The Steven Gerrard Rangers paradox


Rangers fans find ourselves in a slightly puzzling place. Older Bears, such as the majority of your good staff on Ibrox Noise, are used to success yesterday, to marquee players in the Light Blue bestriding all before them like colossi.

Meanwhile the younger ones have had the lion’s share of a decade knowing nothing but a Rangers at the level of Hibs, while being regaled by their parents’ and older siblings’ stories of a Rangers who topped the league and won trophies galore.

So that dichotomy is already making the Rangers fanbase a surreal place these days.

But the new one is the expectation surrounding Steven Gerrard. It is written into our DNA that we win. We are Rangers and we are the best. And when we aren’t the best we do everything and more to become the best again, and we do it quickly.

And the hype over Gerrard and the winning steel he’d bring not to mention the marquee signings he’d surely attract also caused a frenzied level of anticipation that this Anfield legend and his brilliant new acquisitions would finally give us a glimmer of a Rangers that would push Celtic, or at least, progress significantly over the dismal seasons we’ve suffered.

So, after a stuttering start where performances have been frankly dreadful (despite two clean sheets) there’s a wild shuffling sound at the back of the class as students of football try to marry the damned expectation they had of Gerrard with the fact it isn’t exactly blowing us away yet.

And change their rhetoric from ‘Let’s Go’ to ‘when do we start?’.

You see, we’ve been expecting so much, and now that it looks patently less impressive than we’d hoped, suddenly the language has shifted to demanding Gerrard and the players get a chance. Let It Gel Give It Time rears its head again – the same LIGGIT Pedro enjoyed before Murty took the mantle.

This is not to say Gerrard is a dud like they were, but the harsh reality is what we’ve seen so far, impressive defence aside (and believe me, we’re cherishing half capable blokes at the back) is pretty much as it was last season.

We’re not jumping on Stevie’s back, but he is the one who wanted this gig, and our board are the ones who decided he was the answer. Box office he is, but Rangers is a hell of a first job in management, and we always reserved judgement till we could actually watch his ideas unfold.

So far they ain’t great, and there’s the nub – do Rangers fans want to give Gerrard the long term to find the answers, if that’s what it takes? Of course, every chance he’ll nail it inside a few months or even less, but if not? There’s also the chance he’s a turkey. Yes, let’s not be utopian here – he could be a complete failure but then could he have picked a harder task than bringing us back from the land of mediocrity?

We hoped for more Graeme Souness than John Barnes but even John Barnes had Berkovic, Larsson, Lambert and Petrov.

There is a long way to go, but the start in competitive football has been far from encouraging. Here’s hoping this is as bad as it’ll get.


  1. Calm down IN and give him a chance. I think you'd probably agree we have already improved the goalkeeper and the defence. So there you have it we are improving. Now we need to sort out middle to front and I'm fairly confident we will improve there too. Will it be good enough for silverware? Possibly not but as long as we keep improving year on year we will get there. It's a slow climb to the top of any mountain worth climbing.

  2. Yeh it cant get any worse,ok we played pish and got into the next round,most importantly never let any goals in,this is something we couldnt do last season

    We all know we have some work to do here,we need too stay calm,be patient,the gaffer knows this he's acknowledged this and is clearly concerned like all of us,

    Another thing i wasnt happy with lastnight was the gaffer still had his jacket on on the first half,i dont think hes qualified yet to do this i want the fuckin jacket off and sleeves rolled up ready for it "bring it on" well get ready for it ffs

    LETS GO WATP 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

  3. You quite obviously don't remember where Rangers were for most of 86/87, and how we started that campaign.

    It was about how we finished it. WATP.

    • Spot on. My first ST year. Was shoddy and disjointed for a wee while. Didn’t have the social media and round the clock dedicated tv channels fuelling internet hysteria that we have now. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

  4. The biggest problems from last season has been sorted. Now it’s time to spend money on the attack. Some of the new attacking talent hasn’t even kicked a ball. For all we know we have the next Ronaldo at the club (ok a bit ott) but by this stage last season we were out of Europe we won and it was easy street…

  5. SG needs competitive games to find out what he has but must hope that he has witnessed the worst performances of the season from McCrorie, Candaeas, Windass, Murphy and Morelos. To continue playing Morelos would be insane, is unacceptable and should be a marker for the rest. Surely Sadiq must play 90 minutes against Wigan and our priority is another goal scoring striker.

  6. Why on earth did the board give Gerrard the managers job when there are so many better managers on social media. He's already deemed a failure because we didn't win 1st two games 10 nil 10 nil. Reality checks around. His team selection has already been criticised all over place.

  7. Ranger's fans need to accept that their team is rebuilding and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. These are not your father's Rangers…they are not even his father's or his father's. These Rangers, regardless of what year the emblem states (1872) are uniquely new. They are new because all of the conditions present have changed from the time they initially rose to greatness. As such, placing the same expectations upon this new team, though a driver for the future, is ultimately unrealistic in the present. Ranger's fans need to learn that working toward greatness for that future and expecting greatness in the present are two distinctly different animals. If they continue to expect those heights now, they will only succeed in a succession of false starts. Until they change their mindset, they are in for a lot of heartbreak. Kingdoms are not built in a day, nor great organizations, in a season. This is reality. Embrace it or suffer from not doing so. Your choice.

    • 100% agree. How about IN doing something useful and try to pull our fickle supporters together and get behind the team and the manager. I'm sure Gerrard is working very hard to turn things around for this club. Let's get the supporters working just as hard to support the team instead of placing unrealistic expectations on everyone, even the currently under performing ones.

