Shaka Hislop names Rangers in his latest power ranking as his top club in Europe (2:26)

Steven Gerrard has learned not to take anything for granted in a title race, but the man long touted as the natural successor to Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager is on the verge of making history with Rangers he has too much sporting heartache suffered to entertain the prospect of fame, but pulling Rangers back to the pinnacle of Scottish football will be no small feat

Rangers, who haven’t had a championship since 2011, will travel on Wednesday (1445 p.m. ET, live streamed on ESPN) after Hibernian three games in hand) who are unbeaten in the league all season and know nine more wins make it 55th Will secure the club’s title

In their last game, the Rangers won 5-0 at home to Ross County to highlight the obvious inevitability of their imminent success, but Gerrard refuses to accept the title is still close

“When it’s done,” said Gerrard when asked when he would start believing “When it’s done”

In 2019, Gerrard told ESPN about the “wound that won’t close,” his 2014 slip at Liverpool against Chelsea that resulted in a goal that knocked Liverpool off course in the Premier League title race (eventually by Manchester City won) Liverpool’s collapse that year was due not only to Gerrard’s moment of misfortune but also became the defining picture and the former midfielder would end his playing career after all major with the club alongside the Premier League Had won club awards

In this context, his reluctance when asked to focus on winning the Scottish title is perhaps understandable

“It doesn’t make sense to outperform ourselves in terms of our current location,” said Gerrard

But as dominant as the Rangers are in Scotland this season, it is becoming increasingly clear that the club will be crowned champions to ensure that both make history and prevent them at the same time

Winning a 55 Not only would it extend Rangers’ world record for most of the national championship titles currently shared with Linfield of Northern Ireland, but most importantly, it would prevent bitter rival Celtic from becoming the first Scottish club to win 10 consecutive titles Four words – ” 10 in a Row “- dominated Scottish football and struck the Rangers for almost a decade when the Celtic juggernaut threatened to tear apart the record books

Former Celtic midfielder Paul Lambert said after confirming his ninth straight title last year, “If Rangers lose 10 in a row now, Rangers history is over”

The history of Rangers and Celtic is intertwined with a rivalry that extends beyond football and extends to religion and Irish politics: Rangers have traditionally been backed by Protestant and loyalist communities, and Celtic, who are of Irish origin, draw their support of those with Catholic and Republican backgrounds, despite being Scottish teams, the Irish tricolor dominates in Celtic Park, while the flags of the Union and the flag of Northern Ireland (Ulster Banner) are widespread at Ibrox

Rangers and Celtic, the so-called “Old Firm”, have won 105 of the 123 championships since the Scottish League began in 1890, and since Aberdeen no club has been outside the two great Glasgow champions – then headed by Sir Alex Ferguson – 1985 It’s a rivalry considered by many to be the most intense in world football, and one that has deepened since 2012 when the Rangers were reformed to the fourth division of the Scottish game due to a financial scandal that led to the club’s liquidation / p>

Imagine if Barcelona or Real Madrid had to play in the Spanish fourth division among amateur teams in tiny stadiums whose clubs have an average of less than 500 spectators. That is the fate of the Rangers and their rise back to the top has been long and arduous, which was made more unbearable by Celtic, who won every national title during this period

“It felt like a jail sentence,” David Edgar of the Heart & Hand Rangers podcast told ESPN, “The club had to come through the divisions again and the novelty of playing at the lowest levels was wearing off very quickly.” / p>

“I remember Rangers losing at home to Annan Athletic in the fourth division. That was a real low, but I think the worst point was when we were in the 2014 Challenge Cup final – a trophy for teams of the lower league – to have lost to Raith Rovers

“The Challenge Cup this year was sponsored by Ramsdens, a chain of pawn shops So it seemed to sum up everything about Rangers at the time “

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Rangers spent four years outside the top division, winning three promotions in four seasons to regain their place in the Premiership and renew their rivalry with Celtic, but the journey wasn’t over yet

“When we got back to the Premiership, the real punishment began,” said Edgar. “The financial gap between Rangers and Celtic had grown so large that it seemed insurmountable and they wondered if we would ever win the title again would “

