Stevie G – The Real Deal?


Steven Gerrard’s slip in 2014 against Chelsea cost Liverpool the league and extinguished Brendan Rodger’s chances of having his name written in Liverpool folklore. Now Steven Gerrard stands in his way of becoming a Celtic legend, by stopping the Ulsterman from claiming an eighth successive title for the Hoops.

But how realistic is that? Can this Anfield great transform the beleaguered ‘Gers into title contenders? Or like his pursuit for a Premier League title, will it ultimately end in failure? Here we take a look at Gerrard’s chances of breaking Celtic’s dominance next season.

Is he tactically astute?

During Sven Goran-Erikkson’s reign as England manager, he was blessed with midfield greats such as Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard. Lampard consistently netted 20+ goals a season for Chelsea and Gerrard seemingly won games on his own for Liverpool.

Yet the two couldn’t play together, and one of the reasons for that was Gerrard’s tactical ineptitude. Whilst Lampard had shown himself adept at following a tactical plan under Mourinho, Gerrard only flourished when partnered with Xabi Alonso – a canny operator with a sharp footballing brain.

All too often Gerrard would abandon his responsibilities and scupper England’s attacks with predictable ‘Hollywood’ passes. If his disregard of tactics from his playing career is anything to go by, then his time at Ibrox will be short-lived.


Much has been made of the expected wave of Liverpool loanee’s at Ibrox, but so far the new manager has opted to find most of his talent from elsewhere. Scott Arfield, Allan McGregor, Connor Goldson and Ovi Ejaria have all joined the ‘Gers.

Jon Flanagan is the only incoming player with links to Gerrard’s former club, and whilst signings from Brighton, Sunderland and Burnley might not be inspiring, they seem more astute than bringing in second-rate Liverpool rejects. The signing have ensured that Rangers are now 12/1 for the title, second favourites to Celtic.

The transfer market is a crowded place at the moment and Rangers, like Celtic, simply do not have the allure or the money of most Championship clubs never mind Premier League outfits. If Rangers are to be successful they need to maximise the transfer market as Celtic did when David Moss was the head of recruitment.

Moss was the man responsible for bringing players such as Victor Wanyama, Virgil Van Dijk and Moussa Dembele to Parkhead, with the Hoops making substantial profits on most of their player purchases.

Gerrard needs to bring the right scouting team into Ibrox in the hope of emulating Celtic’s transfer success. If he doesn’t, then he won’t stand a chance of challenging Brendan Rodgers as Rangers’ current squad isn’t up to much.

The odds

As much as analysis of Gerrard’s history and style is helpful, it doesn’t give any clear indicators. With the notable exception of Leicester City, the bookies have always tended to get things right in football.

Manchester City and Celtic were the bookies favourites for their domestic leagues last season and Real Madrid were the favourites for the Champions League.


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  1. LUGOSI 18th November 2018 at 18:16
    Could be just one of those pop-up shops at christmas time, the part time and weekends kind of a fit’s the bill.Maybe a way of shifting some stock but don’t know how it all sit’s in with Ashley.
    Speaking of stock, by the time this retail deal is sorted the ibrox club will have a bill to pay for all unsold stock

  2. Ex Ludo 18th November 2018 at 20:41

    '..Could there be a link to SFM?'

    There's a perfect description of BP :"an amazing piece of work-as powerful as it is ugly"angrymail

  3. Ex Ludo 18th November 2018 at 21:24

    '..“Drug-drenched artistic idyll” ''


    Aw, hey, less of the 'idle', Ex Ludo!mail

  4. Have to defend BP here.   He consumes nothing stronger than Coca Cola!  laugh   (At least when he's on a gig)

  5. Homunculus 18th November 2018 at 19:43

    Indeed, the sign isn't wrote very goodly. 


    Apparently this is a Tim wind-up with the state-aid nutter taking the bait.

  6. Billy Boyce 

    18th November 2018 at 22:01


    Apparently this is a Tim wind-up with the state-aid nutter taking the bait.


    Oh right.

    I never knew that.

    There are certainly a lot of people on certain Rangers facing sites who believe it.


  7. Thanks for the reference Jimbo. For correctness, that would be Diet Coke?

    It was not ever so though. A wringer or three had been passed through??

    Never read that book, though The Band’s album remains one of the half a dozen or so most important milestones in American music, and defined Americana as we now describe it.
    Must pick up the book.

  8. "Nissan and Renault chairman arrested in suspicion of misconduct"(BBC news)

    Aye, some countries take on the tax cheats, no matter who they may be or which part of the fabric of society their companies constitute.

  9. John Clark 19th November 2018 at 13:08

    "Nissan and Renault chairman arrested in suspicion of misconduct"(BBC news)

    Aye, some countries take on the tax cheats, no matter who they may be or which part of the fabric of society their companies constitute.


    I assume the Japanese Prime Minster did not go on TV and tell the tax authorities to 'sort something out?'

