Despite only taking charge of 2 competitive games, Gerrard has been at the helm for a couple of months now so we should be starting to see his stamp on the way we play and go about our footballing business. Given the amount of signings he has made and the countless hours he has spent drilling his methods and views into his squad, it is fair time to evaluate his progress so far.
As far as signings go, fans will never know the budget he was told he would receive when he first interviewed for the job therefore is it unfair to speculate whether or not he will be satisfied with the level of spending to date. It is fair to say that the summer transfer activity has been slightly underwhelming when we look at our business as a whole.
Despite appearing to sort out the central defence issue early on, the increasing number of unheard-of loanees being signed up is raising concerns across the fan base. Clearly we don’t have the cash to be able to go and spend a few million in every position and therefore the loan market is a necessary evil for us, but in my opinion it is not the way to go about challenging Celtic.
Arguably, the players moved on under the new regime is more impressive that the signings he has made. We have managed to shift a considerable amount of deadwood, with far less ‘failures’ from previous regimes on our books now. Sadly, a lot are out on loan and we may see them again, but at least the squad isn’t quite as cluttered with trash as it was last year; that is assuming that the signings we have made this year aren’t trash!
Clearly Gerrard is an inexperienced manager. Even the best of managers make the odd mistake, so fans can’t be too shocked when Gerrard makes mistakes at Rangers. There have been some to date: Making Tavernier captain, sending Docherty out on loan and playing Jack in an attacking midfield role to name a few. Tactically, at least, he seems to be able to change things quickly (whether for the better or not), which is a vital attribute in a football manager. We were sick of watching Murty standing on the side-lines.
On the park, displays have been mediocre at best. In the first qualifying round of the Europa League, we did appear to be more solid. However, the lack of cutting edge up front looks to be a major issue. Hopefully one that can be addressed imminently.
All in all, for me the Stevie G hype has worn off and now it is really all about seeing what he truly can do for us. It would be massively unfair to write him off this early in his career, but similarly it would be silly to ignore the negative aspects of the job he has done so far. Blind loyalty has plagued our support since our troubles in 2012 and I worry that we are continuing in that vein with the hype around Stevie just because of who he was as a player.
I really hope he succeeds and brings home the title, but to even give him a fighting chance we need a large amount of cash to drastically improve our playing squad.