Inspired by an Ibrox Noise regular, a fascinating topic has been raised tonight regarding Rangers and the club’s injuries.
As we know, the past two seasons under Giovanni van Bronckhorst then Michael Beale have both seen massive amounts of knocks, and a swelling injury list, especially around Autumn.
Only, there’s a catch to this.
It didn’t happen at all under Steven Gerrard.
Steven Gerrard was Rangers manager for almost four years, and while sure, there were injury cases of course, with Ryan Jack, Ryan Kent, Filip Helander and a few others often unavailable, there was never a pure spate of injuries which decimated the squad.
For almost four years, Rangers’ injury issues were akin to any other clubs, not much worse, not much better.
This past two seasons, however, since Gerrard left, we’ve seen a massive rise in the numbers, and tellingly, when they’ve been injured.
Now, there is no evidence of foul play here, it is nothing more than correlation at this point – but even more tellingly, Connor Goldson had never once been injured under Gerrard, but was part of last Autumn’s massive injury crisis.
James Tavernier is about the only player who has effectively never missed more than a few games since he in fact joined, missing 8 in Spring 2021 with a knee injury.
But aside the freak that is Tav, the injuries have spiked since Gerrard left.
So what can we theorise from this?
One big one is that players were infinitely more willing to play through the pain barrier for Gerrard, with his aura undeniable. He was someone players wanted to please, and disappointing him was the last thing on their minds.
Gio and Beale just didn’t have that same aura at all, and a lot of players, who didn’t admire them in the same way, would prioritise their own fitness/health and take the time out rather than playing on.
Now this isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing – playing on and hurting one’s self further isn’t great, but nor is taking time out for a broken fingernail.
It just is odd now that Rangers are beset by so many injuries under recent managers, while Gerrard didn’t really have that issue at all.
One to ponder.