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Steven Gerrard has no Rangers wiggle room left if he can't stop Celtic - Sutton

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Steven Gerrard has to stop Celtic winning 10-in-a-row or he is a Rangers failure. It really is that simple.

The Ibrox team get this season started in Aberdeen at lunchtime and it’s going to be the most momentous campaign in living memory for most fans on both sides of Glasgow.

As if the whole weight of history and high stakes weren’t enough to make this campaign special, the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and having no fans inside grounds marks this down as a season we’ll never forget – regardless of who comes out on top.

Gerrard and Neil Lennon have the greatest motivation for the coming 10 months.

Lennon would have his name in Celtic folklore forever if he delivers the 10th straight title, having been there to collect the first three and returning to take home the last trio.

He has everything to gain, Gerrard has everything to lose.

(Image: SNS Group)

Of course, Lennon would be devastated if he doesn’t get over the line. But he’s still proved himself as a trophy-winning manager of some substance over the years.

It would hurt badly not to get it now Celtic are so close, but he’d still have a sackload of trophies in his bag as a manager.

Gerrard, at this stage, has none and he’s going to have to win the big one or it’s curtains.

There is no middle ground in Glasgow. You are either a winner or a loser and, at this point in time, Gerrard has been the latter in all six domestic competitions he has been in charge.

No one expected him to just step in and halt the Celtic juggernaut immediately. That would have been unfair.

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Celtic are an excellent team with excellent mentality and it was always going to take time for the former Liverpool captain to start to make inroads.

But that time is now over. It’s been and gone. The last two years were the time afforded for closing the gap.

Two years where a team should have been built to put the squad into a position where they were ready to take over the mantle and dislodge Celtic from the top of the tree.

Judging by the performances in the second half of the season before the game shut down, Rangers were on course to finish even further behind the
champions than they had done in Gerrard’s first season.

(Image: SNS Group)

Despite the whines to the contrary and words of defiance, most sensible people could see that’s where it was going.

Gerrard has had his apprenticeship. He’s had his time to learn the ropes and put his practices into place.

Now it is time to prove he has the ability to complete the deed. It’s black and white.

My old team-mate Shaun Maloney was saying on the radio the other night saying that if Rangers could take Celtic to the wire in the title race, that would be a good job by Gerrard. I don’t believe that for a second.

It doesn’t matter if Rangers lose the title by a point or a goal. If they lose it, it means Gerrard has not done the job for which he was assigned.

(Image: Action Images via Reuters)

There can be no argument that he’s been backed.

The club have dug deep and handed him funds to land almost 30 players in his time in charge and the fact he’s saying he still needs more additions would worry me as a Gers fan.

Given the amount of signings in the past two years, I’d have hoped for a settled and impressive side with a clean plan and depth of squad to go with it. Not a boss complaining he’s got gaps still to fill.

Issues that reared their head during his first season in charge when Rangers fell away after the mid-season break were not addressed last term.

It could be forgiven in the first season, but there was no excuse last season.

The identical thing happened again. Beating Celtic in the festive fixture to set themselves up for a real run at the title and then falling apart.

The cup competitions have been terrible too. One final out of four given the advantages Gers have over the other clubs outside of Celtic is just not good enough.

Celtic and Rangers need to be ruthless from the outset. Every slip could be a disaster.

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I can’t see much margin for error and, given that Celtic have been over the course before, it’s Rangers who have to prove they can handle that situation.

A proper cup win would be nice for Gerrard to at least end the club’s silverware drought, but that’s not why he was handed the job.

He was handed the job to stop 10-in-a-row.

And if he doesn’t do it, he’ll go down as a Rangers failure. End of story.




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