Monday, 2 July 2018

Steven Gerrard's Rangers takes the field for the first time...

It may only be a closed door friendly, but tomorrow Rangers host The New Saints at The Hummel Training Centre in Steven Gerrard’s official debut as manager and the watching world is keen to see exactly how Gerrard’s ideas and pre-season camp have impacted his fledgling squad in long-awaited action.

It has been very promising – all of what we have seen, heard and read has bode well and encouraged us that Stevie is taking this club in the right direction, but it’s truly time for us to see the walk after the talk.

In terms of team, it barely matters – this is about performance and fitness in ‘competitive’ action. As Gerrard himself said in pre-season, the bounce games he set up in Malaga were simply ‘Rangers v Rangers’ and that tells us nothing.

Tomorrow will be the first time his newly-assembled squad will face fresh opposition, and while the result doesn’t matter, it probably does in reality.

Last pre-season TNS held Pedro Caixinha’s dismal Rangers to a draw, and that definitely bode accurately for the season ahead.

The same fixture again would be a decent indicator. True, our green and white friends lost to Bohemians recently, so many would argue it really doesn’t matter – but a boost to morale would be welcome.

As for the XI?

The whole squad is likely to get minutes, but with only 10 days to go till Shkupi come to Ibrox, Gerrard only has two matches (currently known) to prepare for it – he is likely to want as many of his marquee players to be as ready as he can.

We can see all summer signings playing a part tomorrow, albeit perhaps not starting in every case.

We would hazard a guess that the starting XI for Friday’s fixture is going to be close to the one he’ll send out against the Macedonians, but for now, we’ll concentrate on TNS and what the performance and result could mean.

Hopefully Stevie Ger’s Rangers career gets off to a flyer.

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