Horror at Hampden – where did it go wrong for Steven Gerrard?


Reaction to yesterday’s meek loss at Hampden has once again led to a lot of soul searching from a great number of Rangers fans. As we did say recently, we cherish where we are now (European nights etc) compared with where we were, but such appreciation doesn’t make a result and performance like that easier to tolerate.

We do have a sense of perspective – it does still remain a work in progress, and our manager similarly remains a rookie on the job. Indeed, he has exceeded certain expectations by a mile and has restored a sense of pride we appeared to lose not even that long ago.

However, we must also call things as they are, as opposed to just looking at the greater picture – there have been a significant number of absolutely diabolical performances this season – let’s not forget it was the worst league start this club has suffered in 29 years, and all good feeling we have about having Stevie Gerrard as manager and a noticeably higher calibre of player must be factored with what they have achieved in mind.

The manner of yesterday’s capitulation at the hands of Aberdeen was, in a word, depressing.

Yes, it’s not the worst performance Rangers have ever delivered but it was symptomatic of an alarming increasing mental block away from home.

While we did manage a fortuitous win against Hamilton, the good feeling of those stunning wins against Rapid and Hearts do feel a bit distant after a disappointing point against Spartak, that ‘lucky’ win at New Douglas Park and now this weak performance against a side we should have been able to match.

A great number of fans are blaming the manager, but while we sure don’t have him as the innocent party (his subs were late and wrong) we must remember he had to rely on Umar Sadiq as his only functioning striker. In fairness to the Nigerian, a few offsides and dive aside, he actually had a better night than the hysterical overreaction we’re seeing to his display. Even a few of us on the site are divided over his merits. So we can tell he’s going to cause an argument or two!

But regardless, Gerrard’s hands were tied with the loss of two strikers, so it wasn’t even like he had a plan B alternative formation he could deploy for this match.

He could have changed the shape (albeit every other shape has failed this season), but this wasn’t a question of formation – it was a question of Gerrard not getting the most out of his men, while they mostly bottled the occasion.

In other words, the usual away day blues. Of course this was a neutral venue, so not explicitly an ‘away day’ – but there is little doubt of the hangup Rangers clearly have when they don’t play at Ibrox.

All season there’s been about three half decent displays away from home – Kilmarnock, after a slow start, a professional show and win in Croatia (our best away display and result by a mile this season) and that draw in Russia with 9 men.

The rest, in all honesty, have been pretty weak and the home form, which has been excellent, is what is saving this season so far from being painful.

We have to balance up both sides of this – we don’t see it as doom and gloom, but neither are we inspired. We love the brilliant results and displays when they happen at Ibrox, but we here at the Noise sadly predicted the morale crashing back down given all the away matches we’ve had to face recently.

It’s a work in progress, but we’re now basically into November and at some point fifth in the table, and out of the cup will certainly become more noticeable and prominent.

Meanwhile we excel in Europe Le Guen style.

It’s not the apocalypse, but neither is it the new age.

It’s a bumpy road and it’s going to continue to give us pain and pleasure in equal measure.


  1. Sorry, but I don't buy the awayday thing
    let's remember,
    -Aberdeen scored with the last kick against 10 men after being outplayed.
    -Motherwell scored down to a tactical mistake by a new manager which he admitted
    -Yesterday was hardly an away game with 30,000 Rangers fans inside Hampden
    -We didn't play well enough, simple as
    But let's not build it into something it isn't

    • We have won one away game under Gerrard and it was down to getting two penalties or it would have been another draw! – It's already built into something and that is Gerrard can't motivate or suss teams out away from Ibrox.

  2. The stupid yellow cards that Morelos keeps getting himself will cost Rangers this season.He is not the only one who has to each it. These needless cards have to be stopped it is one thing to take one for the team another for being stupid
    Allan Stewart

  3. Sadiq was woeful in every respect. His cowardly dive was pathetic and has no place in football it was easier to score. Get him on the next plane to Italy. Aberdeen were terrible and any of the other options were preferable to Sadiq leading the line. McIness thinks he won a tactical battle …. wrong … His side were outplayed everywhere. 6 soft offsides and one dive was Sadiqs contribution. Not good enough.

