Rangers manager Steven Gerrard recently added two new strikers to his squad, but claims he isn’t feeling the heat over selection one bit.
They say variety is the spice of life. They also say too many cooks spoil the broth. Two archaic proverbs, the former being at least 200 years old and the latter some 500, that, depending on application, can mean the complete opposite of each other. Which one holds truest in times of self-doubt? Who knows, but now I’m hungry.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has long touted the equally old adage “the more the merrier” (again, some 500 years old) for adding depth to his squad, while admitting that this, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily correct. Any team’s broth, their makeup and unity, can be spoiled by too much competition, in-fighting, lack of coherence and individual malcontent over lack of play time.
Gerrard has welcomed his selection headache with open arms, having gone out of his way to ensure it
A healthy team should be playing with shape and familiarity, too many options, cooks, can cause a lack of form and ultimately results go down the toilet. Similarly, not enough cooks and you’re one bad run of injuries and suspensions away from heading in the same direction. Better too much as too little, but neither is a particularly great situation.
Nonetheless, Gerrard has welcomed his selection headache with open arms, having gone out of his way to ensure it by signing two extra forwards, Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten, to throw in the pot alongside injured Jermain Defoe and oft-injured Alfredo Morelos. Obviously, the buzz was that this was to cover for an imminent Morelos departure, who’s had his head “turned” by the options. Neither of these things, however, have happened.
Now, flush with forwards, Gerrard doesn’t seem ruffled a bit, speaking ahead of today’s Livingstone game he stated the following, as quoted by Sky Sports;
"“…Listen, a couple of weeks ago I felt really vulnerable because Jermain Defoe got injured.I was told he was going to be missing for three weeks and he has had another setback recently so he is still a little bit away.Alfredo – there is obviously a lot of noise in the background around that and at that time you feel vulnerable in case you get another injury in that area so it is nice to be in this position to have different options available.Obviously the talent available excites me as well.”"
When asked further about how he intends to keep all the recent signings happy with game-time, he brushed this aside by explaining he welcomed the headaches. Not so sure the players do, to be honest, but at least Stevie is up for it.
In any case, this isn’t something Gers fans should get into a panic about at all. The headache is uniquely Gerrard’s. Beyond that, even, this is what should be expected of a club trying to achieve success across multiple competitions, at multiple levels. Keeping depth as close, in quality, to that as the rest of the squad is absolutely essential to allow rotation, even if injuries are not a pressing concern.
we have to give Gerrard the benefit of the doubt that he hasn’t overcommitted on signings and can deal with the headache
Performances generally drop off as the season progresses, especially when competing in a number of competitions, this doesn’t even have to be because of tiredness, but merely a loss of form. Having a good backup option makes this problem a moot one and can be the equalising factor between a cold, wet night in Dundee and playing in Europe.
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I’ve seen a number of Bears complain about Rangers signing too many players, ironically the same who only a few weeks ago complained we weren’t signing enough. Where do you draw the line? Ultimately Gerrard is the one doing that and we have to give him the benefit of the doubt that he hasn’t overcommitted on signings and can, as he promises, deal with the headache.
Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but if, in the process, they win us the League or more this year, I’ll gladly order the full menu. Twice.