There has been a lot of excitement at Ibrox in the past couple of weeks. Since Steven Gerrard was named Rangers manager, fans have been ecstatic. They can’t wait to see what effect the former Liverpool midfielder will have on their club. So, what should their realistic expectations be next season?
It’s still early to say as, after all, the Blues have just begun their training camp in Spain and are yet to play some friendly games. The pre-season games will demonstrate the work Gerrard is doing, and the team will also start taking its shape.
There’s room for optimism, surely. The new boss has the charisma of being one of the great English players in the recent past. Gerrard is doing a great job at Ibrox already, earning the players’ trust and getting the respect he deserves.
As far as transfers are concerned, the Liverpool legend has once again made a good impression. He has already made as many as six summer signings. Scott Arfield and Allan McGregor signed for free, Brighton duo of Jamie Murphy and Connor Goldson also joined, while the Gers roped in highly promising Croatian centre-back Nikola Katic from Slaven.
Let’s not forget Ovie Ejaria, who came on loan from Liverpool. There seems to be a nice balance between experience and youth in the Rangers team, and that might be crucial next season.
Gerrard has some issues to deal with, though. The situation with captain Lee Wallace needs to be cleared up as soon as possible. He wasn’t included in the squad for the Spain training camp, while Eduardo Herrera, Fabio Cardoso, Harry Forrester and Jason Holt also remained in Scotland. Their future at Ibrox remains in doubt.
Of course, one can’t look past the fact that Gerrard has virtually no experience as a manager. Celtic have won the title seven times in a row now, while Gers finished in the third spot for the past two seasons. It will be a major challenge for the Gerrard to take the crown away from the Hoops and their manager Brendan Rodgers. A man he knows so well from their Liverpool days.
Rangers will also play in the Europa League, with their journey starting from the first qualification round. Fans are hungry for success in the continental competition, especially with the memory of last year’s fiasco against Luxembourg side Progres.
Every Rangers fan across the globe desperately wants to see their side lift silverware and progress in Europe next season. Realist expectations should be lowered though. It won’t be an easy task for Gerrard and his team to break Celtic’s monopoly in the league.
But maybe Rangers have found their prince in Gerrard, who will help the club to reach its former heights.