If Glasgow Rangers are successful in the Europa League in 2019-20, it will lead to a plethora of lucrative games for the players to enjoy and enhance their reputations.

When you take into account all the SPFL games, and if they reach the latter stages of the Scottish and Betfred Cup, it would take the Gers’ energy-sapping games to around the 68 mark.

That’s how many games Rangers played when they reached the UEFA Cup Final in 2008, but that’s what good players want if they play for top clubs. 

Europe is vital for all big clubs, due to the money involved with TV, extra Ibrox games plus the advertising and other benefits. It also helps to attract new players to sign for the club.

Steven Gerrard is aware that some Rangers fans would be prepared to sacrifice a long European run for winning the 55th title.

In 2018-19, the Gers played four Europa League qualifiers before their first SPFL game away to Aberdeen in a 1-1 draw, dropping an immediate two points.

It was losing points at Pittodrie that ended up costing Rangers in the title race as they ended the season a disappointing nine points behind Celtic.

Stopping the Ibrox club’s bitter rivals Celtic from achieving another nine-in-row has become a major priority with all the Rangers fans, young and old.

Gerrard must prepare his players properly for another hugely demanding season ahead of them. It will be imperative to use his squad intelligently.

The more games played, the more players Rangers will have use to remain successful. That should please the large squad when they are getting more experience.

In the Europa League, for example, some players are more suited to that possession style of football as opposed to the rougher SPFL away games.

Last season, Rangers had the unfortunate situation of having to face a strong Celtic side in a Sunday league clash away from home, with the kick-off at noon, after arriving home in the early hours of Friday morning from Russia.

It was hardly an ideal preparation for such an important Old Firm match, but the pitfalls of success can bring obstacles, which have be overcome to win silverware.

It was a highly unfortunate 6000-mile round trip to play against Ufa in Russia. Rangers clinched the group stage spot, but had to get on with a bad situation.

Rangers didn’t look as sharp as normal when facing the Hoops at Celtic Park, losing 1-0 in the first Old Firm game of the season.

Some sort of silverware is firmly expected this season, although a lot will depend on how many high-quality players Gerrard and Rangers can afford.

European nights at Ibrox are huge events and bring Rangers money that is required to pay the wage bill.

The Europa League is not as lucrative as the Champions League, but it’s easier to gain more match day experience.

At this stage of Gerrard’s managerial career, it’s a fitting level to test the squad and see if they can wrestle the title from Celtic.

The Rangers boss will use the Europa League to build the basis of his squad, to find who he can trust to perform and to gauge the players that are on form and fully fit to win games.

A weakness of Rangers was that some players were not comfortable playing on artificial surfaces at Kilmarnock, Hamilton and Livingston.

The Gers boss will have learned so much from last year and will need to win ugly in 2019-20 if the Glasgow giants are to be successful.


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