Steven Gerrard’s assertion last night that 6 or 7 players didn’t reach their expected targets was an interesting observation, and was a small sign our manager has his moments of imperfection.
Don’t get us wrong, he wasn’t far off to say a lot of them weren’t up to it, but the fact he singled out Filip Helander and Steven Davis for praise was telling.
Helander clearly struggled last night, with the only positive comments we’ve heard on him coming from his manager, while Davis was quiet and subdued with just that impactful moment in the final second.
But what do they both have in common? CL experience, that’s what.
And it’s majorly interesting that the rest of the team, without a CL fixture to its entire career credit (aside goalie Allan McGregor, of course), was criticised by its manager for not hitting the height he expected them to at a level they’ve never actually been to before.
The only CL inexperienced player to have experienced lots of top level football was this summer’s Euros for Glen Kamara, and of course he wasn’t there last night.
The rest? Borna got 10 minutes this summer and that was it.
What are we trying to say?
This is new territory for this Rangers side, and while we support Stevie unconditionally, his quotes of criticism were a strange angle and we’re sure/hope he has his reasons for saying players who had never competed at this level did not hit the height he expected.
And for singling out two players who really didn’t have great nights at all.
Still, we have another 90 minutes to right the wrongs of this one.