It has been two years since Steven Gerrard was named as the man to replace Pedro Caixinha in the hot seat at Ibrox. There is no doubting that his tenure thus far has shown progress, but the Gers still haven’t been able to win a major trophy. The wait for such silverware is now at nine years, but Gerrard has certainly taken Rangers in the right direction.
Rangers have become a force in Europe as they have reached the latter stages of a European competition for the first time in over ten years. There is also still hope that Gers will be able to play their last 16 clash against Bayer Leverkusen behind closed doors, and if Rangers are able to overcome that, then that would undoubtedly be the biggest moment of Gerrard’s Rangers career.
Gerrard has been in charge of the Gers for 113 games to date, and they have won on 68 occasions and lost just 18 times. But what moments stand out more than most when we are examining Gerrard’s tenure at Ibrox thus far?
Victory Over Celtic in 2019-20
The most significant moment of Gerrard’s tenure in charge at Rangers to date was the historic victory over Celtic on the 29th December. When Gers travelled to Celtic Park around the New Year period, it had been nearly ten years since Rangers last win away from home against their arch-rivals.
Nobody could have foreseen how that afternoon would play out, as the Gers were like an outsider horse who nobody dared to bet on the Kentucky Derby odds. However, the Old Firm is not a horse race, but a football derby played with emotion.
Gerrard’s side was emphatic. They dominated the current Champions throughout the game and took their chances when they arrived.
Of course, Rangers never do things the easy way, and despite dominating for long stretches, it was never a simple occasion. Gers had to battle hard from the opening minute and also needed to ride their luck after Ryan Christie missed a penalty in the first half.
Ryan Kent opened the scoring for the Gers on that afternoon, before Odsonne Edouard equalised. However, Gers weren’t to be denied as Nikola Katic scored the famous goal to give the travelling side the three points and end the Celtic Park hoodoo.
The most significant advancement for Rangers has been their performances in European competition. The 2018-19 season was less impressive than this season’s campaign, but it was a step in the right direction and progression from what they showed in the previous season. In the last European campaign, before Gerrard took over, Gers were knocked out of the Europa League at the qualifying stage as Progres Niederkorn beat them.
Fast forward a season and Gers were able to compete in a tricky looking group including Villarreal, Rapid Wien and Spartak Moscow. While Gers weren’t able to progress, their 2-2 draw away in Spain did highlight that brighter things could be on the horizon. This season, Rangers managed to get through a group including Porto, Young Boys and Feyenoord, with a victory over Porto at Ibrox undoubtedly being among the most eye-catching results of the Gerrard era.
Gers went on to make light work of Braga in the round of 32, and while Bayer Leverkusen may be a bridge too far, the Thursday night action has highlighted that Gers have come a long way in the two-years that Gerrard has been in charge.
There is no doubting that Gerrard has the backing of the board and the fans, which means the final say regarding his future will be down to him. He will be keen to take Rangers to the next level, and they will secure his long-term future by admitting that there will be more investment in the club over the off-season. The size of Rangers means that they can’t wait much longer for silverware, and next season there will be more pressure on Gerrard to bring trophies to Ibrox.