Thursday, 27 September 2018

The reality of Steven Gerrard

When Rangers fans look at the arduous task of replacing Walter Smith with something even half as good, such intentions led to an acceleration of managers the like we have never seen before at Ibrox.

It led to almost as many managers in seven years as we’d had the previous 100+. 13 managers up till Walter Smith (if we exclude the brief liaisons such as Tommy McLean and take into account Walter’s second spell) and eight after he retired.

All because no one could hold a candle to the Grand Master Walter Smith. No one in the modern game seemed to be able to deliver the patriarchal domination and respect Walter commanded, and no one had his aura.

No one, that is, until Steven Gerrard.

Last night Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, fielding close to a ‘fringe’ side, aside a rocky first error-strewn 10 minutes, completed a consummate Rangers performance, putting in their place a very fine Championship-leading Ayr side.

And standing authoritively on the touchline, was one Steven Gerrard esquire, exuding class, assurance, and sheer dignity as his illustrious predecessors from the golden age did.

Rangers’ board were in a pickle the past few years – whoever wore the suits, they could not, for love nor money, attract the right manager, the right established boss who would come in and turn Rangers back into Rangers.

They nearly made the biggest mistake (well, the latest mistake after yer Pedros and Murties) by appointing Derek McInnes, only for the Aberdeen boss to wimp out. We didn’t want him in the first place, and were delighted when he did a 180.

But it left Rangers’ board lost – who the hell was big enough for this club?

Well, the truth is, restoring Rangers to the top of Scottish football must be close to the hardest job in world football, and it was going to take someone truly extraordinary and special, with a big personality, and revered by all.

It is starting to look like the gamble to make that man Steven Gerrard, a U18s coach without a minute of senior management experience, has been the biggest, ballsiest, and most incredible gamble in Rangers’ history and amazingly it seems to be paying off in abundance.

We are quite staggered by how well this new era is going, and just how Rangers and Walter-like Gerrard is starting to become.

It’s not over, sure it isn’t – we didn’t show up against Celtic and that remains the fixture the currency of the Old Firm is measured. But for Charlie Nicholas, of all people (who said Rangers were only in the group stage for the money and to make up the numbers), to admit true concern at the state of things at Parkhead and concede the evident momentum at Ibrox is quite something.

Last night Rangers swept Ayr aside, with a second-string side and we lost genuine count of the men of the match, there were that many (more on that later) – and Steven Gerrard remains the architect of all that is good at Ibrox right now. And there’s a lot of it.

Sure, again, there are some errors – he remains a rookie boss learning on the job – but like Zinedine Zidane, this lad is learning, and learning fast.

It took someone big, someone with self assurance, and a true icon of football to achieve results at Ibrox.

Steven Gerrard is the big icon Rangers needed – and what he is achieving in only three or so months is becoming remarkable.

Absolutely staggering.
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