Ok with the dust maybe slightly settling on Steven Gerrard’s departure, after our earlier emotional reactions to his exit we wanted to even the scales with a fairer assessment of his time at Ibrox.
Was it a success? A failure? Was it somewhere in between?
Ibrox Noise takes you through his journey at the club and gives our verdict on his overall performance.
First off, let’s face it, it was a hell of a risky appointment for us – a no-experience manager who had no knowledge of the club, no knowledge of Scottish football and had spent 8 months as a youth coach. The name was big, and he was tasked with winning 55, with taking power back from Celtic.
And while it took 3 years, he DID achieve that.
He gave us back a Rangers that can compete and surpass Celtic, and securing 55 is hard evidence of that success.
He also sacrificed a LOT of family time – we never did confirm one way or the other if his family ever came north properly, but we believe they didn’t, and Gerrard was always commuting. That wasn’t easy for three and a half years.
He was also, let’s not mince this, ****ing awesome in Europe – two incredible runs to the last 16 in the UEL and some world class scalps taken – and while his first group season in UEL wasn’t as good, the 8 matches of 4 qualifying rounds was an astonishing achievement. Then he did it again the following year.
Steven Gerrard was amazing in the UEL.
On the mandate of giving a top Rangers back and getting us a good footing in Europe, Steven Gerrard was a success. There’s no escaping how good our squad now is, compared with Niko Kranjcar and Jordan Rossiter (bless him) when Gerrard joined.
However, there have been big fails.
The first two seasons were absolutely disgusting domestically – no trophies, miles off the pace of Celtic, and no sign of life until it didn’t matter any more – the split in 2019 when we did put a run of form in. In cups it was apoplectic – abysmal. His record in domestic tournaments was the worst of any SPL Rangers manager aside, obviously, Warby and Pedro.
And he was diabolical in the CL qualifier – an absolutely terrible Malmo were absolutely far too good, and while you can attribute that to no signings, and that is a fair argument, the team was just poor and undone by a cannier side.
His Rangers have also been limp this year – despite topping the table, the form isn’t there and the 55 vibe isn’t manifesting itself much.
His mandate was give us a Rangers back that we can be proud of, and give us European credibility again. He did do that, so in terms of his appointment and purpose, he was a success.
However, the cup fails, and a lot of his management decisions were poor. And his manner of leaving left a sour taste in the mouth after his empty promises.
It isn’t a failure – but one trophy of 9 with a budget of £35M isn’t really good enough. Even Callum Davidson on 3p and a pack of Chewits did better.
We don’t think Gerrard is that good a manager, and that Michael Beale was behind most of the tactical acumen from last season.
Will he be found out at Villa? Maybe. Or maybe he’ll have learned from Rangers. But he did achieve his objective.
Final Verdict – 7/10 on account of 55.