As if all the weight of history and the high stakes weren’t enough to make this campaign special, the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and not having fans inside the pitch marks this as a season we will never forget – no matter who comes. on top.
Gerrard and Neil Lennon have the greatest motivation for the next 10 months.
Lennon would have his name in Celtic folklore forever if he delivered the 10th title in a row, having been there to collect the top three and come back to win the last trio.
He has everything to gain, Gerrard has everything to lose.
Of course, Lennon would be devastated if he didn’t cross the line. But he’s still proven himself as a trophy-winning manager of some substance over the years.
It would hurt a lot not to get him now that Celtic are so close, but he would still have a bag of trophies in his bag as a manager.
Gerrard, at this point, doesn’t have one and we’ll have to win the big one or it’s curtains.
There is no middle ground in Glasgow. You’re either a winner or a loser and, at that point, Gerrard has been the latter in all six domestic competitions he’s been responsible for.
No one expected him to step in and immediately stop the Celtic juggernaut. It would have been unfair.
Celtic are a great team with a great mentality and it was always going to take a while for the former Liverpool captain to start making inroads.
But that time is now over. It was and it started. The last two years have been the allotted time to close the gap.
Two years where a team should have been put together to put the team in a position where they were ready to take over and oust Celtic from the top of the tree.
Judging by the performance of the second half of the season before the end of the game, Rangers were on track to finish even further behind the
champions than they did in Gerrard’s first season.
Despite complaints to the contrary and words of defiance, most sane people could see that this was where it was going.
Gerrard did his apprenticeship. He had his time to learn the tricks of the trade and set up his practices.
Now is the time to prove that he has the capacity to complete the act. It’s black and white.
My former teammate Shaun Maloney was saying on the radio the other night that if Rangers could take Celtic to the wire in the title race it would be a good job from Gerrard. I do not believe it one second.
It doesn’t matter if the Rangers lose the title by a point or a goal. If they lose him, it means Gerrard didn’t do the job he was assigned to do.
There can be no argument that it was supported.
The club dug deep and handed him funds to land almost 30 players in his time and for him to say he still needs more additions would worry me as a Gers fan.
Considering the number of signings over the past two years, I would have hoped for a stable and impressive team with a clean plan and a full squad to go along with it. Not a boss complains that he still has gaps to fill.
The issues that raised their heads in his first season in charge when Rangers fell after the mid-season break were not addressed last season.
It could be forgiven in the first season, but there was no excuse last season.
The same thing happened again. Beat Celtic in the party game to prepare for a real title race, then crumble.
The cup competitions were also terrible. One out of four final given the advantage Gers has over other clubs outside of Celtic, that’s just not enough.
Celtic and Rangers have to be ruthless from the start. Every slip could be a disaster.
I don’t see much margin for error and given that Celtic have come the course before, it’s the Rangers who have to prove they can handle this situation.
A good cup win would be good for Gerrard to at least end the club’s silverware drought, but that’s not why he was given the job.
He was given the job of stopping 10 in a row.
And if he doesn’t, he’ll be considered a Rangers failure. End of the story.