Celtic ran out league winners last term with a reasonable buffer between them and their suitors as they retained the Scottish Premiership title for the seventh consecutive season.
For Rangers, it was a matter of a three-way struggle for the remaining two European places. Rangers, who finished third in the league, will hope to push on with the appointment of Steven Gerrard as their new manager.
But former Celtic star Tom Boyd is of the opinion that the appointment is a huge gamble. Gerrard may well prove to be the perfect antidote to the dominant reign of Brendan Rodgers as Celtic’s boss. But if that does prove to be the case, it will be more a matter of chance than design.
At least that is what Boyd, a dogged and hard-working defender in his day, believes about the appointment of Gerrard as Rangers’ new manager. Speaking to the BBC, the 52-year-old gave his assessment of the appointment of the former Liverpool midfielder.
“It’s a massive gamble for Rangers bringing in somebody that has not had any reputation,” said Boyd. “I can see the impact they are trying to go for in terms of bringing him in.”
Boyd has touched on something in his observation – impact. Gerrard is a gamble, but the only guaranteed thing about the appointment is that there be an impact. What that impact is, remains to be seen. But his arrival will have to have some limited and initial effect on the players he has inherited at Ibrox.
There will be an initial honeymoon period at Rangers as the excitement of a new managerial appointment always gives a lift to a team. The players will look to give their all to cement a place in the team under Gerrard.
But the initial bounce always quells itself. And then reality hits. What the reality will be under Gerrard remains to be seen and it is for this reason that Boyd has a point.
Intensity is something we are likely to see from Rangers under Gerrard. How well that will work, particularly against Celtic remains to be seen as well.
The ex-England international also has to make the Gers defence solid. Only time will tell how Rangers’ decision to appoint an untested manager in Gerrard will work out.