Steven Smith has revealed the real reason Steven Gerrard elected to make such a left-field selection in the shape of Greg Stewart today.
The former Rangers defender, such a bastion of wisdom and knowledge, explained the true reasoning behind Stewart’s inclusion, beyond reasons of rotation and ‘it was against a former club’.
Indeed, there was a much more technical reason Gerrard put him in today where he did, and Rangers’ former left back explained:
“Greg Stewart, whenever I watched him at Killie, always had his best matches on the right cutting into the centre on his left foot.”
The forward probably had his most potent career spell in Ayrshire, and as Smith says, it was as a right winger-cum forward who dragged defenders out wide to cover him as he marauded the sidelines, before dragging them out of the area when he cut in.
Smith went further:
“Covering the right hand side commits the left back out there, and that pulls players away from Morelos, benefiting him, and exposes space for Stewart (and Ojo) to run into.”
In short, as much as we’d like to say it was purely rotational and because Aberdeen are a former employer, it was probably more that Gerrard felt he could get the best out of his playstyle as a left-sided right winger exposing the defence.
And we’d have to say it worked extremely well indeed, as Stewart took his chance and had by far his best minutes in a Rangers shirt.