Should Rangers carry on with Steven Gerrard as manager?

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 29: Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard looks on during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Ross County at Ibrox Stadium on January 29, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 29: Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard looks on during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Ross County at Ibrox Stadium on January 29, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) /

With Rangers now ten points behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership, some fans are starting to doubt Steven Gerrard‘s ability to transform the club into a true title contender.

Rangers were neck and neck with Celtic in mid-December as only two points separated the Scottish giants in the table, but much has changed over the last few weeks.

Celtic now enjoy a comfortable cushion of ten points at the top of the table as a result of Rangers losing to Hearts and Kilmarnock in recent weeks.

Mathematically, there is still hope for Rangers to catch Celtic if the Bhoys lose their next three games against Kilmarnock, Livingston and St. Mirren before the next Old Firm Derby at Ibrox on March 15th.

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Realistically speaking, though, we all know that Celtic will not slip up to inferior opposition three games in a row. In other words, Rangers fans know they will miss out on the title yet again.

Although Steven Gerrard is an inexperienced manager, the former Liverpool star was hired with the aim of bringing the glory days back to Ibrox.

In his two seasons at Rangers, Gerrard has not won any domestic trophies and has dropped some precious points against weaker teams in the league to allow Celtic to run away with the title in back-to-back seasons since his arrival.

At the European level, Gerrard successfully led Rangers through four Europa League qualifying rounds last season, but his side failed to advance past the group stage after finishing third in a group that consisted of Villarreal, Spartak Moscow and Rapid Wien.

This season, Gerrard has done a solid job of getting Rangers over the line as they find themselves in the Round of 32 in the Europa League, and they have defeated some notable teams such as Porto and Feyenoord to get there.

All that being said, though, the key question that needs to be addressed here is whether or not Rangers should carry on with Gerrard as their manager?

Short Answer: Yes

Although I am not a Rangers supporter, I can understand the frustration of some of their fans who gave it their best shot to get #GERRARDOUT trending on Twitter over the last week.

Watching Celtic dominate Scottish football for the ninth consecutive season is difficult for the blue corner of Glasgow, but it is important to remember what Rangers have gone through over the last few seasons.

The club went into administration and was forced to play in the fourth tier of Scottish football in 2012 and they did not return to the top flight until 2016.

Prior to Gerrard’s arrival in 2018, Rangers only managed two third-place finishes in 2016 and 2017. The improvement with Gerrard on the sideline is noticeable.

Rangers have, once again, solidified their place among the top two as they enjoy a 22-point lead over third-placed Aberdeen with a game in hand.

Of course, Rangers fans are not content with being the team that finishes second behind their rivals, and this is understandable, but Gerrard has this team on the right path.

The key difference between Celtic and Rangers is not the disparity in transfer budgets or the number of trophies in either club’s glass displays, but it is experience.

This Celtic squad has been playing together for a long time and they continue to buy new players that are able to dominate in Scotland.

When looking at the point totals, Gerrard’s team is right there with Celtic, but they need to learn how to close certain games out.

If it were not for a handful of shocking results last season and this term, Rangers could very well have claimed the top spot in the league.

For now, fans need to continue with their admirable patience and support the club in the Europa League.

The deeper Rangers advance in the competition, the more confidence it should breed for them in the Scottish top flight. The club’s executives have faith in Gerrard since they extended his contract until 2024, and the fans should follow suit.

Seeing that the primary objective of the Gers is to win the title and play in the Champions League, the pressure to achieve this success is enormous for Gerrard, but fans should give him at least one more full season to try and reach that goal.

If a manager at a club the size of Rangers cannot get the job done within three seasons, then, yes, their time should be up.

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