Monday, 20 May 2019

"Steven Gerrard must win the league next season"


So the maiden season of Steven Gerrard’s managerial career is officially over and he begins preparations for the second one in earnest.

A four-year deal was originally signed to secure Gerrard for a pretty significant spell, with many arguing that it was a risky appointment – many pleaded for patience over his chances of success, but if one argument stood out from the majority of fans both for or against, it was the notion of giving him a ‘free pass’ over his first season and not judging till next.

Of course, this ‘free pass’ is a bit rhetorical – such a thing doesn’t really exist at Ibrox nor really should it. We’re a colossal football institution, a piece of the fabric of life here in Scotland and letting someone ‘learn on the ropes’ without being truly accountable isn’t truly the way it works.

Many did judge Gerrard for that season, and they had every right to. It wasn’t a failure, nor was it a success – it appeared mostly a missed opportunity with some notable highs but some significant errors too.

But, and here is the nub – next season is the one that seems to have been widely agreed as Gerrard’s true Judgement Day. While the manager made progress with this club this season (two wins over Celtic, a second place finish with the gap being reduced to 9 points and an amazing European run are substantial improvement) compared with recent ones, nevertheless a serious push at challenging Celtic only briefly flirted with existence following that table-topping win over then-leaders Hearts.

The win over Celtic in December flattered to deceive more than anything, and the subsequent results killed any sustained challenge.

But we can be willing to give him this – next season, the one where Celtic want to secure 9IAR (tainted though it may be) is the one where Steven Gerrard quite simply has to mount a real threat to Parkhead hopes of doing so.

8IAR is already far from ideal, but 9IAR is one away from the record-breaking 10. And while stopping Celtic next season isn’t critical, it’s not far off. And Gerrard is now under real pressure to make it happen.

He learned a lot this season, a lot about himself, and even though we’ve been critical of some of his decisions, we have mostly admired his media performances. He’s spoken far better than most of his recent predecessors.

But talk is cheap and while winning the league next season isn’t as critical as the following season, it’s very, very important.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are under their first true pressure to deliver an SPL title. We go into next season trying to stop 9IAR, rather than the concessions that we don’t have enough cash or enough good players. The summer’s work must be sufficient that winning the league becomes a realistic goal rather than a fantasy.

Because fail to do so, and the following season is last chance saloon to stop unwanted history being made in Scottish football – and that is a big, big ask if there’s been two failures already under this manager.

Next season is a biggie. And we need our club to deliver on it.

12 comments:

  1. If he thinks he got criticised this season, wait till next. That's the nature of the beast, at Rangers. Such, are our expectations. To be fair to him, it hasn't always been his mistakes. It's been Alfredo's antics and subsequent red-cards and suspensions. Bad buys and injuries. Scouts, getting it badly wrong. Teams like Kille/Hibs and Aberdeen, trying to make a name for themselves against us and all the while, Celtic are consistent. While we could barely string any runs. But saying that, you need to LEARN from your mistakes. I want to see the board splash REAL money, or there will more disappointment. Arfield and Defoe and a select few others, have helped us, but all too late. The board need to support SG and give much needed funds to him. We'll see how that, goes.

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  2. Big money won’t make too much difference. Too much money in England. No decent player will come to Scotland if they can earn cash down south. Recruitment from within , good management ,good loan, keeping our heads and some even handed fairness from officials and authorities will see us win league. We played best football in Scotland this year.

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    1. Really mate we finished 2nd in the league got pumped aff the sheep in the 2 cups at the quarters and semi final stages and you tell us we played the better football. Fuck the better football I want to win the league and the cups even if that winning ugly. Don't tell me any different. And again it's only my opinion before people get the scatter gun out.

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    2. I have to apologise in advance for doing it, but I agree with Scud!! Next season, winning will be more important than good football.
      But I think Alan makes a good point. The team has progressed, we play good, winning football. We need to be more consistent, raise our average performances rather than our peak ones. They are already good enough. We have tightened up defence, we outscored them, we just need to stop dropping silly points, find a way to win ugly when needed and we will get there.
      RTID

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    3. Ile say it again bring in the hardmen not fuckin fairies,theres no fitba in the diddy league,hardmen is all thats required

      No surrender WATP

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  3. IN, you say "Next season is a biggie. And we need our club to deliver on it."

    I totally agree with this 100%.

    But it ain't going to happen when we are signing players like Greg Stewart, Jones and Hastie,, not a chance!! They Rangers jersey and 50,000 fans every 2 weeks will just be too heavy for them!!
    We need big, strong, skilful and athletic players with a big winning mentality. The Rangers scouts appear to be very poor and narrow minded to what Rangers need to win the league!!!!

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  4. To be fair, Gerrard took the job of managing Rangers because he needs the experience for future positions as we all know and expect. He has shown signs of progress recently with the exception of our last game but for long enough now i have been wondering where the experience of Gary MacAlister is. He is the one with all the experience for Gerrard to lean on, supposedly, yet we dont seem to hear or see too much of him.Stick with Stevie though for a succesful 19/20 season.

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    1. Wondered that myself, on many occasions this season. And why Mark Allen is head scout.

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  5. Couple of points. Have to agree with Alan Calder. If someone is good enough to be worth a large chunk of our budget, they are good enough to be worth a small chunk of an English Championship team's budget. Or a sliver of a Premiership team's budget. There is no way we can compete financially, so by the time someone is good enough for us to notice, it is too late for us to afford them.
    We hot Morelos because nobody had heard of him. If he had been the top scorer in England's Championship, Division 1 or 2, we would have been outbid. So our options are young players who will make mistakes, be inconsistent. Players from minor leagues that teams with money don't bother with, like Katic. Players that are Rangers fans and out of contract, like Arfield.
    Jimbo, you want big, strong, skilful and athletic players. But you don't want Hastie 1.81m(just over 5 foot 11 inches), 6 goals in 14 games. Why? Which bit is he missing? I am surprised at Greg Stewart, but have to assume the scouts and SG know better than me. I would rather we played Kent, Middleton or Murphy instead of Jones, but again, SG may be filling the squad out for injuries. The players who fit your bill to a T, we can't afford.
    Maybe I am overly optimistic, but I am hopeful for next season. £3-4 million buys nothing in England, so we will have to trawl far and wide and buy players nobody has heard of. It's a gamble. But we have to hope.
    RTID

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  6. The old season has barely just finished and here we are already saying next season is a must win. It's not! It would be great to win but we have to be realistic. We can't just win it because we want to. Other teams, in particular Ceptic, will try to grow as well and with their bigger budget they may get lucky and sign better players. It's more important that we continue to grow the club and build the team. Sort out our problems with Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Hibs and don't lose stupid games to Livingston. If we finish next season with an extra 6 points but still behind Ceptic then I will be hugely disappointed but as long as I see progress and momentum then I will be happy. We will get there!

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  7. We should be buying David Turnbell. A goal every two matches is not bad. If we don’t it’s not hard to guess who will

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