  8. The problem is a problem of expectations. Expectations breed disappointment. It's not a bad thing to want to see the team perform at the very top level. But expectations should be tempered and replaced with a confident optimism. There is a time to be harsh critics, but right now is not the time. I hailed your measured words yesterday, but here we are again. I don't understand why some seem to think Juventus is suddenly going to walk out at Ibrox wearing a Rangers kit lol. You can be sure that this team will not even remotely resemble the current squad after this window and the January window. Ffs, let the gaffer get his boys in, and if it's still not turning around, then let him have it, but the criticisms at the moment border on the absurd. Gerrard is very much learning on the job, no question, but he knows what it takes to win and you can be sure his players are feeling it after the draw. He's taken a hardline approach to his attackers and if I were them I would be concerned about letting down in training even the slightest degree.

    With that said, the players are not above reproach, but I gotta admit, the treatment of Candeias astounds me. Sure, he hasn't been overwhelming in the two matches so far, but he was arguably the best player for the whole of last year. I think he's earned a bit of slack. But he's already been pegged by many in the support to be taken out in a helicopter and dumped in the sea. All that said, people have the right to their own opinions, fickle may they be.

    • Candeias is being played out of position. It’s not much more complicated. And he’s by no means alone. As for this piece, we make no apology for being Rangers fans with emotion. If everything was measured and balanced it wouldn’t be football.

    • I would never ask anyone to apologise about being passionate. I just disagree with this "world on fire" approach. At least for now. There is a time for harsh criticisms, but I don't feel that time is here yet. That's all.

  9. As supporters we only ever have one option….SUPPORT THE TEAM. Anywhere, everywhere and no matter who is in charge.

    Negativity, even if justified, doesnt do anything to improve us.

    I dont mind debate on forums like this but for God's sake give this team everything you've got for 90 mins during games regardless of how things pan out. We will need every advantage to win back the league and fans have a role to play…

  10. We’ve been waiting years for the Lets Go ( not just Gerrard) moment and it hasn’t really happened yet how long can we survive in Europe playing like that+league starting soon really was hoping for better from the start+But football is like life its all about how you finish

  11. Ibrox Noise your negativity around Gerard and the team in recent posts is becoming quite hysterical and also boorish. We’ve played two competitive games at a ridiculously early stage of the season, we’ve negotiated our way through to the second qualifying round of the Europa League, and we have kept a clean sheet in both matches. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? Yes – Gerard may or may not prove himself a good manager but as someone who is used to mixing it at the very highest level then he is already a step up from a snake oil salesman plucked from obscurity. You hold up under achievers as a charge against him as if he has somehow lied to you by playing them – but who else would you have him play. Our squad is full of mediocrity given long contracts by previous managers. The players he has brought in have been an immediate improvement – McGregor, Goldson, Katic, Flanagan – but he can only do so much in a short period. So many others out there will talk us down – let’s remain positive and give Gerard all the support he needs. Let’s go!

  12. We’re not jumping on Stevie’s back—- its like when sumone has to say "honestly" u ken its a lie!!

    And change their rhetoric from ‘Let’s Go’ to ‘when do we start?’. 2 games in what is this bulls*it u speak, so wit if u dont have a good story to write everyday. dont turn oot drivvell just for the hell of it its why i dont read news papers anymore! i want to hear how each o the players are fittin in gelin trainin all things rangers not media pish. over the top garbage Over The Top OTT availible at any good news agent ibroxnoise sort it oot get ur own hoose in order afore u jump aaa ower sumone else's

  13. I agree with Dexter.
    He has improved the squad considerably.
    He can't swap all out and new in over one transfer window.
    Remember Arfield would have played if not injured.
    Remember we had the highest scoring attack last season, so the clay is there
    The problem last season was the defence – Fixed!!
    Yes, things could be better, they always can. Real Madrid are looking to improve on 3 CLs in a row. So we too can improve. But not all in one window

    Take a chill pill, brother Rangers fans

  14. We must show some realism at the start of this era. At the end of last season, we were bemoaning the extravagance of Pedro by purchasing Pena and Herrera for no return on investment. It was obvious that there was little capital for investment this season, so congratulations to the Board for digging deep. How much have we recouped from Holt, Forrester and Alves?. Not enough to buy a season ticket. To be reported to have bid 3m in Jake Cooper after buying Goldson and Murphy shows commitment to SG. His signings have shown promise. It appears that Pedro's squad have yet to gel with the new players or with the new strategy. They will be eased out as the new loanees and youngsters gain fitness and maturity.

  15. The other mob just feed off the negativity and exploit it, also! while were frustrated at morelos remember he's stll only 21. It was always the rangers way to help our own. let's help the boy, we should drape a huge colombian flag from the SJ stand and belt out his name. that's what gerrard bought into, the loyalty. it might pay dividends as the boy could be the difference at the end of the season. if not at least we can say we tried, c'mon bears don't give them ammnuition.

  16. This page is so negative it's unreal. Seriously we have played three games still in pre season basically. At no point in the 2 legs against shkupi did I feel we were in danger of losing. He said top priority was to sort our defense and he has. Now he says he wants to sort the problems in the final third and I believe he will

  17. SG sorted out our back line and given time, i'm sure he'll sort out, our forwards. I personally believe Morelos, is a dud. Getting rid of him, is the first thing we need to do. I've seen enough of him, to know he's NOT, Rangers quality. 21, or not. It is too early, to think negatively and if we finished third, with a team half-filled with dross last season, what we do this season, can it feasibly, be as bad? I think not.

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