Steven Gerrard has made himself a massive problem now…


The warning signs were there from the moment Rangers signed Jermain Defoe – as all fans pointed out, you don’t sign Defoe to not play him.

And in doing so, Steven Gerrard has seriously risked breaking what didn’t need fixing. By forcing the two up front Rangers looked sterile, disjointed, and the manager forced at least three players out of their natural positions to facilitate it.

Davis was puzzlingly on the left of midfield, when he’s right-sided – the NI international has played extremely well on his return two matches, but we can’t fathom why he’s being played as a pseudo left winger-cum defensive midfielder.

Meanwhile the diamond four in the middle sees Ryan Kent bewildered as a ‘trequartista’ (as the Italians say) at the apex, where he’s unable to do any damage at all, and Scott Arfield isolated on the right and less effective upon either midfield.

Furthermore, the diamond usually sees a playmaker deep lying in the holding role – a position invented by ex-AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti to accommodate Andrea Pirlo. That worked out, but Ryan Jack sadly doesn’t quite have the same invention as part of his game.

It means the previous 4-3-3 then 4-2-3-1, which suited the available players better, have both been scrapped for a formation which doesn’t fit the personnel. All to shoehorn in Defoe.

We know Gerrard was eager for Morelos to take less weight on his shoulders, but going by Defoe and he’s ‘partnership’, that may not be the ideal solution to do so.

Of course, it’s early days in the duo – an understanding can take a while to form – but if we’re truly honest Alfredo doesn’t really scream of a striker who likes working with a foil. Naturally, Gerrard knows him far better than us, but in all the time Morelos has been at Ibrox, he’s never thrived in a pair – Jason Cummings, Kyle Lafferty at al have all tried, but it’s never really worked for the Colombian.

Either way, Gerrard has, as things currently stand, rather altered something which had real potential given time – a formation which appeared to fit the players we had and which, following a mixed December, peaked with a huge win against our friends from the East.

Since then HJK (result aside) and Kilmarnock have felt like steps back the way, at best.


  1. Another good article – but this has been happening all season – time for a conclusion ?

    I have heard some fans say of SG that he is a “better” loser than both Pedro & Warburton not to mention poor Murty!

    What did Graeme Souness say about Good Losers?

    SG is simply not winning enough games.

  2. I don't think it was a case of fixing something that didn't need fixing. It did and it does. Too many drop points when we've failed to kill off games.

    It's just the choice of fix wasn't correct, we just needed players to play the same system but give something else in it. I.e a winger who hits the by line like Middleton vs a winger who'll cut in like Murphy.

    The problem we have is the strikers need to battle it out. If Morelos doesn't score and defoe does we should drop Morelos, however, he's our most sellable asset. And his worth will fall if we do. And Defoe isn't our player.

    So whats more important, trying to win the league or keeping the value of our star player high.

    I think we all know the answer to that

  3. Spot on I posted the other day with my concern regards Defoe also made the point about our games against teams who sit with two banks of four and hit on the break ie Kilmarnock as for a uncharacteristic error by Worrell and the change of formation was not to blame for the defeat both quotes by Gerrard he must have had his eyes shut a lot this season also Gerrard was seen sitting hands in pocket with the look of a man who would rather have been somewhere else was concerning

  4. Good article but didn't we win all our titles with two up front?
    Strikers can't just sit up top with a cup of tea buttering a scone. Morelos works and works and works more and I respect him for that greatly but defoe is munching the third scone.
    If you play two strikers in the modern game then they need to do way more.
    Today was a bump in the road and we'll get better but realistically the title race is over. It's all about next year and stop dropping silly points with draws etc. WATP

  5. Agree with all your points. He managed – in a single game – to neutralise Tavernier, by taking away his partnership with Candeias. He took Arfield from the central midfield role he starred in against Celtic, to a periferal role on the right wing and took Kent from the left wing he burned up against Celtic and put him in a central role that clearly doesn't suit him. His handling of both Katic and Barisic has been awful with any criticism of the left back surely needing to be made one to one in training. SG has had three weeks on a training ground in the sun to fine tune this system. Sure the mistake made by Worral was dreadful but the spotlight has to be turned on the manager to explain his mistakes.

  6. For me it is yet another example of Gerrards I expirience, I really want him to succeed! But if you take away the Europa league campaign, we are no better off than we where under the previous regimes since returning to the top flight! He ripped up the successful set up that beat Celtic & dropped 2 key players to accommodate 2 over the hill players who have hardly kicked a ball all season, Worrel is a fucking Bomb scare, he has cost us lots of points this season…..McCauly is slower than a week in Jail & like Defoe has only come up here to try & end his career by lifting a trophy…..Goldson & Katic looked solid together at the start of the season & realy only went off the boil when Gerrard started chopping & changing the defenders! Not to mention cost a few million between them! The transfer policy is a tad confusing & concerning, loaning out our own players to then bring other clubs players on loan when he is struggling to give our own guys game time……

  7. It's early days for this system but it will be interesting to see if it gets another chance. Instinctively I feel it won't work (or not given time to work) but still think that it could.
    I believe Kent could be a success in a floating role behind the front two, popping up on either wing or making darting runs through the middle. I don't follow your argument regarding Arfield and Davis. One played on the right side of a mid 2 and the other played on the left. Exactly as they would in a traditional 4-4-2. This means that our midfield play was a bit narrow but that's where you expect your full backs to push into that space. It didn't happen last night but it's something that needs time to develop.
    As for Morelos he did seem hindered by playing with a partner. The problem seemed to be that he took one side and Defoe took the other. That's not how it's meant to be played. They should play closer together, constantly interchanging, dropping short, going long, pulling defenders wide etc. That type of partnership needs time to develop and I don't think it will work while at the same time trying to get Defoe match fit.

  8. you play 2 up front at ibrox not away from home , rookie manager ,im afraid weve got wrong man again ,board to blame ,scottish football will die in next 5 years ,cant have a one team league ,our current manager is constantlly helping opposition ,refusing to play our best players ,

  9. The common denominator over the season is SG. He cares, and he tries, but his inexperience really shows through. Look at the comments above, and on other threads, and everyone thnks sg has got things wrong. He may well prove to be a good – or even great – manager in the future, but letting him cut his teeth at Rangers was NOT a good idea.

  10. It's not the attack at fault it's the fucking defence who can't defend,a fucking Donkey and a pensioner,whats big Katic done to be dropped for heehaw,this is the player who helped us get into the Europa league group stages,then was dropped for that cunt worral,pity he can't be recalled bye forrest..No Surrender..

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