Steven Gerrard put tonight’s poor result in Moscow down to individual errors from his team, and deflected questions on tactics.
But why didn’t he change it? Why didn’t he take the likes of the toiling Jon Flanagan off the field at half time?
His answer won’t please some of his cynics. Gerrard put the result down to “individual errors” and claimed that this wasn’t a case of bad tactics at all. He was adamant things didn’t have to be changed. Watch the post-match conference below.
“If the problem was tactically I maybe would’ve looked to change personnel or formation.”
And this might be an unpopular opinion in some quarters – but I actually agree with him. Steven Gerrard was let down by an arrogance and cockiness in our camp after an early goal. We didn’t concentrate. We came out the second half as if we’d won the thing.
The players must shoulder the blame. This game was there to be won. We had the tools with which to win it already on the field.
That game was there for the taking and that’s why this hurts.
Important not to go overboard with Gerrard criticism
I’ve seen some wild stuff written online in the wake of this defeat. But all of it seems to forget that we’re actually here. Rangers made it to the Group Stages of the Europa League. We got pumped out it last season by Progres.
But with positive results and huge nights have come added pressure.
Yes, we lost tonight against a poor team in poor form. We should’ve done better, but this is (albeit frustratingly) still a work in progress.
More than that, we have a manager with a standing in the game and a determination to make a success in this role. That’s clear from his interviews.
Things haven’t always gone right, but I am certain that they will eventually.
Dare I mention the word patience. After all, ours has been tested for long enough. But do you genuinely believe there hasn’t been an improvement under Gerrard?
We’re also by no means out of this group and Rangers still have plenty to fight for this season. Yes, Gerrard is not immune from criticism. But we need to trust him. And we can’t go overboard.
More importantly, we can’t keep chopping and changing things every seven months.
Get behind the manager. Get behind the team. Even if they do make individual errors.
Rangers are getting there. And I’ve no doubt Steven Gerrard will be at the helm when we eventually do.