So, we’ve finally got round to actually talking about the match last night – the epic against Legia which saw 90 minutes of stalemate before a wonderful stoppage-time winner from Alfredo Morelos put Rangers deservedly through.
Legia, for their dues, were stuffy, well-organised and a hugely tough nut to crack, but the winner in added-on time felt like doors being opened for this Rangers side.
And it all began in the May of 2018 when Rangers took the risky choice of making a complete rookie manager.
Regulars will know we had our ups and down with Steven Gerrard last season – praising him for the good that he did but equally castigating for the failures – and there was a lot of both to get our teeth into.
But this season, which remains undefeated and has now, on an essential budget of just £4M this summer, is down to him and him alone.
Of course, Steven Gerrard has a management team around him and good staff, but he makes the calls, he lives on the sword and dies by it, and he died many times last season on that same blade.
The blade he is beginning to own this time round.
Steven Gerrard has given us, without the budget, the Rangers we expect again.
We’re not QUITE at the level of Walter’s colossus, not domestically anyway, especially given the budget he had, but we are frighteningly close to that level, and it’s all down to the manager.
These players, clearly, are willing to run through brick wall after brick wall for Steven Gerrard. Appointing a playing legend as manager was an absolute rabbit out of a hat, and where his first season was a trial, an audition, and an overall demo of his abilities, this season is becoming the real deal.
On a fraction of the budget of Walter, or indeed Celtic, Gerrard is achieving the borderline unimaginable.
And Celtic really, REALLY don’t like it…