Rangers defender makes scathing observation about managers…


Rangers’ left back Declan John has admitted that the past two (or three) managers failed with regards getting Rangers’ players fit at a basic level, and Steven Gerrard has made a huge difference there.

One observation made about the 2-3 loss at Ibrox to Celtic in March was that despite Rangers’ promising start, for the final 35+ minutes of the game the gulf in class and, crucially, fitness, was plain for all to see as the home side toiled against visitors who barely broke a sweat.

And now Gerrard is vividly working on getting these players right up in fitness.

John said:

“Yeah, I think that’s fair to say (that fitness was an issue). To be fair I think I’ve seeen in the past two or three sessions we’ve had already in this pre-season that tempo has gone a lot higher. The training that we had last season wasn’t as high tempo.”

If nothing else indicted previous regimes more, that certainly does. It does seem that the likes of Warburton, Caixinha and Murty criminally underestimated the SPL, were a tonne out of their depths (as if we didn’t know) and simply didn’t work their players hard enough.

Gerrard already understands success at the highest levels, and what it takes. While this is his first foray into management we have to remember he’s learned from Houllier, Rodgers, Hodgson, Benitez and Klopp to name but five, and clearly the Rangers boss is determined to use every ounce of wisdom he’s taken on board.

And one of those is basic fitness. Premier League title aside, Gerrard won pretty much everything in the club game, and evidently if Rangers are to start to win themselves, being puffed out at 55 minutes isn’t good enough.

And John’s testimony of essentially just how bad it’s been till now is one huge condemnation of previous ‘managers’.


  1. And this explains why Murty should never be allowed back at the HTC, can you imagine the atmosphere it will be when John, Wallace and a few other players bump into Murts at the HTC when there is no respect from either party ?

    • I totally agree BlueBear, Murty should never have been allowed back!
      Our development team will suffer through him too. Very bad for morale.

    • Agree with this. Also what level of respect will the youth have for him, it will already be low and getting lower with every story that comes out like this

  2. Not disagreeing, but to be fair I should point out that this is Elton's first pre-season at Rangers so while he can make informed assumptions, he doesn't know what pre-season was like in previous years

    • Hi Scots, we think John is only referring to the training level in general. Pre-season or otherwise. He's not a novice – he will know what the levels should be.

    • Fair point. But I have to agree with Dino Velvet below. Professionals with access to great facilities and competent coaching staff should never be unfit. As you say yourself, people who are not novices know what the levels and standards are – they should meet them.

    • True, but if the training sessions just aren't intense enough, it's THAT that's not meeting the required levels, not the resulting fitness?

    • I agree, it is probably the intensity, length, variety of the training that is the problem.
      But as Dino notes, and you did, these are highly trained professionals. They know their bodies and the level of intensity required to bring them to a peak and maintain it. Any of them who feel that they are fitter after this summer must have known that they weren't as fit as they could have been last summer.
      I hate to invoke the name of a player I don't like, but do you really think Scott Brown would slack off if the training wasn't hard enough at the Paedodrome? No, he would be moaning that the lazy bastards weren't working hard enough. Can't stand the man for a multitude of reasons – lack of class, talent and human features to name but three – but have never heard anybody accuse him of slacking.
      But this is not a dig at IN, Declan or Rangers, so I will shut up now 🙂
      Happy to hear about Flanagan having a medical. IF he can reach his potential, then would imply Tav will be sold to raise funds, hopefully for McBurnie. Hodson will go to free up a wage. Flanagan RB, cover from Ryan Jack and Aidan Wilson which would be enough.

  3. If Gerrard says fitness was an issue who am I to disagree. That said, if pro-footballers at Gers think that is an excuse to apportion or deflect blame from themselves I can’t accept that. They are pro’s and must carry responsibility for their own fitness levels first and foremost. After all they have great facilities at Auchenhowie, gym, sports scientists, analysts, nutritionists, etc.

    Personally I believe players mentality was the main shortfall last season. The management team have a part to play for sure but like fitness, mentality and application is really down to the individuals.

    They had shown ability on many occasions last term so it was there, but on nowhere near enough occasions did they apply it, especially against the rotten mob.

    Give players an opportunity to deflect blame from themselves and what they need to do and they’ll clearly latch onto it. Bullshit from them and I’d personally sack any of them who refuse to accept personal liability for the disgusting capitulations we saw from them.

    Gerrard states standards need to be higher and high fitness levels and a strong will to win never say die attitudes need to be there at all times from all of the players, especially from those bastards still there from last season who must go down as the luckiest guys in the country to still be at Glasgow Rangers. Hope they realise it. Cunts.

  4. Glad to see the problem is being Rectified under Stevie G! 😃👊

    And Am Absolutely Disgusted That Murty is Back at The Club! 😒

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