Maybe Rangers’ board should have backed Steven Gerrard?

Maybe Rangers’ board should have backed Steven Gerrard?
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 15: Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard poses with his medal during the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen on May 15, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It takes a brave man to compare Steven Gerrard with the late, great Walter Smith, but Ibrox Noise is going to explain that these two had a lot in common:

Auro, charisma, personality, an air of respect, and even dignity. Gerrard was of course nurtured by Smith, who aided him a great deal and gave him a tonne of inspiration, quietly.

It led to Gerrard being by far the closest thing Rangers had had to a Walter Smith since the great man quit for the final time in 2011, and while we’re not comparing the managerial skills of both of them, there are certainly parables.

And a big one is actually how long after taking over (Smith in 2007, Gerrard in 2018) it actually took them to wrestle the title back from Celtic:

Both of them took a fair chunk of time, Walter managing it by the summer of 2009, Gerrard taking only a fraction longer achieving it in 2021.

But what this shows is that no matter how great a manager may be, he still needs time – even Walter needed that two and a half years as well and he was as good as they come.

What does this have to do with Philippe Clement? Actually not a lot – with every passing rotten player he ends up with or latest idiotic comment in the press only loses us yet more faith in the man, and only he can prove us wildly wrong. We hope he does. Of course we do.

But we don’t expect him to achieve what Gerrard did, because it should be borne in mind Clement technically spent the most we ever have in a single January window (effectively £9M on Dio and Cortes, albeit delayed) and still screwed it all up, with Gerrard himself spending only half of what Walter got over the same overall time period (£35M).

But the point?

Gerrard really was an amazingly underrated manager, even by Ibrox Noise. He probably peaked at Ibrox and has been downhill ever since, but then he actually didn’t do an awful lot worse at a (then) weak Premier League side than Walter himself did either.

And he was the only man since Walter to win the league for us, the only man who knew what to sign and how to sign, that first core of Arfield, McGregor and Davis then the heavy use of Ryan Jack showed he did get it, and quickly.

He was not faultless, but we do wonder had the board not ruined it all and backed him the following summer after 55 where we’d be now.

Because as things stand they’re going nowhere fast.

Mind you, neither are Al-Ettifaq.

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  1. If Clemente fails would you take Gerrard back ? I was thinking about this towards the end of last season that we should have tries our best to keep Gerrard and fund him properly.

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