Steven Gerrard last night began, for the first time, to make some genuinely worrying comments some Rangers fans may be more than a touch concerned with.
Recent comments by readers on Ibrox Noise have, just tentatively, questioned his attacks on his players, wondering if his warnings and threats are ruining team unity Jose Mourinho at Manchester United style, and if the manager might in fact be doing more harm than good. Well, now he has added his own sacking or resignation to the mix.
In some truly sinister comments, the boss said:
“I watch closely and if they go into a shell then they’ve got a problem because you shouldn’t be at Rangers if you go into a shell. It’s the wrong place. They can’t do it. There’s been too many players here of late that are prepared to go into that shell. We can’t have them round here. It can’t happen.”
This is a clear attack on a number of the players he has at his disposal, and is bad enough to read that.
But then he adds:
“The business I am in, it is cut throat, it is brutal. If we keep suffering setbacks and results like that moving forward, I am not going to be here. You have to be blunt. It is cut throat, that is the way it is. Don’t sign up for it, don’t come here if you are not prepared to cope with that responsibility and pressure. You shouldn’t be here.”
Whether he is already suggesting and pre-empting his resignation or suggesting he’ll be fired is unclear, but let us be frank:
These are now becoming unacceptable comments for the manager of Glasgow Rangers to make.
These are words a Walter or Souness made in the dressing room – not to the media.
And while we respect Gerrard for what he has achieved in the game, he is starting to make some evident mistakes under pressure in this job in terms of conduct and quotes, and they must be tightened up.
While we appreciate honesty, there comes a point where it’s starting to get downright masochistic and self-deprecating.
And none of this sentiment is going to do the players an ounce of good going into tonight’s match with Killie.