Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Is THIS the biggest puzzle for Steven Gerrard?

As Rangers fans know, the opening day of next season sees a tough start for Steven Gerrard’s regime as he takes his men to Pittodrie. While Rangers have enjoyed pretty good results against Scotland’s recently second best side, nevertheless it is not an easy trip to make, ditto Hearts, Hibs and Celtic.

However, fans are aware Rangers’ away record last season was actually marginally better than the home one, which, in all fairness is more indicting of the results overall than any brilliant praise of the travelling record.

Rangers won 11 away from home, and 10 at home, losing 3 away and seven at home. They only drew two at home but dropped two points five times on the road.

In short, Fortress Ibrox has been anything but the past six years – bar a good but frankly ineligible record in the Third Division, Rangers’ results in Govan simply haven’t matched up to the expectation, and this is the critical aspect Steven Gerrard is charged with fixing.

For now, while it is chronologically the priority, the Europa League has to be secondary to the long term bread and butter for this club of the SPL.

And winning at Ibrox (in any competition) is the baseline improvement Gerrard has to resolve.

To call Rangers pathetic at Ibrox is an understatement – winning just 10 of 19 matches is a huge hint as to where the club went wrong – and while fans point to an away record as solace, following the end of the split it too was dismal by Rangers’ historic standards.

But it’s the home record Gerrard must focus on. Making his Rangers aggressive, energetic, focused, and if necessary, gritting out wins when the team isn’t playing well.

As any Rangers fan if they’d rather have good football or wins, and it’s a non-contest.

There will be no lack of support under the Main Stand – this crowd will be right behind Stevie and what he wants to do – the good feeling is simmering big time and he will even get a bit more slack than most managers would if it doesn’t start out brilliantly.

But it is without doubt the first step – to getting Our Rangers back – and Gerrard like any football man knows that a successful team starts with a good home record.

Once this team can consistently win at Ibrox in front of our fans, that is when we know the corner is turned.

Gerrard has a big ask to achieve it, but he has the tools to do it.

Let’s hope he does.

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