  10. jimbo 19th November 2018 at 15:09

    "…….Kevin McKenna of the Guardian.  Has some strong views of the game in Scotland.   "  


    To the best of my knowledge McKenna is numbered among the Liquidation deniers , and acceptors of the Big Lie. As a journalist he should be more concerned to question the integrity of Scottish football governance than worry about the performance of the national team. What price football 'success' internationally if the home game is rigged?

  11. upthehoops 19th November 2018 at 14:47 

    '….Japanese Prime Minster did not go on TV and tell the tax authorities '


    Just been hearing yer man's not being accused of tax evasion. My apologies to him.

    He's just been accused of other kinds of financial cheating, and Nissan will try to sack him.

  12. A petition to the CoS from the rolls, that might be of interest to Aberdeen fans.

    P719/18 Pet: No Kingsford Stadium Ltd for Judicial Review – Gillespie Macandrew LLP

    It's an "unstarred" motion, meaning that the presence of counsel is not required. A similar petition was presented a month ago, so it still looks procedural at this stage.


    I assume that this action is the latest objection to plans for Aberdeen's proposed new stadium.



  13. John Clark 19th November 2018 at 17:50

    If Kevin McKenna now denies the liquidation of Rangers Football Club took place and instead promotes 'the big lie', then he is culpable of performing a u-turn of the magnitude normally reserved for part-time historical revisionist and full-time PR failure, Jim Traynor, a man we should harpoon and lampoon as a buffoon for his cringeworthy volte face.

    "HMRC has brought the curtain down on the 140-year history of one of the world’s most successful football clubs. Rangers will now be liquidated and their assets sold. The next few weeks will determine what form any new club rising from the ashes will take."


  14. Highlander,  thank you for that link.  I was close friends with Kevin McKenna in the 1980s and was surprised to read that he might be a liquidation denier.   He is very intelligent, principled, left wing and Celtic daft.  I would be shocked if he went back on what he had written in that article.   He is no Jim Traynor.

  15. John Clark 19th November 2018 at 18:22

    upthehoops 19th November 2018 at 14:47 

    '….Japanese Prime Minster did not go on TV and tell the tax authorities '


    Just been hearing yer man's not being accused of tax evasion. My apologies to him.


    In the interests of accuracy and fairness I too must acknowledge that I was wrong in my assumptions, and also apologise.

    In terms of my general point though I make no apologies. In 2012 the then Scottish First Minister seemed not to care a jot about the tax evasion that had already taken place at Rangers, with millions already owed. He also did not care a jot about the much larger potential tax evasion existing at the time, which has now been proven to be just that by the Supreme Court. It was at that point we had confirmed what we already suspected – Rangers were more important to the Scottish establishment than anything. Even more important than the tax which underpins our society, and which we are all legally bound to pay in full and on time. 

  16. Highlander 19th November 2018 at 19:24

    '…If Kevin McKenna now denies the liquidation of Rangers Football Club took place and instead promotes 'the big lie', …'


    Is the paragraph you quote attributable to McKenna? If so, then I have been precipitate and obviously  quite wrong, and most heartily apologise to him and all and sundry. I hadn't seen that.










  17. I would be careful of the spin that will undoubtedly be put on the latest exclusive 5-year TV deal with Sky.

    It isn't clear what the headline figure is as yet. I've seen estimates varying from £20m to £30m a season. The current contract with BT & Sky involves 60 live games, while the new deal only covers 48 + 6 play-off games. 38 of them will most likely be allocated to covering all Celtic and Rangers away games, with 4 Edinburgh derbies and a few random others including the probable title winning game(s). 

    The distribution for last season (Premiership teams) was based on a pot of c. £23.75m (domestic and overseas income).

    1st 13.4% £3.176m
    2nd 9.6% £2.28m
    3rd 8.25% £1.96m
    4th 7.25% £1.72m
    5th 6.75% £1.6m
    6th 6.25% £1.48m
    7th 5.75% £1.36m
    8th 5.5% £1.3m
    9th 5.25% £1.24m
    10th 5% £1.19m
    11th 4.75% £1.13m
    12th 4.5% £1.07m

    Note that Sky just signed a five year deal with the EFL, worth £595m (£99m a season).

  18. Up the Hoops,

    In terms of my general point though I make no apologies. ……

    I 100 percent agree, …….

  19. I listen to Clyde SSB as I’m cooking dinner. This evening a call was accepted on air whereupon the caller proceeded to severely criticise SKY’s coverage of Scottish football as compared to BT. Needless to say the panel disagreed and the anchor man tried to make a joke of the points made by the caller. As far as Mr Keveens was concerned it was all about the money. A point he reiterated at least 3 times. In that respect he might just be right. It’s all about the money Sky pay to advertise on Clyde. I don’t suppose the company will bite the hand that feeds it. 

