Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun has spoken about his time at Glasgow Rangers under Steven Gerrard, and he was full of praise for the Liverpool legend.
After their success last season in the Scottish Premier League, Balogun revealed some of his gaffer’s play management tactics.
“Sometimes it feels like he (Gerrard) is just your pal or one of your teammates,” Balogun told the Beautiful Game Podcast.
“He has the banter with you, but then he just knows how to switch. He doesn’t have to scream at us. Sometimes he just has to give you that look, and you know, you’re not going to mess it up now because you don’t want to get that look and be the one.
“It helps that he (Gerrard) is a legend himself but also the way he treats his players, and not just him but Mick Beale, he does an amazing job, TC (Tom Culshaw), Gary McAllister.
“They all do their parts. The way they treat you as a human being first and foremost. They understand how to manage their players, and that makes it easier. Especially with the manager, Steven Gerrard.”
The free transfer who joined the Ibrox stadium at the beginning of last season was a vital player in defence for the Gers as they won the league unbeaten.
After a difficult August in which he struggled to get game time, the Berlin-born Nigerian began to get games under his belt.
And he impressed immensely in the nineteen league games he played in, which earned him a one-year contract extension in April.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” he said. “I just joined for this glorious successful year, so I think they really learned from mistakes in the past.
“That’s what makes a champion. You don’t dwell on your mistakes, you learn from them, and that’s what they did.
“They made sure everyone gets that in your DNA. It didn’t feel hard to focus. It was just taking game by game and making sure we are the best version of ourselves.
“That’s what he (Gerrard) kept telling us. We have to be the best version of ourselves today. The way they set standards, they give you confidence, and I cannot say one bad word. It’s been fantastic.”
The 33-year-old has had a memorable time during which he has improved his game.
Balogun makes up one half of the “Oyinbo wall” in the Super Eagles. He has been one of Nigeria’s most reliable defenders since 2015.
His career suffered a little when he moved to Brighton in 2018, but he has risen from the dust and become a better player at Rangers.