Sevco fans have been in meltdown after burying their heads in the sand for the past few days and insisting that Steven Gerrard wouldn’t leave them for Aston Villa, of course anyone with half a brain knew that once the big hitters in the English press got behind the story that is was only a matter of time before we saw him holding up a Villa shirt.
Gerrard likely thought that after three and a half years at Ibrox that it was now time to move on, and that he may not get a better opportunity at an opening into the English Premier League and going to a club where for this season at least, there will be little to no pressure to achieve anything of significance, as long as he keeps them up which based on the squad he has and the big funds he will likely have been promised for January, shouldn’t prove too difficult, even for a manager who has only won 1 trophy out of 9 available to him.
But what also most definitely factored into his decision to leave Glasgow for Birmingham was what he has seen from across the city this season at Celtic. Ange Postecoglou has his Celtic team much further ahead than many people expected, and much further ahead than Steven Gerrard likely expected too. Despite a poor start early doors, Ange now has this Celtic team flying in most of the games we play in and it is only a matter of time before we hit top form and improve our consistency, that is obvious based on how far we have come with near enough an entirely new team compared to last season, and how quickly we have got to this level of performance.
Sevco however, have been going behind in literally every game they have had lately, and there are only so many times they can rely on clawing back the game and leaving with 3 points, and only so many times they can get highly controversial refereeing decisions in their favour that allows them to do so, without serious questions being asked, as we started to see a week or two ago.
Gerrard also knew he would have no money to spend in January, he knew that if bids came in for his star players, that the club would be forced to accept them to go towards balancing the books, which as we saw recently are in a dire state. He knew that Celtic would absolutely strengthen in January, and he has seen who Ange has brought in already with players like Kyogo and Jota, that Ange knows how to pick up a quality player that they would most likely fit in straight away. And based on current form even before Celtic strengthen and Sevco weaken In the transfer window, the 4 point gap at the top would most likely been wiped away, especially by the time Sevco have visited Celtic Park on 2 January.
Gerrard made absolutely the right decision to walk away from a sinking ship. Ending this season having lost the league title to Celtic, a brand new team, would have been a disaster for his reputation as a manager, especially where the EPL is concerned, and if history repeated like every other that would also mean no cup trophies in the Ibrox cabinet either.
Gerrard was given time to get it right. 3 full season to stop Celtic winning the 10, he was given that length of time because it simply would have been too much of a risk to change things after Celtic clinched the 9, and there had already been a host of different managers in just a few years before him. The next manager that Sevco bring in to replace Gerrard this season, is going to have lost the league from a 4 point head start. They will also have lost out on £40m of Champions League money and gifted it to Celtic. Whoever they bring in likely won’t be there next season and if they are, they will have an even weaker team and will be competing against an even stronger and more consistent Celtic team, and that is only going to end up one way for whoever is next in charge at Ibrox.