Steven Gerrard has achieved immortality in Scotland. The Englishman led Rangers to a first Scottish Premiership title in 10 years in incredible style. Gerrard and his Rangers finished the season as both invincibles and centurions with 102 points. The league win was confirmed long ago, but a 4-0 win over Aberdeen sealed their Invincibles status.
The Liverpool legend was not considered as a serious threat when he first arrived in Scotland. He had to take an underachieving Rangers and beat the God-like Celtic and dethrone them. Nobody could’ve guessed this moment to arrive. Gerrard and his troops have done the unthinkable. They have not only dethroned Celtic but also destroyed them. Celtic boss Neil Lennon felt the heat and was made to quit.
Gerrard despite his legendary status in the world of football has never won the league as a player. However, he tasted his first league success as a manager just 2 years into his career. This can be the beginning of a great story and the making of a legendary manager.
Let us take a closer look at how Steven Gerrard and his Rangers did the impossible and achieved invincibility.
Steven Gerrard was coaching the Liverpool academy sides when the opportunity to coach Rangers arrived. He knew the gravity of the task. The Ibrox outfit were in decline and their eternal rivals Celtic were ruling the Scottish land. Ending their monopoly in Scotland would certainly take a champion with the purest of hearts.
Gerrard understood the seriousness of the task. He brought his backroom staff of Gary McAllister, Michael Beale and Jordan Milsom as a part of the Liverpool connection. Whatever happens in Glasgow in the next few years would certainly define his managerial career.
“Let’s Go” were the words of Steven Gerrard when he was unveiled as the Rangers manager in May 2018. Thousands of the Gers faithful gathered outside Ibrox. They were lining up to see a legendary player descend to coach them. They were hopeful that he would be the one to turn their fortunes and take them back to the glory days.
A ROCKY START
Gerrard’s reign began in 2018 as the Gers looked to improve on a third-placed finish the season before and pose a challenge to Celtic led by Brendan Rodgers. One of his primary tasks was fixing leaky defence. They had the worst records of losing 4-0 and 5-0 leads. He brought in trusted heads from the Premier League in Scott Arfield and Allan Mcgregor.
He set his team up with a pragmatic approach to stop leaking goals. It paid dividends as the team had a solid start to the campaign. James Tavernier the ravaging right-back was made the club captain as they started building from the back. However, the strong start to the season dissipated as they finished runners-up to Celtic again.
BREAKING: 22-year old Liverpool loanee Ryan Kent has officially one the Young Player of the Year Award at Rangers for his amazing season and contribution to Steven Gerrard’s side! 💪🏻
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) April 7, 2019
The following season, Ryan Kent was signed permanently and Alfredo Morelos started to play at his best. Gerrard moved away from pragmatism and started to develop a brand of free-flowing football. A clear identity was developing but it wasn’t enough just yet to topple Celtic. That season saw few shocks as they lost surprisingly in the Scottish Cup on penalties. Doubts were being cast on Gearrad and his coaching credentials.
The England man knew he couldn’t give up this season. He stayed put for one more season to see if things could work out. Gerrard had no idea he was going to write history with Rangers and attain the status of invincibles .
GERRARD AND HIS RANGERS ARE
The 2020/2021 season saw the Rangers adapt Gerrad’s philosophy to the fullest. He had a clear idea of what to do on the field with his troops. A 4-3-3 formation was adopted in the start of the game. Their full-backs marauded forward every time there was a chance, effectively making it a 2-5-3 formation. The forwards pressed as soon as they lost the ball and midfielders complimented them to initiate attacks quickly.
This system truly brought the best of players. Full-backs James Tavernier and Barna Barisic notched 10+ assists in all competitions. Forwards like Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe exploded with goals. They also became the highest scoring side in Europe.
A storm was brewing in Ibrox and it exploded this season. A double over Celtic in the old-firm derby sent millions of Rangers fans across the world into jubilation. They blew away teams one by one and went undefeated in the first half of the season.
The talk on invincibility was heard by Gerrard. He humbly rejected the notion saying the league title was the priority and not the fancy status. The wait was finally over on March 7th of this year as Celtic dropped points at Dundee United. Rangers fans flocked Ibrox and Steven Gerrard acknowledged them.
Invincibility was finally achieved after a 4-0 win over Aberdeen today. Three points also saw them, hit triple digits as they finish the season with 102 points.
Gerrard has finally delivered as a manager. After an entire playing career of not having won a league title, Gerrard has done it with Rangers in just 3 years as they finished as invincibles. He has also knocked Celtic off their perch and has taken Rangers to Europe’s biggest stage. The sky is the limit for him and his Rangers side in the future. For now, they have earned the right to party hard and let their success sink in.