Steven Gerrard and his Rangers project, the verdict and conclusion so far

Steven Gerrard spent almost his total career with Liverpool, ending it all with a short stay in the MLS with Los Angeles Galaxy. Going into to coaching at Liverpool before given the confidence to take over at Rangers. This is his first job in professional management.

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Gerrards CV as a player is well known and despite losing out on the Premier League trophy ending runners-up, he really had a glorious career as a player being partly a one club man and adding up 114 full caps for England.

His start in management with Rangers was largely focused and to start with Rangers was a good decision by Steven Gerrard, but was it a wise one for the Glasgow giants, who are desperate to get back into a long lasting rivalry with Celtic.

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We all know the history a few years back when the club was placed in the lowest tier of the league system and a certain Ally McCoist took on the job to get them back up. McCoist managed two straight promotions but struggled to get into a position to get them all back up to the top. McCoist resigning in 2015.

Mark Warburton took the club back to the top tier and was the manager at Rangers for the next two seasons. Warburton’s attempt to get straight back into the race with Celtic for the top tier title, was not really full hearted and he struggled to find the correct formula.

After a short stay for replacement Pedro Caixinha and caretakers Jamie Murty and Jimmy Nicholl, Steven Gerrard was installed as manager last summer.

We did see a Steven Gerrard with a clear mission, to win back the Scottish league title, so how are everything going for the former Liverpool great?

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There are some progression, ending 2nd last season, but still 9 points behind winners Celtic. A solid gap but in real an improvement from the season before. Rangers ended 3rd, 12 points behind Celtic, with also Aberdeen in front.

The 2019/20 campaign couldn’t have started better with three straight wins, getting into Europe and seeing hurdles passed, but in their fourth league outing against top rival Celtic at Ibrox Rangers never managed to convince anyone about their challenge, losing 2-0 on the day.

Rangers are certainly in the race for that 2nd league spot and are certain to get an exciting run in the Europa League. Gerrard has certainly not been sitting still and his activity in the transfer market has been a busy one. To make so many changes to a squad as he has done over the summer, you would think that it will take time to get everything into shape. The key for Gerrard at Rangers is patience, something he looks to have little of.

The team, if they are to be a title contender, looks “light” and to our knowledge of football, not enough Scottish and home grown talent to bring it all into the concept we would like Rangers to be.

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Rangers, who do run a decent acadamy, should be able to get more players through from their own ranks and not go out buying all sorts from either England or other naitons abroad, they should bring forward their own and really settle the structure once and for all. This lack of long term strategy might see them in a “changing environment” for a number years as the club structure looks out of balance under Steven Gerrard, and to be honest with a lack of a strategic plan on using their own players coming up from their academy.

We would have thought that Steven Gerrard had seen his big chance and had opened his eyes for a strategy to bring forward young talent, something we believe would have been a great possibility with a bit more patience from club owners and really get the club into the shape, to get those new Greig’s, Johnstone’s, Parlane’s, Ferguson’s and Jardine’s to flourish in the Gerrard team.

The team currently put together and playing looks far from a finished article, and the scary thing is to see so many changes from the first to the second season without really giving the squad more depth. But it’s not at all a dark affair, with players like Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Jack doing well and also hopefully adding more Scottish talent to the squad and the team. Steven Gerrard looks a bit in the wilderness as his project is  a throw out, throw in settlement without really moving this fast forward.

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His latest recruit, last seasons loan success Ryan Kent, has been brought in on a regular basis from Liverpool. £7million is used on a player with his only league football being the games he played last season for Rangers. This is of course a risk and a gamble, but we certainly hope for the sake of Steven Gerrard that he can see this as well spending.

The list of players that have left Rangers is also a long one and those going out on loans or sold is an even longer one. We have not really been convinced yet and time will show if Steven Gerrard is the right man to take this project further. It should really be a “no brainer” to get this club into shape. The way it was done in the past is certainly not the way to do it in the future, starting a spending spree that again would put the club in a situation no fan would like them to be.

 

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