Saturday, 29 February 2020

Stevie G has a massive problem - one he might not fix



Having vomited in complete disgust at yet another domestic horror show which has 99% handed Celtic the treble, we will try to calm down and rationally look at what’s actually wrong with Steven Gerrard and his Rangers team.

And it really looks simpler than you’d think:

Steven Gerrard built a Rangers team of high quality players, mostly, and players who could hold a decent standard of play at the highest levels.

This basically means Europe – your Steven Davises, your Jermain Defoes, your Ryan Kents, your Alfredo Moreloses.

Unfortunately Gerrard completely underestimated the difficulty of Scottish football, and his compiled squad isn’t up to the task of winning it.

Excelling in Europe is what this team, perhaps unintentionally, has been built to do, but it simply cannot handle the pressure of the domestic game.

It can deliver against dominating teams, teams which don’t press, teams which try to play the ball into the back of the net – it can’t against sides like Hearts and St Johnstone – strong teams which outmuscle and outwork while sitting behind the ball or constantly harrying.

In short, a squad and manager who know how to handle the Europa League, but completely misjudged the league and domestic game.

It’s not that Rangers aren’t actually good enough, it’s that they don’t understand the league – the manager evidently doesn’t, and he’s not helped by players who just aren’t up for the fight. Ones, admittedly, that he signed.

Players who enjoy thriving against players with foreign names in warm countries, but not in Perth or Edinburgh.

It’s going to be hard to fix that with this manager and the ethos he’s brought to Ibrox.

And guess what, to make matters worse Michael Beale admitted all this on Saturday.

And yet? Incredibly we’ll give Bayer a hell of a fight. Because that’s what we’re built to do.
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