Sunday, July 3, 2022

Steven Gerrard Is Guiding Rangers Towards Greater Glory: His Evolution This Season As Ibrox Chief

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Besides closing in on Premiership greatness, the Gers are ‘invincibles’ in Europe as well following their Round of 16 progression defeating Antwerp. It took a while to rebuild the set-up; but their transformation under Steven Gerrard is exemplary, that too at a period of Celtic’s sheer monopoly in Scottish football. Not only the new signings did the trick for the iconic Liverpudlian but also the personality that helped him have the authority over a sizeable squad.

Discipline and Diligence

Disciplinary issues hit the Bears severely in the recent past, particularly Alfredo Morelos whose carelessness ruined the momentum time and again. His quality upfront is unparalleled, but the gaffer gradually reduced the dependency on the striker and even dared to rotate him with the likes of Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten. No one is irreplaceable in this game and the Colombian understood the same when he lost his place temporarily.

Gerrard’s man-management skills led to Morelos’ development in terms of personality and we witnessed his incredible sportsmanship when he opted not to score as a gesture of respect towards an injured opponent. The striking sensation might still part ways in summer, but he has grown immense mentality and character.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard appreciating Nathan Patterson
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard is seen with Nathan Patterson during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Rangers FC and Royal Antwerp FC at on February 25, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Similarly, the Light Blues have stuck to their principles and took strict action against players who breached COVID protocols amid the ongoing pandemic. Jordan Jones and George Edmundson were exiled earlier this season whereas a few more stars were handed a similar treatment recently including Nathan Patterson and Bongani Zungu. But they got reintegrated for showing the right attitude in team training and were offered a route to resurrect their career versus Antwerp. Patterson grabbed the opportunity exquisitely by finding the net within seconds since coming on as a second-half substitute replacing Leon Balogun and the youngster’s resurgence would be a massive boost for the Ibrox chief with James Tavernier sidelined with an injury woe.

Decision-making and Squad Rotation

Gerrard’s managerial traits evolved over the past couple of years as he exhibited more maturity in terms of squad rotation. Injuries have hit the Gers in phases, but it couldn’t derail their campaign due to proper depth, rotation and the utilization of substitutes in a timely manner. We may consider last month’s Motherwell game when their unbeaten run was at stake. However, substitute Cedric Itten came to the rescue with a 72nd-minute equalizer and such little tweaks helped them grind out results in an array of close contests throughout the ongoing term. It’s been a joyous ride so far for the Ibrox faithful as well as Gerrard’s admirers.

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