It will be interesting to look back on last season through the prism of wondering just how certain teams faired without crowds.
Rangers captain James Tavernier has spoken out in the past to suggest that some of his teammates can’t quite do it when they have an expectant crowd to please, so it does suggest that their magnificent form last year was aided by not having that distraction from the stands.
Their form this season further suggests that might be the case, with the unbeaten league record falling early to Dundee United and they’ve now thrown away a perfect chance to advance in the Champions League qualifiers.
They had levelled the tie against Malmo tonight and the Swedes went down to 10-men in front of a full Ibrox so this was only going one way – Until Antonio Mirko-Colak struck twice in the space of a few minutes and Gerrard’s men are out.
The fans were always going to struggle with dealing with failure after having it so good last season, and it’s not a surprise to see that many are wondering about Gerrard’s ability to motivate this team to defend their title while also dealing with the presence of crowds:
2 mistakes from a player the manager hand picked to be the difference. Gerrard needs to shoulder this.
— Steven gow (@GowSteven) August 10, 2021
the longer Gerrard persists with Kent the worse it will get. He is consistently one of our worst players.
— Andrew Robertson (@AndrewR1793) August 10, 2021
Lots of reasons why we have lost this. Some within and some without our control.
My biggest annoyance is Gerrard not making a sub when Malmö either scored their first or were looking good. Break the game up, kill their momentum.
It’s really his biggest issue, subs overall.
— Nathan (@nathanj3001) August 10, 2021
But hey, Gerrard will take the blame and move on tae Dunfermline. Absolutely raging wae this man
— AW ???? (@AW1872) August 10, 2021
Canny even think about a comeback we’ve never really came firm behind under Gerrard to win games like this . Once the bottles went we’re hopeless
— Aaron (@aaronhenry313) August 10, 2021
Gerrard is done. There's no way he will turn this around. He's been tactically found out in 3 games on the bounce and still hasn't changed it.
— Ian Adams (@ianadams22) August 10, 2021
The fallout from this will be tough for Rangers tonight as Gerrard does a good line in saying it’s all on him and taking responsibility before then passing all of that blame onto the players, but he will need to start looking at some of his own decisions after this one.