Much to the surprise of everybody involved in British football, an ex-Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was announced as Glasgow Rangers new manager in the summer.
Many Glasgow Celtic fans were laughing at the thought of a rookie taking over the ‘Gers from Graeme Murty.
The new Rangers boss brought in Gary McAllister as his assistant and signed terrific tried and tested coaches from Liverpool. He knew exactly what they would bring, to Ibrox – and they have.
Since those early days Gerrard has overseen the progress of his new side in the Europa League success, and during those eight difficult matches the Gers remained unbeaten for 13 ties.
The Rangers fans were hoping, but not expecting, to gain entry into the prestigious Europa League group stages. It was the first time in seven years after the doldrums’ days.
It was a gruelling schedule of games every Thursday and Sundays against difficult opponents, and I don’t want to detail referee decisions.
Tiring European trips included long hauls to Croatia and Russia didn’t help the Rangers coaching team, as the players had to rest between matches.
He has signed an astonishing 17 players and improved some of his existing squad, who were not performing to their best last season.
Admittedly Gerrard probably made a mistake with his tactics against a very good Celtic side, who played well on the day and fully deserved to win at vociferous Celtic Park.
Under the direction of the Rangers boss, they are playing better football, have a higher standard of players and the coaching has infinitely improved – all the rest will follow.
Rangers fans believe their team have performed better than the league position shows. The fixture list was ridiculous and I sincerely hope it wasn’t rigged.
Despite Gerrard’s disastrous start to his managerial league games, and if it wasn’t for two last-minute goals, Rangers would have earned wins at Aberdeen and Motherwell.