Steven Gerrard has achieved much in a short space of time at Ibrox. Livi debacle aside, his Rangers team is looking in every sense worthy of the shirt and name right now, and much of that is down to hard work, practise, and players willing to buy into the ideas.
However, tactics cannot be ignored either, and while we’ve discussed Rangers’ smooth 4-3-3 a lot this season, something stood out about yesterday’s win over Hearts;
That opening goal.
Straight out of the training ground, this moment was the pinnacle of Steven Gerrard’s Rangers reign so far, and the first sure evidence of the man’s attention to detail and clear focus on opponents.
Having watched countless videos of Hearts defending set pieces, Gerrard had some ideas about how Rangers could exploit it – this was a manager truly doing his homework, and being well aware of how slow Hearts Uche Ikpeazu and others could be – Rangers’ attackers held the high line rather than trying to beat it, and when the offside trap failed, as Gerrard had envisaged, three Rangers players were happily there to finish the job.
Levein, to his candour, didn’t moan about refereeing decisions, or anything ‘unfair’ – indeed, this was one of the few times a losing opponent has just plain admitted his side wasn’t good enough on the day and were essentially blown away.
But equally his concession one player didn’t shift quickly enough was exactly the move Gerrard was hoping for.
It all helped towards a brilliant day for Rangers, and yet more spot-on management from Steven Gerrard whose stock as a coach is rising match by match.