Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Assessment; does Steven Gerrard remain Rangers manager?

So it’s the morning after the latest atrocity at Ibrox, and the rollercoaster that is Rangers these days continues to taunt us repeatedly.

Much soul-searching has taken place and our stance on Steven Gerrard has wavered a few times.

The truth? We just don’t know. Sometimes things go quite well, and we have it pegged as going in the right direction, but then it dramatically undoes itself like it did last night and makes us question our faith in him.

We’re not true believers on the site and never claimed to be – we are instead agnostic towards Gerrard, chance givers, and while he has taken some of those and made us feel reassured, at the same time he’s blown a lot too and put it all back to square one.

Last night has been coming – Rangers’ recent form has been rattling goals in against a dodgy 10-man Killie and two bottom feeders in Hamilton and Dundee.

Prior to that we lost to an 11-man Killie and St Johnstone held us.

Something had to give and last night’s collapse was the culmination of our recent symptoms.

Whose fault? No argument the players take a lot of it. Glen Kamara’s atrocious pass which gifted the opener set the tone for a truly appalling night, and Alfredo Morelos may or may not have dived but certainly didn’t shine otherwise.

And there are two schools of thought on how much Gerrard takes the blame – look at the difference in Man Utd since Solskjaer took over – one manager has made all the difference it seems. But the other school of thought is that the players are the endgame – that whatever the manager says and does and how he sets them up, the players have to deliver on the pitch, and Rangers’ aren’t.

Personally we just don’t know – we’ve been through all this multiple times the past seven years – bigging up mediocrity and claiming it’s ‘clearly better and there’s clearly progress’. We did it with Murty, Warburton and even, for a time, with Pedro.

Doing it with Gerrard is nothing new. We do it with all our managers and with all our players. Until we’re actually winning the title, or winning cups, we’ll keep doing it and making excuses about refs and possession and shots until we no longer need to.

The way forward is completely unclear to us – Gerrard, so far, is not a Souness. There is nothing remotely similar in their management style – just like back then, Gerrard has taken a weak Rangers, but unlike back then, Gerrard won’t win a thing on his debut season. And bear in mind the Souness revolution hadn’t truly kicked in in terms of signing a glut of amazing players – only Chris Woods and Terrry Butcher were in by that point yet Souness still dragged his men to the League and Cup double.

Gerrard is a mile away from this. True, it’s a different world, but if you’re going to make the comparisons beforehand, you have to expect that kind of judgement afterwards.

Where we go now is unclear. Once again a risky management appointment is causing supporter division – causing some to ditch the manager, and others to want to keep faith.

And we’re honestly at a loss as to how that can be reconciled any time soon.

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