Defoe’s human qualities that will likely have the modest Rangers star blushing.

Defoe may have 57 England caps to his name, scoring 20 goals, and hold the accolade of being the seventh highest scorer in English Premier League history, but the only hint to his achievements around the Hummel Training Centre is the deference paid to him by the younger players in the Rangers squad.

According to Gerrard though, as impressed as they are by what he has done in the past, and the respect they have for him for his enduring propensity to find the net, it is the time Defoe voluntarily spends trying to improve them that will have a lasting impact on his fledgling prospects.
“He is a bona-fide superstar but not just as a player, as a professional,” Gerrard said. “We are so lucky as a club to have him here. For many different reasons.
“He [helps the younger players] without us even asking. That is the part of Jermain that we are so lucky to have. He’s got time to help the younger lads, to guide them in the right way, to talk about his own experiences.

“When we take academy players over [to train with the first team], the number nines and those in similar position to him, he’s always got his arm around them and he stays behind, gives his own time up to coach them without any push from ourselves. We watch and just think: ‘Wow. That’s superb from him’.
“There’s no falseness with Jermain. He’s honest, open. The younger guys in the group, Jermain is like a magnet. They are all round him. They are looking up to him. They see the career that he’s had but also what he’s like as a person, what he gives them back around the place.
“Ask all the staff - the laundry girls, the physios - how are you finding Jermain? Across the board it is always the same.”
Another aspect of Defoe’s weekly routine behind the scenes in training that has taken Gerrard back a little is his continuing drive for self-improvement despite being firmly in the veteran stage of his career.
“Jermain Defoe would be well within his rights to say to me, look, I am feeling a bit tired at my age,” he said. “He’s never ever come to me with stuff like that. It’s always us saying: ‘Come on, Jermain, you’ve done enough’.
“He’s always out there still working on his left foot, his right foot. Trying to create situations that he’s going to face in the game.
“He asks defenders to defend against him in a certain way. He asks goalkeepers to create certain situations.”
Given that there is a little more than two years separating Gerrard and Defoe, and the fact they were England teammates and peers for many years, the transition of their relationship to manager and player could have been a difficult one, but Gerrard says nothing could be further from the truth.
“I think it could be with a certain personality, someone with a certain character,” he said. “But before I make those decisions of course I am well aware of the person – i.e. Steven Davis, Gareth McAuley, Jermain Defoe.
“They are top professionals. Better professionals than I was myself. That is involved with the decision before they come in. Can I work with someone who I’ve played against or played with? Or who I’ve been a friend or team-mate with?
“Those decisions I have to process before making the decision, but Jermain was an absolute no-brainier for me.”
A pleasing by-product of Defoe’s arrival at Rangers has been the way he has taken fellow striker Alfredo Morelos under his wing, not only replacing the comfort blanket that Daniel Candeias used to provide for the Colombian, but working on bringing him out of his shell and into the wider group.
“When Daniel Candeias was here, they were really close,” he said. “They spoke [the same] language and I think Daniel was almost a comfort blanket at times for Alfredo. But I think people around the squad got less of Alfredo because of that.
“That’s not a criticism. I think it’s just the way it is. Maybe prior, there were others in that clique who spoke the language. It did seem as if there were sections like that or those were the stories I heard.
“Since Daniel has left, Alfredo has opened up and come out of his shell a little bit more. He’s mixing with the players more, he seems very happy.
“Jermain is definitely someone who has put his arm around him and has helped him. That relationship has blossomed really well and that’s fantastic for us.
“If we can keep those two healthy and in the form they are in then it gives us a much better chance of having a good time together.”
 

ferris72

Well-Known Member
'Better professionals than I was myself '

Not according to former teammates, he was the ultimate professional!!
 

BobbyShearer

Well-Known Member
Are we giving him a coaching contract or what?

It’s getting to the stage where it doesn’t even matter if he has to go to back to Bournemouth for a a year.
Let’s get him lined up to be on the staff pronto
 

Texas ranger

Well-Known Member
I’ve seen a few snippets that he’s out of contract in the summer of 2020, does anyone know for sure.

According to this he is. Also has him down as earning an average salary of over 5 million per season for the three years of his current contract.


Seen the Gerrard comments about him so I guess he is definitely out of contract. That’s some pay cut he’ll have to take but I reckon he will.
 
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Colinstein69

Well-Known Member
It was a fantastic move by the gaffer to acquire JD, he knew exactly what he was getting but I think very few of us appreciated what he would bring overall. I hope he stays with us beyond this season and eventually joins the coaching staff when he decided to retire from playing. He's one of the good guys.
 

Britannia89

Well-Known Member
The wee guy is sensational on and off the field and is going to play a bigger part in our success story than any of us ever imagined.
 

AllanD

Well-Known Member
Are we giving him a coaching contract or what?

It’s getting to the stage where it doesn’t even matter if he has to go to back to Bournemouth for a a year.
Let’s get him lined up to be on the staff pronto
Why would he go back for a year when his contract is up at the end of the loan period.
 

Dontwasteit!

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
Love it.

Interesting wee section mentioning Candeias too.
I don’t think it reads as a dig towards Candeias, he was good for Alfredo but in a different way. The clique stuff is more like to have been in relation to Alves, Candeias, Cardoso, Dalcio etc under Pedro and Murty.
 

karanja

Well-Known Member
Over the years I have heard and read from top players and managers how important the senior pros are in the dressing room and around the club.They set the standards in training and during matches.

JD is one of those people and has really taken to our club.He is relishing being "in the goldfish bowl" that is Glasgow.The shirt is definitely not too heavy for him and I hope we can sort out some sort of deal to keep him at the club.
 

Cooper_11

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
“He is a bona-fide superstar but not just as a player, as a professional,” Gerrard said. “We are so lucky as a club to have him here. For many different reasons.“

That statement says everything about Jermaine Defoe and the esteem in which he is held by our manager. We have some incredible people round our club at this moment in time.
 
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Paisleyprod

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
A great read thst.

Defoe is class

Met him at the training centre and he says he absolutely loves being at Rangers.
 

insanicdrunk

Well-Known Member
Over the years I have heard and read from top players and managers how important the senior pros are in the dressing room and around the club.They set the standards in training and during matches.

JD is one of those people and has really taken to our club.He is relishing being "in the goldfish bowl" that is Glasgow.The shirt is definitely not too heavy for him and I hope we can sort out some sort of deal to keep him at the club.
Gerrard has said the senior pros run the dressing room. We have a spine now, McGregor, Davis and Defoe. Adding the likes of Jack, Murphy and King.
 

laudrup94

Active Member
I’d hope that when Ross comes in he ties Defoe and Davis on to contracts and maybe part of those becomes coaching in the academy in the future
 

MearnsUnionist

Well-Known Member
Are we giving him a coaching contract or what?

It’s getting to the stage where it doesn’t even matter if he has to go to back to Bournemouth for a a year.
Let’s get him lined up to be on the staff pronto

He'll get another year's playing contract from us first mate and he'll still be rattling the goals in, no problem.

After that, very possibly.
 
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