Out of the Europa League, out of the Scottish League Cup, and now out of the Scottish Cup. This was supposed to be the comeback year for Rangers.
The appointment of Steven Gerrard 11 months ago was the sign of change at the club, a sign that Rangers were taking the club in a more ambitious direction, and a sign that club would be different this season. But no.
Dumped out of the Europa League in the group stages after a promising opening three games in the competition, eliminated in the League Cup semi-finals by Aberdeen, and then knocked out by the same side in the Scottish Cup at the Ibrox.
Not to mention Gerrard’s side are a good eight points behind bitter rivals Celtic in the Scottish Premiership table. So what now?
Barring a calamitous slip up by Neil Lennon’s side in the remaining few games of the season, Rangers finish the season in second place, and Gerrard begins planning for his second season in Glasgow. But what does the Liverpool legend need to do in order to bring success to the club in 2019/20?
The first thing to ensure is that star striker Alfredo Morelos stays at the club for next season. The Colombian has been one of the finest strikers in Scotland since arrival in the summer of 2017, impressing so much that he has been called up to the Colombia national team.
With good form comes interest, and Morelos has been courted from teams all over the globe. From Leicester City to Borussia Dortmund, according to Sky Sports, the striker is a man in demand, which is why it would be such a big sign of intent if Gerrard is able to keep hold of his star striker for next season.
Morelos signed a new contract with the club at the start of the month, further cementing his status as a Rangers player next season, and if Gerrard can find a way to pair the Colombian with veteran striker Jermain Defoe the Glaswegian club will have the deadliest strike partnership in all of Scotland.
Gerrard also needs to ensure that he brings in the right players for next season. His recruitment for this campaign was impressive, and if the 38-year-old is able to replicate the level of quality he introduced to the team then Rangers will be more than capable of competing for silverware.
His links with Liverpool allowed him to bring in the likes of Ryan Kent on loan, and these connections could help Gerrard bring in other Premier League calibre players.
Young signings should also be a priority for the Rangers transfer board. The aforementioned Kent and Joe Worrall have been a success at the club, as well as academy products Glenn Middleton and Ross McCrorie. A youthful approach will not only benefit Gerrard’s side in the short-term but in the future as well.
Gerrard’s first season at the club will be seen in the history books as one of disappointment. But the foundations he’s laid down in his opening chapter as manager of Rangers could in term lead to future success for the club, and these glories can come if he gets things right in chapter two.
Rangers fans, what does Steven Gerrard have to do to achieve success next season?