Is Steven Gerrard to blame for Rangers’ dip in form?

Graham Ruthven by Graham Ruthven / 14 February 2020, 10:25

In retrospect, this week might, once all has been said and done, be looked back upon as the week the Scottish Premiership title race was decided. 

Rangers’ defeat to Kilmarnock on Wednesday night coupled with Celtic’s comprehensive home win over Hearts saw a 10-point gap open up at the top of the table. 

It’s a long way back from here for Steven Gerrard’s side, so can the Ibrox outfit still save their season?

What has gone wrong?

History has repeated itself for Rangers. 

Last season, Gerrard’s men drew level with Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership table with an Old Firm derby victory before the winter break, only to suffer a collapse upon the season’s resumption. 

This season, the notion was that Rangers had the bottle for a title race, but they have once again allowed their form to dip drastically after the winter break.

Rather than being revitalised by the break, Rangers look slow, sluggish and short of ideas. 

Alfredo Morelos, who netted 28 times before the turn of the year, has now scored just once in his last five appearances with Jermain Defoe’s injury leaving Gerrard short of a deputy to rotate in and out. 

The momentum that the Ibrox side had built is now gone. Instead, every match now feels like a slog. Nothing is coming easily.

Is Steven Gerrard to blame?

The Rangers manager shouldered some of the blame after Wednesday’s damaging defeat to Kilmarnock, but also pointed the finger at his players for their recent collapse in form. “I thought we were in a better place than what we've shown over the last four-six weeks,” he sought to explain. 

“I thought we had the mentality and the characters to sustain a push but on the evidence of the last four-five weeks I'm getting proven wrong. 

“We came here tonight and it was a pressure game in a stadium where you know you are going to be under the cosh. The reality is that we couldn't cope.”

One must question whether public criticism is what Rangers’ fragile players need at this moment in time. In the past Gerrard’s harsh words have been seen as a way to pressure the club’s board into delivering him the players he needs, but the January window has only just closed. The squad Gerrard has now is the one he will have until the end of the season.

10c17b9a33e1f486a00fbcb1c7f8b128

Title race over?

Can they turn it around?

Of course, there is still a long way to go in the Scottish Premiership season. In fact, there’s almost a third of the 2019/20 campaign to be played. Rangers’ problem is that Celtic have now hit their stride and show no sign of slipping up. While Neil Lennon’s side looked somewhat vulnerable earlier in the season, they have now won their last six matches on the spin, scoring 22 times in the process.

The home Old Firm derby on March 15 will present Rangers with the chance to claw back some of the difference on their rivals, but on current form Celtic have to be considered favourites to win that match. That truly would be the pin in Rangers’ title hopes. It might only be February, but their season is now on the line with every match they will play between now and the end of the season.

Managers Departed

Last man down

Russ Wilcox
Russ Wilcox
(Scunthorpe United)
7th August
VIEW ALL CASUALTIES
x
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
Exclusive Promo Code
P30
JOIN NOW
New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org
x
Up to £100 in bet credits
Exclusive Promo Code
100BET365
JOIN NOW
Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+ begambleaware.org.
Next in firing line Hottest Manager Markets

Bristol City

Next Manager

Newcastle United

Next Manager

Southend United

Next Manager

Watford

Next Manager
x
Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
New UK & N.Ire Customers Only You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org
BET HERE
We use cookies to provide statistics that help give you the best experience of our site. By continuing to use the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more
Got It