Steven Gerrard’s interview on the High Performance Podcast revealed a tonne of fantastic information on Rangers’ manager, but one of Ibrox Noise’s takeaways from it was the importance our boss played on youth, and how youth is analysed.
We’ll go into his words in greater detail in due course, but the fact that so little of Rangers’ youth gets used by the manager, bar one or two exceptions, demonstrates the standard of Auchenhowie needs to improve.
Rangers’ boss has absolutely revolutionised the club this season, along with partner in crime Michael Beale, but the youth products, while still involved, are not truly breaking into his first team after three seasons.
And this is a slight note of concern – because not only has Gerrard increased the first-team squad to such an outstandingly high level, but he is absolutely pro-youth and desperately wants to have players to integrate into the seniors.
Instead, the best we get is one or two on the bench, because the reality is they’re not good enough.
Rangers fans are learning this season just how high the standard under this manager is becoming, just how good a player has to be to play for this team.
It’s a level which is handing out hidings to some of the best European teams around, while sailing 9 points clear in the early part of November – and it’s a level the youth has to be at to stand any kind of chance.
Some of the players do get to taste it – Dickson was in the Benfica squad even if unused, but these little moments suggest our crop of kids are a long way off being promoted to the seniors.
Steven Gerrard expects a level we’ve not seen at Ibrox for a long time, if ever – he expects top quality, high competition, and the very best.
And if the youth side isn’t able to produce that, he’ll continue to recruit from elsewhere.