Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Is key consultation going to be the difference for Steven Gerrard?

With The New Saints tonight, Bury on Friday and the Europa League underway less than a week later, thought has to start focusing on what system Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is likely to deploy.

As we know every manager has a ‘favoured’ formation and system, and often this contributes to their downfall. Mark Warburton refused to shift from his Barcelona model, while Pedro’s obsession with 4-2-3-1 hardly helped his cause.

In itself this is not a bad thing – every manager will have a preferred setup they’ll primarily deploy, but good ones also have alternatives. They manage by game, and change their system and personnel when needed. Walter was the master of this – the king of 4-4-2 in the 90s, he’d happily send out six or even seven defenders when a big match came along, or use the one up top in his second spell.

And that flexibility is key – Stevie is set to have a word with Uncle Walter about the job, and there is no better person for a manager to talk to about managing Rangers.

And that willing to learn from someone who knows his stuff is a perfect example of why and how Gerrard is doing things right and preparing for the mammoth task properly. Past managers were ludicrously arrogant and treated Rangers poorly and with no respect – Gerrard might not be one of us yet, but he is showing utter class in how he’s going about business and he’s doing the right things.

And one of the right things is consulting with a true master about how to approach the job.

Gerrard is his own man, a leader, strong willed and a true warrior – but getting some vital tips for his first foray into management from someone who’s seen it all, done it all (twice) is a wise move to make.

And one of the tips Walter will surely give him is to manage per game, rather than rigidly sticking to one system and never altering regardless of the opponent.

Stevie has picked a brutal start for life in management, but he is approaching it with the best groundwork he could.

Will he be a success? Who knows. We can have no clue yet as to whether Steven Gerrard will be more John Barnes or Graeme Souness. But he is 100% laying the framework perfectly, and if he doesn’t manage to succeed, it will not be as a result of a lack of preparation and will.

And we look hugely forward to seeing how he gets on, starting tonight.

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