Just what did Steven Gerrard achieve yesterday?
When we look at the influence this man has had since signing up in May of last year, it’s starting to get serious.
While we’re miles off calling him Walter Smith or even Graeme Souness yet, the comparisons with legends like these are starting to become increasingly understandable, because where Gerrard hasn’t yet won anything (albeit he was denied so by ridiculously poor officiating), his impact upon Rangers in 18+ months starts to look every inch the gravity of what those two illustrious predecessors achieved.
Looking at one comment a Celtic fan made yesterday:
“”They have the better players , the better manager , the momentum , the advantage in the league. The energy and hunger to see this through. We are downsizing at a horrific rate. Only Frimpong can walk off that pitch held high and he is the least experienced.disgrace.”
We’d actually disagree – Frimpong was one of their best players at Hampden, but yesterday Kent left him for dead.
But the point is evident – one man, Steven Gerrard, has led to the multimillionaires of Celtic with a decade start over Rangers being caught and overtaken – and now Parkhead understand they are second best in Glasgow. In Scotland.
And while we’ve all disagreed with bits and bobs that our manager has done here and there, he knows what this win meant to us – add this to the staggering European run, the astonishing European run last season, and every six months we’re seeing progress. Tangible undeniable progress.
From the moment Stevie agreed to join, Rangers started signing players like Allan McGregor, Scott Arfield, Jermain Defoe, Nikola Katic, Borna Barisic and Ryan Kent – while there were a pile of duds in there too, and the boss hasn’t got everything right, he has, with a fraction of Celtic’s budget, overtaken a team who had the whole playing field to themselves.
If ever Steven Gerrard’s stock was sky high, it’s right now.
Currently this man is being regarded as one of the best managers in the UK – ending Celtic’s dominance in only 18 months with barely £20M budget over that entire period, relying on a tonne of free transfers and loans.
We’ve had our criticisms of Stevie, Lord knows we have. We’ve opposed the ditching of Katic and Greg Docherty, whined about the immunity of Tavernier and Goldson, and even complained about the dropping of Arfield before this one.
We got that wrong, and we’re not ashamed to be wrong.
All we want is what we’re getting – a successful Rangers. We will continue to support, and to criticise, calling it as we see it. Ibrox Noise will always be honest.
But everyone can see the sea change, we can, you can, Timothy sure as heck can – and we’re witnessing a changing of the Scottish guard – all thanks to the borderline miracle working of our manager.
Are we 100% sold on Stevie yet – nearly. We really are being thoroughly convinced by what he’s done, but the proof in the pudding is, and will always be, silverware – that’s how you measure your success.
And if he brings home 55 this season, which is starting to look real now, we will humbly and delightfully consider ourselves his biggest fans.