When Kemar Roofe became the latest Rangers casualty (more on that later) last night, the predicable sub was to bring on a Ryan Kent, or a Jermain Defoe.
But Steven Gerrard’s bold decision to instead put on Nathan Patterson, in a high-pressure European qualifier, and punt James Tavernier up forward as a full out-and-out winger (even if only for a short spell) showed Rangers’ manager might be showing a new boldness as our boss.
There have been a tonne of justified criticisms at some of Stevie’s management styles – his stubbornness and favouritism definitely up there as two of the most stark.
But last night’s left-field call to pitch a young kid in at a crucial juncture instead of risking his marquee stars and instead shift Tavernier wide up front showed extraordinary respect and faith in young Patterson, and also gave Rangers fans a (brief) chance to see Tav as a right winger, the position many believe he’s more suited to.
Ok, the captain didn’t exactly get long to show his stuff, but we’re more interested in the manager’s willingness to use the kids, to use Patterson at such a crucial moment in the match.
Roofe had just been taken off, and it would have been easy, and safe, to put on, as said, a Defoe or a Morelos at that moment – but instead Steven Gerrard went for a bold move.
And we have to say we love it.
We need to see our kids being used, and these are men not boys and should be treated as such.
Steven Gerrard showed Nathan Patterson the ultimate respect, and the fans the ultimate respect, but giving us and him a major outing in a major match.
And the lad did not bad at all either, and certainly wasn’t fazed.
Gerrard is getting a lot of things right this season, and we have to say we’re liking it a lot.