Tale of two former Rangers men as Beale soars high while Gerrard sinks

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Tale of two former Rangers men as Beale soars high while Gerrard sinks
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Michael Beale, Manager of Queens Park Rangers looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship between Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers at Bramall Lane on October 04, 2022 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Ok it’s time to take this head on – Michael Beale’s stunning start to life in senior management as the former Rangers coach flies high in the Championship in 5th, with just four losses of 14.

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard, without his right-hand man, is rudderless, exposed, and being shown up for the utterly rotten manager he actually is.

Ok, there, we said it.

Now, we fully await the explosion of ‘I for one give Gerrard credit for 55’ or ‘call yourself a Rangers fan, he stopped the 10’ etc.

Well, no, he clearly didn’t. He was the figurehead who made the final decisions, but Michael Beale was the one who told him what those final decisions should be.

Mick Beale, 100%, just like Walter Smith back in the Souness days (as Souness admits) was the real manager.

Gerrard had his part to play, he was the big-name players looked at and admired, but a manager he isn’t. And that’s being found out at Villa without his tactical brains to help him. Those tactical brains are now steering QPR to a future potential PL place next season.

And now Wolves in the PL want him to steer them clear of relegation threats.

See, there was (and still is) a tribalism around Gerrard, because of who he was – and because he ‘stopped the 10’ (in reality he actually caused the 8 and 9 but let’s just leave that shall we) he gets remembered by many for what they credit him for.

And we don’t deny, at the time we were caught up in the euphoria of 55, why wouldn’t we be? We’re Rangers fans like anyone else associated with this great institution.

But hindsight is 20/20 and it’s clear to anyone who wants to admit it that Beale was the reason we secured the league that season.

Now, here’s a plot hole:

If Beale was responsible and is this great manager, why did it take HIM three years to crack it? The reason for that was simple – he was learning on the job, and there was a big focus on Joe Aribo.

That’s right – Beale admitted at the start of 20/21 that he’d been looking for the right system and that the building around the Nigerian international was the system that would work. And it did – unfortunately Aribo got injured quickly, but by then, Beale had sorted out having a playmaker behind the striker, and replaced him with Hagi, which still worked.

But it had taken 2+ years to crack the right system, and Aribo, of course, had been pretty mediocre in his first season.

In short, Beale was learning on the job, and by 55 he’d completely sussed it.

And Gerrard clearly didn’t.

Which is why Beale’s taken to full positional management like a duck to water, while Gerrard has had his armbands removed in the swimming pool.

Now, a few of you are probably with the ‘who cares about Gerrard/Beale they’re the past’ or ‘it’s about present and Gio ffs’ etc.

And you’re right, it is.

But 55 is and was huge, and so was Gerrard’s exit.

And few Rangers fans have absolutely no interest in how our former men do in their lives after Rangers, it’s just the way it is.

We know we’ll always have an eye out.

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