In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
To say Steven Gerrard was not best pleased with the Rangers performance against St. Johnstone the last time the two sides met would, perhaps, have to be considered an understatement.
The two clubs played out a scoreless draw in the meeting that was held back in February and led to the manager lamenting a number of areas within his squad.
Gerrard criticised the lack of leadership he felt his side had in the game, whilst he also stated that it was time to “forget about titles” as he claimed the reality was that they needed to improve and get a lot better to close the gap.
Speaking after the game, as relayed by BT Sport, he said: “Right now forget titles and forget closing gaps, the reality is to perform like that across the board in front of 50,000, well there’s your evidence.
“You don’t need me to say this, that or the other. If you have a group of lads and they give you that when they’ve got the chance to close the gap to three points, when you have Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and the rest breathing down your neck, that’s not what’s required at Rangers when you’ve got the chance to close the gap. You’re miles away from it.”
Admittedly, as noted by BT Sport, Rangers were without the likes of Alfredo Morelos, Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack for the game (although the latter is, perhaps, doubtful for this meeting as well).
Things have changed since that game, though, although Gerrard admitted he needed to make changes in the summer to his group of players.
Back in March, he stated (via the Scottish Sun): “We know we need more leaders. We need more people who can manage games better — and we need more quality. So there’s quite a few big areas of where we are that I need to address moving forward, but the reality is that is where Rangers are now.”
Indeed, it would appear Rangers have improved some of their squad significantly since then and, perhaps, added the leaders he was looking for.
Steven Davis has joined on a permanent deal and has gone from strength-to-strength, whilst Filip Helander’s experience could also be beneficial to the Light Blues. Joe Aribo appears to have hit the ground running as he has four goals in his first 13 appearances, whilst the recapture of Ryan Kent could have given Gerrard the option to call upon someone who knows what his manager expects of him following the previous encounter, but he has since picked up an untimely knock and is doubtful.
Of course, it is still early days into the 2019/20 Scottish Premiership campaign, however dropping more points against St. Johnstone will certainly not please the Light Blues boss.
A win against Feyenoord in front of what would be an expected atmospheric Ibrox on Thursday in the Europa League, though, could just be the perfect way to ensure they are ready to prove Gerrard they have leaders in the team.
Rangers fans, do you think the club has improved enough to ensure they get the three points against St. Johnstone at the weekend? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!