  20. Note that Sky just signed a five year deal with the EFL, worth £595m (£99m a season).


    I can't count £595m/5 = £119m

  21. valentinesclown 19th November 2018 at 18:20


    Let's see how this goes."


    Your link prompts me to post here a copy of a letter I sent on 8th November to Celtic plc.

    I have received no acknowledgment.  Some organisations are like that, of course. (I put it down to the inferior quality of the social upbringing of their boards rather than concern for their postage bill)


    "Mr I Bankier,


    Celtic Football Club plc

    Celtic Park,

    Glasgow G40 3RE


    Dear Mr Bankier,

                                                                 “Resolution 12”

    You will, of course, recall as clearly as I that, at the Celtic plc AGM in 2013, the Resolution bearing number 12 on the agenda was not formally debated and voted upon, but was adjourned indefinitely.

    I understand that over the intervening years(!) a number of conversations and discussions have taken place between the Board and the immediate proposers of Resolution 12 (among whom, I should perhaps say, I was not numbered in 2013 and am not now numbered)As an eventual outcome of those discussions and conversations,as again you will recall,Celtic plc in September 2017, shortly before that year's AGM, entrusted to the Scottish Football Association [SFA]the task of undertaking a thorough investigation into the circumstances under which the Union of European Football Associations[UEFA] granted a UEFA-competitions licence to the then Rangers Football Club in 2011.

    Unfathomably, it was not until May of this year that the Compliance Officer of the SFA referred the matter to the Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal[JPDT]

    In that same month of May 2018, evidence emerged that appeared to cast serious doubts on the legitimacy of the award of the UEFA licence to Rangers Football Club in 2011. Following careful consideration of that evidence, the legal representative of what is known as the 'Res.12 Group' informed both the SFA and Celtic plc of these doubts in late June 2018, passing to those bodies copies of the evidence which gave rise to the doubts.

    In July 2018, The Rangers Football Club Ltd challenged the reference to the JPDT,arguing that the appropriate authority to which any such reference ought to have been made is the Court of Arbitration for Sport[CAS]

    This challenge has apparently and inexplicably frozen all action by the JPDT.

    To my eye, as a small shareholder , it appears that the Board of Celtic plc have been and continue to be at the very least dilatory and lukewarm if not yet totally remiss in looking after the interests of their shareholders.

    It is now November: the reference by Celtic plc to the SFA was made over one year ago. Even by reference to the civil Courts let alone to the internal disciplinary body of a not very large Sports governance body such as the SFA, that is an unconscionably long time for a reference not to have been acted upon.I now feel obliged to ask the following questions:

    Have the Celtic Board pressed the SFA to say what action they have taken vis-vis the challenge made to the legal powers of the JPDT to investigate the circumstances surrounding the award of the licence ?

    If they have not done so, would they care to give their reasons why not?

    If the response from the SFA was that the matter of the jurisdiction of the JPDT has been referred elsewhere ( to UEFA or to the CAS) , are the Celtic Board content with that response and prepared to take such subsequent monitoring action as may be necessary?

    If the SFA have not referred the question of jurisdiction elsewhere, have the Celtic Board ascertained at what stage the JPDT's investigation is at, or even whether it has yet begun?

    If the Board have been told that the JPDT has stalled, perhaps indefinitely, what does the Celtic Board propose doing to ensure that the investigation that they were assured would be undertaken will indeed be undertaken by the JPDT as a matter of priority, with a timetable for completion?

    Does the Celtic Board actually trust the SFA/JPDT to investigate thoroughly, honestly and deliver true judgment? Is it not time that a vote was taken to pass 'Res 12', based on what is now known by Celtic plc, and the matter formally referred by Celtic plc to UEFA to investigate as thoroughly as was done in the recently reported cases of the Albanian, Serbian and Kazakhstan national associations?

    The Celtic Board must keep in mind their obligations to shareholders. This would be especially so where there may be grounds for suspecting chicanery on the part of others, in consequence of which Celtic plc might have been denied an actual, defined sum of money and the opportunity potentially to compete for much more in 'prize' money. In such circumstances it would not be at all for the Board on its own authority simply to ignore the possibility of chicanery and dismiss the matter.

    There are sufficient grounds for me to believe that the award of a UEFA licence to the then Rangers Football Club in 2011 may have been made in the knowledge that that club was absolutely not entitled to that award.

    In my opinion, the granting of a UEFA licence to the then Rangers FC in 2011 is not merely a 'sporting' matter, but one which might conceivably, in the absence of acceptable responses from the SFA/JPDT, require reference to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

    The failure to date of Celtic plc to insist that the SFA take urgent action to fulfil the commitment they made that a thorough, independent investigation would be undertaken urges me to make such reference on my own initiative as a citizen who suspects that a crime may have been committed.

    However, before taking such a step, I think I will await your replies to the questions above if you would be good enough to provide such.

    Yours sincerely,

    name and address"

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