Sunday, 17 March 2019

Is it wrong to criticise Steven Gerrard?

After the latest in a long and increasingly regular line of bad results, we’re starting to witness, at Ibrox Noise, the old fan patterns starting back up.

It began with Mark Warburton – the Magic Hat could do no wrong, and even when his SPL campaign floundered he still had a strong core among the support who backed him to the point of dividing the fanbase.

Pedro came in and somehow he got indoctrinated as a cult manager with a ‘staunch’ backing by a great portion of the support.

Graeme Murty was next, to be seen by a glut of fans as up there with Walter Smith. Yes, really – comparisons were made.

And now Steven Gerrard, having had a tough 2019 at best at Ibrox is experiencing that same blind faith by many supporters who won’t criticise him and instead blame the players.

We’re not justifying, criticising, or anything else with regards Stevie, it’s just that we’ve seen this before, and it’s been a recurring pattern for Rangers fans for the best part of four years, seven if you include certain similar treatment of Ally McCoist.

What are we saying? Rangers managers, whoever they are, will always get a strong tribal backing by a lot of fans even when things start to go south, and those fans will justify, reason, defend and praise their man to the hilt.

Which is not us saying Gerrard is a failure or a success – we’ve seen his bad side and his good side as a Rangers manager, with European success followed by a 5-1 gubbing by Celtic, and topping the table and beating Celtic being followed by losing in two cups to Aberdeen – both sides of Gerrard have seen lofty highs and painful lows.

It’s just that right now there’s definitely more lows. This year hasn’t seen a single good thing at Ibrox in terms of general progress. Beating Aberdeen in the league is the literal highlight and that’s just not good enough. Not for the ambition we have.

The squad is really getting it thick right now – and it’s true they’ve most definitely not delivered this calendar year – not in the matches that count anyway. Too many players just aren’t up to the level we’d hoped, but then most of them were signed by Stevie.

Those who back him cannot reconcile that with his signings without looking hypocritical.

For the record, we don’t ‘not’ back him, we’re just fed up with those who shoot down anyone who dares to question him.

Why is it perfectly moral to slag off all the players but not Steven Gerrard – why is he immune when all of them (him included) are paid by our club to deliver results as a unit? Are the players less worthy than Stevie?

We don’t understand why fans are choosing to support part of Rangers and not the other part – then attack sites like ours for posing questions at the manager.

This rookie season for Gerrard has been patchy at best – and as we’ve said before, blindly supporting and not questioning is not the path to progress. Even SG himself welcomes the criticism, and we applaud him for having more humility than his most fervent advocates do.

After all, how can you fix things which are broken if you refuse to recognise the problems in the first place.
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