Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
The last decade has seen the Scottish Premiership established as a one horse race. Celtic won nine consecutive championships with little resistance from the rest of the division. While the 2020/21 campaign didn’t deliver in terms of a title race, it was Rangers who stormed to glory.
This has been a campaign to remember for the Ibrox faithful, even though they couldn’t attend. However, is this a one-off in a wildcard campaign or have the Gers established a new order in Scotland? We’re looking over what has been a brilliant season so far for Steven Gerrard and co ahead of their return to Europa League action.
For our latest Europa League tips, check out our match predictions page.
Why they were so good this season?
Steven Gerrard has presided a three-year project to turn Rangers back into real contenders. After the low of their Europa League loss to Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg the Gers were a side in need of a new direction.
Gerrard’s three-year reign has seen an overhaul of everything at the club. He’s helped revamp the training ground, the squad and their playing style. There’s been a clear change in mentality, with the club now competing against top European sides.
Overall, Gerrard has refused to settle for anything less than 100% from his charges. That’s clear in their incredible statistics this term. The Gers have won 28 of 32 matches in this unbeaten league campaign. Having conceded only nine goals in that time, it’s clear Gerrard’s men have been consistently brilliant.
Will Gerrard leave?
Given how strong Rangers have been this season, Gerrard is now bound to be a target for other sides. The links with Liverpool continue to crop up, even with Jurgen Klopp confirming that he’s not planning to leave.
It’s hard to see Gerrard following his former boss Brendan Rodgers by trading Scotland for a mid-table Premier League side. It’s hard to imagine the Kop idol taking charge of any other English side.
Gerrard may ultimately need to take another step up before arriving at Anfield, but his options seem limited at the minute. Having worked so hard to drag Rangers back to the top, it would be odd for Gerrard to depart before he can fully enjoy the fruits of his labour.
The Gers return to the Champions League next season. Having excelled in the Europa League, Gerrard will want to pit his talents against the best – the prospect of a return to Anfield has surely crossed his mind.
With plenty more to achieve in Scotland, there’s little reason for Gerrard to depart.
Can they do it-back-to-back?
Given how brilliant Rangers have been this season they’re the clear favourites heading into the 2021/22 campaign. Not only have the Gers gone all season with hardly a misstep, but they are competing with a Celtic side in disarray.
Rangers have surged to the level of Rodgers’ unbeaten 2017 Celtic side. Meanwhile, the dethroned champions have drifted every year under Neil Lennon, with the Northern Irishman winning two titles by default in his latest reign.
Celtic’s managerial choice will be a major factor in how Rangers get on next season. However, the Bhoys have a major rebuilding job on their hands in order to close the gap which has emerged.
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