Heading into this season it has seemed almost impossible to stop the all-conquering team from across the city. In fact, according to some journalists, we should accept second place right now. After all, we are up against a team that went unbeaten and completed back-to-back trebles. Well, I say so what, we start from fresh just like every other side this season. Sand sports and life has a funny way of putting people and teams in their place if you follow a set plan and vision. I’m very confident Steven Gerrard will do that for Rangers.
Here are three examples of the type of events, we can draw inspiration from.
Tyson vs Holyfield 1996
At the time Mike Tyson was the most feared, powerful and explosive boxer known to man, my papa personally felt he was the greatest boxer he had ever seen. However, with a strategy that relayed heavily on patience and skill, Holyfield beat him. This was a huge shock at the time. Holyfield was, and I assumed still is, a very softly spoken man whose boxing style was based very much around patience. He had a high tactical approach, one that Holyfield never deviated from. He was never influenced by the crowd, who at stages willed him to be more aggressive in his approach.
In my humble opinion, Evander Holyfield is the greatest heavyweight I have ever seen. Even in rematches never reacted or got angry, despite having part of his ear bitten off. Such was the level of frustration he had caused Tyson. This is something that gets completely forgotten or dismissed, with many people thinking it was just due to Tyson’s rage. I believe it was down to pure frustration at the fact he could not break down the man he was up against.
Great Britain in WW2
When faced with the constant bombing of places such as London, Coventry and Clydebank, the British public did not just roll up and admit defeat as expected. No, instead they banded together and stood firm against the pure evil and hatred of the Nazis.
This must have been a living hell night after night for many Brits. Coming from Paisley I have heard many stories of Luftwaffe bombs lighting the skies orange with fire. There was a glow over Clydebank, and Paisley itself, being situated just across the water from Clydebank.
My point here is that it would have been all too simple and easy for the British public to give up, surrender all hope and say enough is enough. But we never did, and it played a huge role in us winning the war.
The Crew of Apollo 13
In 1970 space travel had become almost mundane and interest had dropped to the point where TV audiences across the world plummeted. This was to be the seventh manned mission to the moon an all too routine event. People were now taking these things very much for granted.
When an onboard explosion occurred in the oxygen tank, making the service module uninhabitable, many onlookers feared the three astronauts would not make it safely home.
Three factors brought them home. First, the sheer will and work rate of NASA employees. Second, the skill level of the crew. And third, the ability to not only adapt to what they had at their disposal but the ability to stick with the plan, despite the bumps. These factors cannot be underestimated. It was human willpower that got the astronauts, in a vehicle with less technology than a Nokia 3210, back safely to earth.
My point here is simple. Rangers may be up against it with Steven Gerrard as a first-time manager. We may not spend as much money as our rivals, but if we stick to his plan and clear vision, we can emerge champions, even if times get tough.
After all it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog that counts.