Thursday, 13 June 2019

Winning the title or being a rookie - which is it for Steven Gerrard?


We touched on this earlier, but it’s time to have a deeper look at Steven Gerrard’s first season as manager and the inherent dichotomy we struggled with throughout.

Gerrard, a rookie, was having his maiden season in football – fans were filled with ‘he needs to learn’ and ‘give him a chance’ etc.

Meanwhile fans were filled with ‘he must win the league and challenge Celtic’.

There was a real paradox last season, between wanting to give a first-time manager the space and slack to work his vision on the club and to develop from a rookie manager into a seasoned pro, and the other side of expectation – of stopping 8IAR, of beating Celtic, and of taking Rangers back to the top again.

How do you reconcile these? How do you give the manager space to develop and grow as a boss, while also demanding he pushes Celtic and wins at least one trophy?

Surely there’s a plot hole here?

Naturally, this is not an issue for 2019/2020 – Gerrard now knows he’s under true pressure to deliver. Our fans expect the title next season because 9IAR is rather unthinkable.

But for last season it was – that impossible blend of giving him space and time to learn his trade, while demanding he visit a Hampden final at least once and/or run Celtic very close for the championship.

Ultimately Steven Gerrard did something different. He gave us a memorable run in Europe – 14 wonderful matches which genuinely did measure up to some of the club’s greatest historical achievements given our present-day circumstances, and he beat Celtic not once but twice, and easily both times.

So it would be a nonsense to suggest we came away from last season with nothing, even if the tangible rewards were non-existent.

That run through the UEL qualifiers ranks as highly as anything this great club has done in the past, and it was well beyond expectations for a rookie and even a seasoned pro like Walter would have been incredibly proud to have done that.

But next season it has to be more on the domestic front. And the rookie fallacy is gone now. No more ‘learning on the job’ now. Gerrard has to deliver the title, and no one will have excuses if he doesn’t.

5 comments:

  1. Inconsistency with mediocre players has been our downfall since returning to the SPFL. It the failed bread and butter games that we have kept bleeding points.
    The transfer market is very slow at the moment. Gerrard said we need marquee players. I am not seeing this, I can only hope Mark Allen and Rangers have a few aces up their sleeves and announce those "marquee" players soon!
    If Gerrard showed have the passion he has for Liverpool, we might just start getting that required consistency, instead of hiding behind the "rookie" cover! That won't wash next season!

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  2. What you're saying is true. But let's not forget, the raft of injuries, we were plagued with last season. Or Morelos' behaviour which cost us. The bad purchases, which aren't entirely, SG's fault. Celtic played the entire season, with hardly any first team injuries. We had the likes of Lafferty, Rossiter, Dorrans, to deal with. A huge disappointment. It's no shock, that we Rangers fans, have extremely high expectations. But in my opinion, that should lead to higher standards. We were beset by bad luck, last season, but SG has had, his period of grace. If it's more of the same, for this season, I see things for him going downhill, very quickly. Winning is what we are about. This is no surprise.

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    1. Sorry but no injuries? They had no fit strikers in Dec. Boyata was the only fit defender at the start of the season Tierney and lustig have been out rogic, Christie and others I can't think of have had injuries throughout the season.
      I believe that season was the best chance to stop celtic getting 9/10 in a row.

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  3. Inconsistent performances substandard performances and poor temperament from more than one player more often than not I’m sorry I find it hard to blame gerrard players have most of the responsibility if Morelos hadn’t got sent off in at least 3 games and we win we beat septic on goal difference at this stage would be ideal and would have happened so gerrard in my opinion has done terrific but I also agree I’m yet to see any of these marquee signings and hope the staff all the way from gerrard right up to our chairman who has said he will back our manager all the way can secure these most important signings

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  4. Steven Gerrard does NOT have to win the league next season. He just needs to make us better than we were last season. It's unrealistic to demand he wins the title. We can't just win it because we want to. We have to build towards it and there are other teams standing in our way.

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