Friday, 8 November 2019

We've noticed something major about Stevie G - have you?



While last season domestically was not the title-pushing Rangers challenge we’d all optimistically hoped for from Steven Gerrard’s first season in management, there was certainly a standout about a notable impact the new boss had made.

From 2017’s farce in Luxembourg with Pedro, Rangers not only went all the way through the qualifiers to achieve a group place in the Europa League under Stevie, but they held their heads high too and even managed a win at that level v Austria’s Rapid not to mention a credible draw in Spain.

This season it’s been even better – another incredible journey through the qualifiers, overcoming top sides like Legia on the way (who the hell even ARE ‘UFA’) and now not only holding our heads high in the group but topping it, having overcome European giants like Porto and Feyenoord.

In short – Steven Gerrard has the absolute Midas’ touch at European football and given just how impressive Rangers have been at this level since his arrival, we couldn’t even begin to guess what his Rangers side could do in this year’s competition.

Everyone underestimated this team, and now it sits at the summit of its group on joint points with Young Boys having been astonishingly unlucky to lose in Switzerland for good measure, and there’s that inescapable truth that somehow Rangers under this manager in Europe seem to be able to compete with just about anyone.

True, the Champions League is a whole other ball game, but to go from getting horsed by Process Unicorn to beating the Portos and Feyenoords of this world in the UEL is quite the turnaround – Rangers’ potential in this competition is almost unimaginable.

It reminds us very much of Paul Le Guen – he was garbage in the league, but he knew how to manage on the continent and PLG’s Rangers did very respectably in the UEFA Cup back in those days. It did far better than its league position suggested.

But Gerrard’s Rangers, joint top with Celtic in the SPL, are also doing it on the continent – arguably they’re playing even better against the big guns of European football than they are back home, and they’re doing the domestic business pretty damn well as it is.

We don’t know what the gold dust Steven Gerrard has for European competition actually is – as a player he won both the UEL and UCL, of course, so he knows what it took as a player, but a manager is a different ball game.

And somehow whatever Gerrard had in his playing days he’s sprinkling onto his new charges as a boss.

The last 32 isn’t just a pipe dream now, Rangers really should get there.

7 comments:

  1. Trying not to get ahead of myself, I thought last season was going great then we flunked against Moscow. Certainly looks like a real belief is starting to flow through the team though...

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  2. I've seen this euphoria too many times with yourselves Ibrox Noise. I am reasonably happy with the direction of our team thus far, BUT, we have won damn all thus far too!!
    So, as always, my feet are on the ground until I see silverware on our table.
    Last night was a great night, but all Porto and Feyenoord have to do is win their next game and then it goes to the wire!!! A lot of hard work still to do both in Europe, but more importantly, Domestically. No use beating Porto to lose points to Livvy!! Got to keep the consistency!! Again, I fear the over rotating of players this Sunday!

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    1. I agree with Jim here to an extent, lets not get carried away. We have a great record in Europe under Gerrard but this group is still very tight even with a win v Feyenoord can still go to last day.

      As for rotation, i think gerrard has changed from many to minor. Also he may have to look ahead at the fixtures and say . Look we should really be beating these teams with our second string. Thats what we should always be saying at Rangers but yes completely rusty players can be a gamble. Secondly, we simply have to share squad games, its a team game, any prima donnas get them out and everyone has a job

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    2. Jimbo, I don't want to see over rotation, but if we play the same 11 every week until they fail, that does not help us.
      The debate is around what is a sensible level of rotation and what positions should be rotated. For me, I think players can cope with 3 games in 10 days, maybe even 4 in 14 days. But beyond that you start to lose freshness and the competition. If you have no chance of breaking into the first team, why try? Then when an injury means they need you, you are not ready.
      So I think we should change 2-4 players per game. 2 means rotating the team every 5 games, 4 means every 2.5 games. I would be happy with 3 I suppose. that way, first team picks get one game off in 4, so play 3 games a fortnight. That few days off and the threat of losing your jersey should keep people on their toes and ready to sparkle to keep a jersey. Arfield was better last night than he has been in weeks, case in point. He no longer owns that jersey, he is going to have to fight for it, which is better for Rangers
      RTID

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  3. We are competing in Europe against very good football teams unlike here in Scotland playing a bunch of cluggers in a Diddy league run by a shit F A who are only to happy to pull us down at every turn. I'd watch us playing in Europe week in and week out against some of the best teams around.
    I mean Hamilton, kilmarnock, livvy say no MORE.

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    1. Spot on. Two types of football. Not helped by refs who condone clogging in Scotland.

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  4. Unlucky against Moscow as we had a goal wrongly chopped off .but this year the belief is real.

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