This post is dedicated to all those who know of my unconditional love for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Clarification. This post is an outline of the conditions of possibility that Rangers has after the first pre-season friendly against Bury. It is not a definitive version but the beginning of the road. Enjoy.
It is not surprising that the mainstream of Scottish journos write to shock or put themselves above the game, without ever developing a strong idea about the world they want and/or try to describe. Not accidentally, this happens because they point to the instantaneous reaction of social networks, they no longer write for an eager reader of opinion. It is time to admit it; there is a certain "utility of hatred" for which the Spiers, the Suttons and the whole heap with similar biases sentenced Gerrard as "gamble". It is the easy place of opinion. Fast profit, that´s what they get, being the hashtag for a few days, and they succeed. Egoism sells, hate spread sells! In the times that run the journalism applies the logic of the suicide motorists: better to arrive before to arrive well.
In the universe of counterfactual thinking, Gerrard is comparable to examples of players who failed when they hung up their boots and become managers, one of the most notable Diego Maradona, closest Ally McCoist, and on the other side, full of virtuosity, or the side that wins theses silly discussions, Pep Guardiola (nobody never places theses examples in spaces of exceptionality where the triumph or failure is more determine by other variables). I have read hours of interactions on Twitter of fans postulating all sorts of contradictory, dystopian thoughts, product of future concern, and expressions of desires without nuances.
The years of accumulated frustrations, from the repetitive porosity that there was no plan B, to the pitch geography wasn´t quite right of the marketing specialist and phlegmatic demagoguery, excess of the Latino passion of Pedro that showed an absolute lack of imagination (and a supine ignorance about Scottish football) to reach the plump face of the smiley Murty, which cost us historical defeats. Clear demonstrations that improvisation does not work, as an Argentinean I have also see it in this World Cup.
Pedro did not come to understand that the game models are not exported from one country to another but it is the idiosyncrasy that determines the establishment and the process. When he wanted to impose something different, he had already lost the dressing-room. But that is already ancient history.
After the first trial, Stevie G has a genuine football mold, orderly, able to combine the best features of Klopp´s vertiginosity, something of Brenda, with a little touch of Guardiola and the circulation we see in any other ambitious team. No one is original, even the most reformist took the previous examples, giving them their own subjectivity. Gamble? There are always aspirants to repeat that wee word before the first storm. Have the brolly on hand, the seasons are long.
Stevie G was populated by the best possible people, another thing, very different, is to be accompanied by the results and know how to manage the weight of the backpack, a stage that was marked by the victory of our eternal and obsessed rival. The unpredictability of this sport forces one to be more observant than the owner of the hammer with which to strike in favor of the wind of an already known result.
Against Bury, a clear game was seen, a block to enhance the invidualities. Gerrard made his request elliptically. "Play fast", in the jargon coded from day one of the strenuous preseason in Spain, involves doing it with players who know how to profile naturally, accommodate the body when they receive the ball without losing time, control in an instant and, if possible, pass with a touch to the next teammate. Strategy and associated football, the cadence of pass and orientation changes to a flatter attack. When Rangers does not have the ball, everyone press forward, in the first half, one of the gains was that Candeias stole the ball and led an attack although the play then deflated. The Portuguese seems to have won a place in the line-up also for his sacrifice in midfield management. A first criticism is that have to work in that the speed of the pressure does not transform into a foul and in not losing the ball and the positions by pressing.
We have ceased to be that team that was a constant producer of centers to the area for the exclusive merit of Candeias or Tavernier (deserved new skipper) to couple it as a resource to which to turn as an alternative.
Conceptually, Rangers football can start in the own area (Goldson and Katic, two wall but also skillful to pass the ball) and go through the midfield (Ross McCrorie standing in front of the defenders, helping in the transition when necessary) before finishing in the opposite area with Murphy, Morelos (his voracity and ambition to kick the goal from the narrowest angle has no limits, even at the risk of receiving complaints from the crowd or his teammates).
Awakening from Russell Martin´s nightmare. The backbone is focused on consolidating a defensive strength, like that of almost every team that aspires to a certain degree of soundness requires a keeper to give security and a couple of strong central defenders. This was the first sign of what I understand as intelligent planning. If anything Goldson and Katic showed in this game it was patience, perseverance and mentality. In Ibrox, the defenders had the ball, which was, over any added value, the best way to defend against the opponent. Katic, Goldson, Tavernier, Flanaghan were ahead of that in the pitch.
In the second half of last season, Alfredo Morelos mentally suffered the disconnection of players who have spent weeks without any expectation of competing. Some low yields, not many interlocutors who speak Spanish, a time hibernating in the bench, his awkwardness to retweet the possibility of signing for Besiktas, the bad intention of some in the social networks (filming his little attitude in the half-time) conspired to create an ecosystem of malaise. Difficult to play with a confused head. Gerrard understood everything immediately, his phrases are not accidental: “We love the player. The fans love the player”. There are players that you can give them half a meter, and others who can´t be given a millimeter because they dance to you, like Morelos who dances Colombian cumbia. We need someone like him to dance defenses.
Ross McCrorie, a real headache for those who fix the Ibrox lawn. He pressed well forward, cut the game or the possibility of a pass. Apparently, Gerrard encourages Ross to move forward and press, and that resulted in the first half in recovering the ball. Ross has to work a little more on the final pass. Many teams that press forward are not well organized. And it is true that when the first line of pressure is broken, real highways open because players who do not perform the pressure are not well placed to prevent counter-attacks by closing those highways. It is important that players feel comfortable when they press in the opposite field and Gerrard creates the containment dam.
Initially, because I can´t describe a system with only one game, we have not reduced our game form to the sides, but we are looking for more alternatives, rotations and players appearing in different places, there are no necessarily rigid positions. With the passing of weeks and works, this will be a "design team". Murphy, Arfield or Windass do not have the weight of tactical chains, which often immobilize players in a repetitive role. Arfield will give the team the surprise of joining from the middle (in his repertoire is the old resource of dribbling the rival, so rare in today´s football. The ideology of competitiveness has limited the plays of risk and fantasy in which you can lose the ball), help in the game kitchen and get in front of the goal to have more goal option. Scott´s first goal starts with his pressure in the middle, in what is a multi-player pressure, sometimes hasty but coordinated.
Many of the goals have shown the patience to move the ball from one side to the other, until finding Arfield, Alfredo, Zak Rudden, among others. There is material to make triangulations that culminate in the small area. Glen Middleton arrived at Ibrox in silence. I heard a lot of his name and Rudden´s from some lads that faithfully follow the games of youngsters on Twitter. In a few minutes, Glenn provided some waist, precision passes, burst doses and raids into the area to break bolts. It takes more work, more weeks and more competition and the new faces will add more quality and alternatives, unfortunately there is no more time before the Europa League legs, it is a risk that has to be taken.
Before saying goodbye. After having to read months of aggressions on my nationality, in what I have been treated as a prisoner of war, collaborationist, among other things, I have reduced to the minimum expression my interactions on Twitter, nobody wants to be in a place that does not enjoy. That does not mean giving in, but starting to prioritize the energies in more important things. So from now on, the post of the games will be the form of interaction. I´m sorry because I´ve met many valuable, very important people, so I decided not to deactivate the account.