  4. Reason we lost? Alfredo Morelos!!! His stinking attitude and petulance finally came home to roost when he left us without a proven striker. He just about got away with it at Pittodrie and definitely got off the hook in Russia but his selfish indiscipline finally cost us. I hope the manager has spelled that out to him in no uncertain terms.

  5. Nothing in the final third and the final ball from every player was criminal,thats two games on the trot against two poor teams we should have won comfortably,two full 90 minute games and hardly a shot on goal.the sheep played like Hamilton and other teams in the league are going to do the same,why wait till we go behind to change it.

  6. This game was lost weeks ago when our only forward was suspended, his total lack of responsibly cost us up at Aberdeen at the beginning of the season and again yesterday. Sure our manager says he picks the and everything that goes with it, but his hands were tied yesterday. Over the last seasons we have been crying for a better defence which i believe he has addressed , now it's the forward line that needs addressing . At least our manager comes out with the truth when he say's made more quality is required i am sure that is something we can all agree on.

  7. I had no problem with Sadiq starting yesterday but if Gerrard was planning that then he should have been given game time before now. I don't think the striker situation was the problem, we could have had mccoist in his prime up front and it wouldn't have made a difference with the lack of any quality service. Kent can put his foot on the ball and go past a player but his final ball was terrible aswell. The less said about Tav, candieas, ejaria coulibaly the better! Pathetic! Someone needs to talk to Gerrard about utilising his whole squad, making substitutions, making tactical changes because he does none of them properly! Gary Mac? Open yer mouth and assist! Remember Advocaat making changes in the first 15 minutes of games? Rossiter, Arfield, Halliday should have all started as they never played on Thursday- that's not hindsight, it's common sense. Maximum points in the remaining league games before the international break is an absolute must!

  8. Cannot believe the so called Rangers fans on here blaming morelos, he wasn't even playing in the game,the players on the pitch and the coach were to blame for that result Aberdeen were shite and we went to sleep at a corner,end of story.

    • Ok let Morelos do what he wants regardless of how if affects the team says this so called Rangers fan of nearly 60 years!
      That's the whole point "he wasn't even playing in the game" because he's a selfish, petulant numpty who is too stupid to understand when people are winding him up to get him booked.

    • Totally agree. It was only a matter of time that Morelos, cost us dearly. Some think Morelos can do no wrong, but he's FAR from the finished article, for me.

  9. Whilst disappointed in the result we all need a bit of a reality check. Steven Gerrard has been in charge for almost five months and there has been significant improvements. A cup final would have been great but did not happen on this occasion. Aberdeen set their side up to defend and hope for a set piece or a counter attack. The lesson the team and manager need to learn is how to breakdown this type of team. As I am sure this will not be the last time this season that we have to face team that sets set up this way. Progress will continue to be made.

  10. Warburton was slated for not having a plan B up until now under Gerrard we haven't seen anything other than one team formation as I have said before teams now know how to set up against us two banks of four and two up front every game we are outnumbered in midfield we desperately need a quality midfield playmaker and another good striker dont blame Sadiq for yesterday you could have had a quality striker playing and it would have been no different there was nothing getting created from the flanks or through midfield there is no quick fix so many fans are expecting too much too soon

  11. Stevie g says he's not scared to throw in youth players,so why the fuck ain't young Andy Dallas in the squad as he's bangin them in left right and center in the unders,would have been better than Sadiq who i think was thrown under the bus,what did everyone think was going to happen ,he's only played about 20 mins in 21 games…No Surrender…

  12. Seems to be the modern way. I can remember young strikers like Derek Johnstone, Gordon Dalziel and Gary and others getting thrown into the top side for big games when the main striker was missing. Don't seem to get the chance these days.

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