“Up there with Struth & Smith” – Rangers fans have their say

“Up there with Struth & Smith” – Rangers fans have their say
Rangers v St Mirren - Scottish Premiership - Ibrox Stadium Rangers manager Steven Gerrard hangs out the window of the dressing room to cheer with fans gathered outside the stadium after the Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Picture date: Saturday March 6, 2021. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xJanexBarlowx 58460450

We put out a little straw poll yesterday, on the social network channels, suggesting we believe Steven Gerrard is now up there with Walter Smith and William Struth, and by and large the majority of replies, around 2500 of you, agreed.

But there were a fair few dissenting voices arguing that he isn’t quite there yet and needs to win more.

Our response?

It’s a very interesting scenario – is Stevie up there with Walter and Bill?

They won so much, Struth and his 18, Walter with his incredible 9IAR and nearly making the Champions League final plus Manchester, then a 3IAR. These were astonishing managers.

But there are caveats. Struth’s achievements were in a different time in human history, the bulk being post WWI with the wartime and post WWII being a very very different kettle of fish to what we see today. He still won a lot afterwards, yes, but it’s hard to compare in the same way Fred Perry and Sir Andy Murray come from basically different planets in terms of their eras.

And Walter of course had a few quid to play with, and took on an already world class squad from Souness and spent big to keep it that way. But equally Souness has admitted Walter was really the manager all along and was the brains and authority behind all of it. What there isn’t a caveat on, though, on any level, was how Walter took PLG’s shambolic tattered Rangers, made just three signings that January (Ugo, Davie and Thommo) and overnight made us the best in Scotland.

So, we KNOW what Stevie is up against.

And does he compare? Yes, yes he does. There are differences, of course, but he does.

He didn’t overnight turn Rangers into a goliath – it took 3 years of hard work to get to where we are now. Walter was able to do it immediately, but then of course he knew Scottish football and the club like the back of his hand, which is unlike Stevie who had to learn the ropes as a total outsider.

Stevie did all of that in 3 years, but he DID overnight turn Rangers from a European joke into a serious and credible side on that level – a level he WASN’T an outsider on. A win over Rapid and some decent draws v Villarreal and Spartak showed astonishing progress over Progres… and it only got better after that.

But the big thing is of course ‘from where we came from’. Stevie inherited a promoted Rangers, only two years back in the SPL, with limited funds and a glut of changes needing made. Only three players pre-Stevie survived – Tavernier, Jack and Morelos. The rest was, in a word, complete garbage. Even players we like/liked here at Ibrox Noise like Greg Docherty and Jordan Jones now, in hindsight, look way below the standard needed.

We trust our manager, and his judgement, and that’s the big prize for us. When we don’t like a decision, we instead trust it. And that for us puts him up there with Struth and Smith.

Has he won as much? Of course not – and for us he might never depending on how long he’s here.

But from what he was given, from where we were, and given the lack of experience on his own part, what he’s done in 3 years defies explanation.

Yes, he’s up there with Smith and Struth.

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  1. Not being a Facebook/Twitter geezer I didn’t participate in the straw poll . Had I participated I would say that he is most very much so up there with the Famous Mr Struth and Sir Walter . His stock as a player was an amazing shot in the arm for us. He used that to make us a superb team to be feared again along with his excellent coaching staff. I really hope he stays for at least three more titles/trebles and a good crack at the Champions League .

  2. I can’t speak for Struth as I wasn’t around (honest) but his record speaks for itself and I suspect he was central to the way the club conducts itself today. Walter’s record is also outstanding, perhaps even more than some fans know. In 10 full seasons Walter won 22 of the 30 domestic trophies available (Ceptic won 3). That doesn’t include the trophies won with Souness “in charge”. No wonder they were glad to see the back of him.
    Gerrard’s achievements are a wee bit different. Only one league title but probably the biggest in our history. In less than 3 years he has brought us from 10 years behind Ceptic with no clear path forward to the top of of Scottish football and competing strongly in Europe. I hope Stevie stays for years to enhance his trophy haul but for me he is already a hero and right up there with Graeme Souness. Let’s not forget that the Rangers revolution that Smith so brilliantly took on was started by Souness. So in that sense he is more comparable to Souness than anyone else.

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