New Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has wasted no time at all laying into his disjointed rabble of a squad and informing them, Souness-esque, that they’re playing for their Rangers lives and anyone without the stomach to fight for the club can leave by the exit.
The Anfield legend showed during his press conference how much business he means, and took absolutely no prisoners during his comments about his own convictions and expectations, showing the same fighting spirit he had during his playing days, but it is the comments in the subsequent days we appreciate even more.
For too long we’ve had wet managers in charge of this club – unworthy men who simply were not of the right stuff to handle the size and pressure of the Famous. This was a systematic failure by the board as well as on said managers’ part too.
But with Gerrard, we have someone who is simply not going to tolerate anything less than 110% for Rangers.
“I can’t have that [weakness]. That’s got to stop. That’s got to stop now. I’ll work out quickly who fancies this challenge and who wants to come with me. If there are people who don’t fancy it and want to be somewhere else and don’t fancy adapting to what we demand, good luck to them. If you are not a hungry footballer, you shouldn’t be at Rangers. Simple as that.”
With 20+ years at the highest levels of the game, and only just recently retired as a player, Gerrard has a pretty keen sense of what players he knows will give everything for him and the shirt, and what ones can be discarded.
The site discussed our ideas of who might go, and who might stay, but Gerrard is taking no quarter when he looks at the squad and will have the ruthlessness we need to go forward.
He is definitely saying the right things, and at this point is reminding yours truly a little of the style of Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone. Someone who the players will run through walls for, and really remains one of them, but who isn’t afraid to bin anyone he thinks isn’t up to the challenge.
Whether Steven Gerrard will turn out half the manager the ex-Fiorentina boss has remains to be seen.