It is time for Steven Gerrard to start Gareth McAuley at the back
Rangers have made a fantastic start to their life under new manager Steven Gerrard. They have done well to bridge the gap with champions Celtic, evolving with proper guidance from the Liverpool legend.
The Gers have been scoring goals for fun, especially in the league games, netting 32 in 12 games at a rate of 2.5 per game. It means their forward line is doing a good job by being lethal in front of the goal.
However, there is a slight concern at the back, with the team looking unsettled defensively. They recently shipped in four goals in a Europa League game against Spartak Moscow, and looked all at sea. Hence, it is up to the manager now to make some changes and demand a positive response in the coming games.
Giving Gareth McAuley an opportunity wouldn’t be a bad idea from the gaffer. Here’s why:
Rangers’ need of the hour is to be stable
Looking at their squad, the Gers have relatively young centre-backs. The likes of Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic are in their mid-20s, therefore, they are still learning the trade to be a top-class defender at such a high level.
Joe Worrall is here on loan, and he would go back to his parent club once the season is done. Ross McCrorie is of a tender age as well, relying on him won’t suffice.
Everything is pointing towards the 38-year-old McAuley deserving a chance to impress at the Ibrox. The former West Brom stopper is yet to a make start for his new club, but looked commanding when he came on against Motherwell in the second half.
The Northern Ireland international also put up a fantastic performance for his nation this weekend. Hence, it would make sense for Gerrard to give him an opportunity at the heart of his defence and see how it goes.
McAuley’s experience and know-how would also help other defenders on the pitch, which will make them better in due course of time. Out of the raw bunch, Goldson has put in the most secured performances so far. Therefore, he should start alongside the 38-year-old and lead this exciting Rangers team forward.
The Gers are in the title race, just two points behind leaders Celtic, with a game against them at the Ibrox yet to be played this year. So it is imperative for them to keep pace with the defending champions.