Is it safe to come out from behind the sofa yet? Is the season finally over?
That was torture, watching a side die in front of your very eyes was like seeing a loved one suffer. It was painful and you can do nothing to stop it.
Where to start ?. From the shambolic Pedro Caixinha era to the self-pitying, look at poor me, Murty reign, it was a season that promised so much, yet delivered so little in return.
The level of defending at times throughout the whole season was something that would get players dropped from junior sides or a school team, yet we were forced to endure it game after game. It was a team that lacked any sort of mental toughness, folding like a pack of cards anytime the going got tough or questions were asked.
We have had players suspended by the club, some more than once, as well as courtroom battles, the fans being the only positive yet again in a dismal campaign. It is not just the fact we once again ended the season trophy-less and 3rd but it is the manner in the defeats. The home form was embarrassing and Old Firm displays only highlighted the lack of mental toughness, bullied at times by more than a few sides who simply knew they could, after all, what were our players going to do about it? Nothing, not a thing, roll over and get their bellies tickled, that’s what they did.
Tactically, we were exposed in many games down in a large part to either being outnumbered or just not having the legs in midfield. When we did create chances, we passed on near open goals on more than one big occasion. It just was not good enough. Murty especially showing a stubbornness towards the latter part of his spell in charge, despite warnings from the players.
The defeat at home to Celtic, while holding a man and goal advantage, was something this side could not recover from mentally, it broke the fragile and soft spirit that existed.
Despite all that, I do feel positive for next season, I am not proclaiming we will go out and win 5-0 every week, no, but the appointment of Steven Gerrard has me excited, an emotion I have not felt in quite some time. I can’t see us being as soft in the physical or in the mental sense, Gerrard is a born winner with steel in his eyes, he has not come up here to accept second best or to fake clap on the sidelines. He has come here to win and prove he has what it takes to manage at the top-level.
That can only prove good for us, he is not here for the money either and his reputation is already cemented as a global icon.
His biggest test and challenge will be in recruitment, it is where we have struggled most in recent years, finding players with the type of attributes that you simply can’t see on DVD or be scouted. Players who have the right mentality to go play at Rangers and handle the pressure that comes with the territory. I have been impressed with the acquisitions made so far, along with the calibre of player we continue to be paired with.
Gerrard will be required to sort out the mess of a defence, two or three centre-halves are required in my eyes. He has already made moves to strengthen the middle of the park, and the goalkeeping positions, with the additions of Allan McGregor and Scott Arfield, and no doubt will look to bolster our attacking options with many names already being linked. I asked for men, and men we are getting. This summer promises to be a hugely positive one for all Rangers fans.
I am confident Stevie G will get this right, and while the rest of the world has eyes on Russia for the World Cup, I can’t wait for the new season to begin. Bring it on I say.