It’s been a long week, month, year so far as a Rangers fan. It’s fair to say 2019 has not yet gone to plan. But for some, a warming dose of reality could do no harm.
There is no doubt we should be performing better domestically. There is no doubt that we should’ve beaten Aberdeen on Tuesday. At least on paper. But there’s also no doubt we’re heading in the right direction.
This isn’t the same as Caixinha. It’s not Warburton 2.0. Whilst Steven Gerrard isn’t without his flaws, the truth is he’s committed to making a difference. And anyone calling for his head needs a reality check.
At the beginning of the season we were in what was among the poorest nicks I’ve seen a Rangers squad. Decimated by the dross signed by Pedro, we were lacking direction and leadership. Gerrard helped bring that in a tumultuous time at the club.
Steadying what was a volatile ship, he took us to Europe, has built a side capable of dominating games and has undoubtedly brought at least a level of stability to the club. His European adventure also went a long way to filling the financial blackhole left by Caixinha.
And that’s a big part of this. He’s spent a huge chunk of his time righting the wrongs of the previous regimes. That includes getting rid of some of the players which still ominously lurk on the fringes at the club.
And don’t forget – he also skelped Celtic for the first time in 13 matches.
Gerrard not without flaws
But – and this too is important – he has made plenty of mistakes. From the lacklustre draws at Hibs, to the defeat at Kilmarnock, to even our shoddy performances (bar one) against Aberdeen. He has struggled to break down stubborn sides, even when we’ve played well.
We’ve dropped too many points to poor sides this season. Some of his signings have also yet to prove worth the outlay. There’s a growing uncertainty that some of them ever will.
But we knew what we were getting when he signed. Gerrard’s a rookie coach. He is bound to make mistakes as he develops as a manager.
All of this is new to him. And whilst Rangers shouldn’t be a learning centre for young coaches, it is a place which demands passion, leadership and shoulders broad enough to accept responsibility and develop.
The reality is, Steven Gerrard possesses all three in abundance. It also helps no-one to sack a manager and turnover another 20 players again. We need stability and commitment.
When there’s problems you set about finding solutions. Not more problems. Whilst he won’t be able to avoid talk of the chop forever, he needs time to get us where we need to be.
And he deserves the backing of supporters as he aims to do so. Otherwise it’s back to square one. And that’s the reality.