Complimenting Rangers On Their Fine Season So Far…

It has been a tumultuous season for many within Scottish football.

Some clubs have self-imploded, managers have been sacked, games have been postponed due to positive covid tests and the lower leagues as well as the SWPL have been put on hold for months due to restrictions.

But one club seems to have continually put their foot on the gas, avoided as many speed bumps as possible and are now cruising towards the Scottish Premiership title.

Rangers are on course to win the top league this term and it’s going to a hugely significant one. It will be a title that will mean more than most for those that support the Ibrox club. It will be their 55th top flight championship triumph and even more significantly their first since 2011!

(Note – I know people will debate this but until a relevant football authority says otherwise I’ll say this will be 55)

For many a Gers supporter this could be bigger than anything the club has done since the 1990s. Clinching the main trophy this year will stop fierce rivals Celtic getting to that all illusive tenth title in a row. It will justify their faith in manager Steven Gerrard and his players.

It will finally put Rangers back on top after the labours of climbing from the bottom tier!

While it will be all the more satisfying that it comes as Celtic have suffered dramatically on the field of play in truth the focus shouldn’t lie at the door of Celtic’s capitulation, what should be truly celebrated has been the fine run Rangers have been on.

The Light Blues haven’t lost a league game all season, winning twenty-seven and drawing four times. They have now gone a full calendar year without losing a league fixture.

They have also looked great in Europe. Beating the likes of Royal Antwerp, Galatasaray, Lech Poznan, Willem II and Standard Liege to reach the Last 16 of the Europa League. An intriguing tie with Czech cracks Slavia Prague awaits as they try and negotiate their way into the quarter final stage.

The only blot on what has been a near perfect season has been their failure to advance in the League Cup, with St Mirren knocking them out in mid December.

What has led to this fantastic season?

Well there’s been many factors.

The board’s backing of Steven Gerrard and his faith in his players have been pivotal for me.

Without a trophy in his first two seasons in charge at Ibrox, it would have been easy for a chairman to pull the plug on a rookie manager. But the Gers hierarchy decided to stand by their man, understanding that a young boss needs to make a few mistakes to learn his trade and become successful. Gerrard has tinkered slightly here and there to get more from his players, the biggest being consistency.

Stalwarts have stood up and been counted this season.

Veteran goalkeeper Allan McGregor has been top class yet again for the Govan side. He has been fantastic and demands the very best from those that play in front of him. If a team manages to get in behind the ( much improved) Gers defence then more often than not Allan will be on hand to bail his teammates out.

Ahead of him Connor Goldson and James Tavernier have helped make that Rangers backline formidable. They have developed under Gerrard and now have that real hunger to succeed and win challenges as well as matches. In thirty-one league games thus far, Rangers have only conceded nine goals!

Captain Tavernier has always been a threat going forward, he’s bagged 14 goals and ten assists over all competitions during this campaign, but he has also looked more assured at the back. On average he’s making almost two tackles per game and he has looked even more determined to show his worth defensively this term.

In midfield, thirty-six year old Steven Davis has continued to lead by example. He’s a player that’s tasted success with Rangers in the past and his experience has been invaluable once again. An intelligent player who keeps things ticking over and who dictates the pace of the game.

Davis has been so good and consistent, Steven Gerrard has insisted he wants to tie the Northern Irishman down to another year at Ibrox:

“He is vital to the team, a real big player for us and his consistency levels have been outstanding,”  

“I hope when I sit down and have the one to one with him that he is still as enthusiastic to carry on beyond the end of the season. Because I still think he has loads to offer.” 

Via The Evening Times

All sorts of players have took up the mantle at varying points of the season with Ryan Jack, Borna Barsisic, Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent, Kemar Roofe, Scott Arfield and Ianis Hagi all providing standout moments this term.

Talismanic forward Alfredo Morelos has also evolved his game to become more of a rounded performer. His influence hasn’t always been as noticeable, given he isn’t scoring as many goals, but as this Gers team has flourished you’ll notice Morelos is still working hard, running constantly, coming deep, providing assists and wearing down opposition defenders.

The strength in depth within the Rangers squad has also helped take them onto the next level.

It might sound crazy but I think Rangers have also benefitted from not having fans on the Ibrox terraces.

I think in recent seasons Rangers fans have become anxious as they craved silverware and that anxious energy was passed onto the players. The squad then struggled to cope with the pressure and points slipped out of their hands. I doubt anyone at Rangers will admit it but I really think they’ve played better without that expectation from the punters.

After their narrow win over Livingston (Sky Sports Match Report) last night, all that stands between Rangers and the Scottish Premiership title is just four points. It has been a long wait for glory but they’re now on the brink.

When they finally end that wait, it will feel all the sweeter knowing that they’ve done it in such a magnificent manner during this tough year!

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