Steven Gerrard will probably regret changing his tactics in Glasgow Rangers’ 2-0 defeat to bitter Old Firm rivals Celtic in Sunday afternoon’s Ibrox encounter.
The Gers boss surprised everybody by choosing to feature Jermain Defoe upfront over the in-form Alfredo Morelos. Conclusion – first mistake.
Second mistake – Rangers playing against a defensively unstable Celtic side with no wingers and no width to expose their new full-backs.
Third mistake – moving the fabulous Joe Aribo from central midfield to an ineffective left-sided position he couldn’t adjust quickly enough to.
Fourth mistake – Gerrard played Glen Kamara as the Rangers holding central midfielder, who was far too slow against a faster Celtic midfield.
The Gers game plan was to control the game by playing four midfield players instead of the normal three, with Scott Arfield at times making it five in midfield. This left Defoe isolated and ineffective in the first 45 minutes.
Liverpool loanee Sheyi Ojo was poor against Legia Warsaw last Thursday, but he brought him on for the second half, in place of Kamara, and he failed to produce once again.
Rangers will improve once new signing Ryan Kent gets up to real match fitness and forms an attacking formation with any new players in the side.
Let’s be honest, Gerrard and his players have achieved tremendous success this season, especially in Europe and they are only three points off the top of the league.
Rangers are four points better off than they were at the same time last year, and are certainly better than they were last season.
Gers substitute Jordan Jones was correctly sent off in the last minute of injury time, after an extremely late tackle took right back sub Moritz Bauer out of the game.
“Without a shadow of a doubt it was a red card,” Gerrard added.
“I think Jordan was maybe trying to appease the fans – that’s not how you appease fans.
“You do it by creating and scoring goals if you’re a wide man, not by kicking people when the ball is 10 yards away.
“He deserves his red card, he deserves his ban and he’s got everything to do now to get back in my team.”