Steven Gerrard’s comments last night about problems in the youth academy are both illuminating, and bizarre.
Let’s take a look at what the manager actually said:
“I have been hearing a few things at the academy that there’s been a bit of ego about. So they won’t be around me.”
This is both illuminating as a possible way of explaining his reluctance to use youth players for the majority of his reign as manager, and bizarre that he’d effectively slate players at that age in the younger areas of the club through issues of ego.
On one hand it’s enlightening to understand perhaps his reasoning for avoiding Auchenhowie’s products so much, but at the same time, if the Rangers Academy has issues with ego and some bad eggs in there, all they have to do is let those particular players go.
It’s not really difficult – and of course with contracts expiring in June, a bunch of the players (usually signed at that level on one-year and very rarely two year deals) were let go already this year (including Aidan Wilson, for example) so if there were any individuals the youth coaches weren’t happy with or that Stevie wasn’t, surely they’d just have been freed come this summer?
Instead, Stevie maligns some of the players, without names, and creates an atmosphere of slight confusion and potential toxicity?
We’re both informed by this, and slightly troubled by it.
We want to call our manager strict, but his loyalty to certain ‘pal’ players suggests he isn’t, so we’re not really sure if we actually take these comments at face value or not. Remember, Stevie did say at the start of his time in Glasgow that any player not performing would be out, and of course, that turned out not to be entirely accurate.
So, we’re not sure about these comments either.