Charles Paterson delivers verdict on Steven Gerrard’s handling of Alfredo Morelos

Steven Gerrard’s debut season in charge has provided him with one of the toughest challenges in the game: handling a livewire like Alfredo Morelos.

What’s the word, then?

The former Liverpool captain knew the scale of the task at hand when he arrived at Ibrox.

It was an enormous leap into a role which many would have shied away from, but how exactly has he performed under the weight of expectation thus far?

Well, that’s exactly what Sky Sports journalist Charles Paterson has sought to assess ahead of the Old Firm Derby.

A comprehensive analysis of the season so far has been provided, but it was particularly intriguing to view his assessment on how the manager has handled Morelos.

Paterson claimed: ‘Gerrard’s greatest quandary has involved his handling of his star striker.’

That’s an accurate claim given Morelos’ history of ill-discipline, and his conclusion suggests that the Rangers boss has passed a major test in promising fashion.

‘Gerrard appears an ideal figure for Morelos to look up to, talking positively about his attributes while acknowledging the striker’s flaws.

‘So far he’s largely got the best out of Morelos but has struggled to harness his temperament – alongside constant speculation over his future, it’s been a real test of man-management.’

A huge learning curve for Gerrard

Handling the personalities of superstar footballers represents one of the most, if not the most difficult tasks in management.

Gerrard’s first foray into club management has provided him with an unenviable challenge with a hotheaded Morelos to contend with but, aside from a small handful of predictable and headline-making incidents, the 22-year-old has largely channelled his aggression into positive displays.

It’s a key part of the learning curve for the Rangers boss which should provide him with a blueprint for future challenges of a similar nature, even if there is nobody quite like the electric Colombia international.

That Gerrard has managed to get the best out of his star striker on the field of play is a testament to his man-management credentials, and the diminishing regularity of Morelos-related controversy points towards a future devoid of disciplinary trouble.

The only caveat is that his prolific form is likely to attract major interest in his services this summer.