When Gerrard was appointed Rangers manager in May 2018 and left his role as youth team coach in Liverpool, the challenge for the former English captain in his first management job was immense.The Rangers were third last season, 12 points behind Celtic after they had been beaten 5-0 and 4-0 in the league and cup a month earlier by their rivals

“Those defeats could both have been double digits,” said Edgar. “The Celtic players were haughty and laughed at each other. Rangers needed a leader, someone to restore confidence and professionalism, and Steven Gerrard came in, and pretty quickly he showed that we would no longer be a joke “

It took Gerrard almost three years to overthrow Celtic, with the manager trusting players like Captain James Tavernier, Ryan Kent, Ryan Jack and Ianis Hagi, son of Romanian star Gheorghe, to help turn the tide for Gerrard also introduced a fancy passing game, mixing the experience of Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe with the raw talent of fugitive striker Alfredo Morelos and winger Joe Aribo, and learned how to block out the incessant noise that comes with running one of the old companies / p>

But it wasn’t all easy to sail with fears the 40-year-old would quit last season after speaking of it after a Scottish Cup quarter-final loss to Hearts that left him, “seriously Having to think “I’ve felt the lowest by far since I got here”

“Stevie took that defeat really hard,” a source close to Gerrard told ESPN. “He’s putting a lot of pressure on himself and has always been, but I think that side of his character was really shaped by it that he carried the weight of being Liverpool captain for so long when they lost to Hearts you could see he felt it and doubted himself “

However, three weeks later, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in Scottish football being suspended – the season was canceled in May and Celtic announced as champions.The new season began in August when a revived Gerrard took a win on day one in Aberdeen oversaw who laid the foundation for the unbeaten run that now leaves them on pole position to win the title

“You can see the difference in him from the aftermath of the Hearts game to this day,” said the source close to Gerrard. “The downside of him taking the pressure off his shoulders is how persuasive he is When things go well he knows he is now in control of the situation and the Rangers are flying “

Gerrard’s team also deserves praise from its rivals Ross County manager John Hughes shows his admiration for Rangers football in Saturday’s 5-0 win

“We were up against a high-profile team,” said Hughes. “I hope all of my players come back and say, This is how to play soccer” If you are a professional footballer and you think you are reasonably decent, you should then think: “I still have a little ahead of me ‘”

A win against Hibernian on Easter Road on Wednesday is Gerrards 99 Victory as Rangers manager in just 151 games. At this point, a maximum of nine wins are required to win the title With Celtic, however, the championship could still be sealed in seven games March against their rivals traveling to the east end of Glasgow

With football being played behind closed doors in Scotland this season due to the pandemic, the Rangers face the prospect of making history without their fans witnessing it

“It’s tough, but it’s right where the world is right now,” Gerrard told ESPN. “It’s not an ideal situation and we really have a feeling that the fans aren’t able to take the team too support”We know they are with us in a different way, but we have to accept where the world is right now

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“It’s fantastic to see the [COVID-19] numbers improve and fall Hopefully it will be safe enough for fans to return in the near future because they play such a big role here and there”The club was built on that. We want the fans back as soon as possible”

For Edgar, a lifelong Rangers fan who has seen the ups and downs after the club, this season has been a challenge and a much needed distraction

“There is a lot of frustration among Rangers fans that they can’t welcome this wonderful team,” said Edgar. “But at least we won In many ways, the team’s success has been a rare light for many people in such difficult times”

“Some people think that football should have stopped completely during the pandemic, but it is impossible to quantify how the game helped so many people

“But when or if [title] No 55 is confirmed, there will be an explosion of joy and relief among Rangers fans, and I just hope the authorities are prepared for you can’t be King Canute and hope that there are no celebrations “

At the moment, however, only the supporters allow themselves to think so far ahead. Gerrard is only interested in the next game and the next points and Hibs, third in the table, is a clear and present threat to his team’s unbeaten record / p>

“They are a good team and will not make it easy for us,” said Gerrard. “They have always been one of the strongest teams in the league, so it will be a challenge and a test

“We know what to do because Hibs will try to do whatever it takes to be the first team to beat us in the league this season””

Gerrard won’t take his eyes off the price until he’s firmly within his grasp, history has been made and history has been denied for Celtic

Rangers, Hibernian vs Ranger

World News – GB – Gerrard has revived Rangers and can stop Celtics ’10 in a row ‘