There is no question Steven Gerrard has made a lot of mistakes on the road to becoming a top-class manager.
He’s got a lot right too, his performances in Europe being a notable highlight along with the wins over Celtic, but the mistakes are now definitely starting to bite him on the backside, and one of his biggest repeating errors is the constant slurring of his players.
As we said recently, he has only ever actually directly backed Alfredo Morelos and James Tavernier, he has never defended anyone else against adversity by name.
What he has done, time, and time again, by actions or testimony, is attack the rest of his players.
Niko Katic, Borna Barisic, Jordan Jones, Eros Grezda, Umar Sadiq – the list is rather endless of players he’s smited by name, and it’s even worse for the number of times he’s downright slagged off the team as a whole.
This is a manager who we’d presume had been the type players would want to run through walls for. It’s Steven bloody Gerrard.
But there’s only so many times the manager can criticise you publicly before you no longer work hard for him.
“I thought we had the mentality and the characters to sustain a push but on the evidence of the last four-five weeks I’m getting proven wrong.”
Not just criticising their mental strength to sustain a title challenge, but actually smearing the character of the players themselves, insulting their very identities and personalities.
As we said earlier, we don’t deny all the cushy contracts don’t help with hunger and attitude, but there’s something certainly to be said for smearing players publicly and expecting them still to give you the earth.
Look at Umar Sadiq – he’s frankly developing into a world class striker, one interesting Rino Gattusso’s Napoli, at a reported fee of up to €20M, but at Ibrox he was publicly flogged by Gerrard.
Funny how Rangers was the only club the Nigerian ever had a problem at, model pro everywhere else.
So yes, Stevie hasn’t helped himself here, and while he’s not the only issue at Ibrox right now, he’s certainly part of it.