Rangers manager Steven Gerrard would have known that this January was going to be monumental in shaping his team’s season.
With The Gers breathing down bitter rivals Celtic’s necks, they needed to add to their squad to make them that bit more competitive and push them to the next level in order to stop Brendan Rodgers’ men winning a historic tenth Scottish title in a row.
There was a lot of pressure for the Ibrox club to come up with the goods this January, and with that in mind, here are the club’s two biggest mistakes:
Not forward thinking
First of all, it must be said that Rangers did sign some young players this month such as Glen Kamara, who is 23, and Matt Polster, who is 25, but they also recruited some slightly older players in Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis.
The England striker Defoe is 36, and the 107-cap Northern Ireland international Davis is 34- both are great players, but are at the wrong end of their careers. Both were only loan signings, meaning that they will only have short stays at Ibrox, but it does give the indication that the club are only really thinking about this season.
This is not saying that Defoe and Davis are not good players, far from it. In fact, there is little doubt that they will improve their teams, but it does not answer the question as to where Rangers are going to be next season or the season after. This is a short-termist approach, and while it may pay off this season, if Rangers want to end Celtic’s run of dominance in Scotland, they need to build a squad for the future.
Not strengthening their defence
With the additions of Davis and Kamara, Rangers have gone a long way to enhancing their midfield for the rest of the season. Likewise, Defoe fills the gaping hole at the top of the field that needed to be filled to create a partner for Alfredo Morelos or even to replace the Colombian.
However, a problem lingering over Rangers at the beginning of the window was the state of their defence. They were not necessarily low on numbers, but were perhaps lacking in the quality needed to win titles.
Loanee Joe Worrall has been trusted by Gerrard on a number of times this season but has not necessarily repaid the manager’s trust. He has failed to win over a large portion of the fans and his manager would not want to rely on him too often. Likewise, fellow centre-back Gareth McAuley is now 39 years of age, and may not be able to last the season. Gerrard will need to therefore balance the workload among his defenders, and a new addition would have been very beneficial. Rangers fans will hope that Gerrard has a plan.
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