Ally McCoist has given his honest opinion about Steven Gerrard’s tactics v Celtic

  • Rob Swan

Steven Gerrard will still be reeling after suffering his first defeat as Rangers boss against fierce rivals Celtic on Sunday afternoon.

His players defended resolutely for most of the match by were beaten 1-0 when Olivier Ntcham tapped in from close-range in the second half following a swift counter-attack by Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Incensed because he felt his team should have been awarded a free-kick in the build-up to Celtic’s winner, Gerrard pinned the blame on referee Willie Collum for the result.

However, the truth is Celtic were far superior on the afternoon and thoroughly deserved the three points.

Only one team set out to win the match at Celtic Park and that was the hosts.

The Bhoys had 57 per cent possession and 16 shots at goal compared to Rangers’ six. They also struck the woodwork four times and could easily have won by a few more goals with more good fortune.

Although it’s still early days, some Rangers fans on social media were perturbed by Gerrard’s negative tactics. They wanted to see their team take the game to Celtic, rather than sit back and soak up pressure in the hope of snatching a result.

McCoist questions Gerrard’s tactics v Celtic

One person who has now come out and publicly questioned Gerrard’s tactics is former Gers boss Ally McCoist.

The 55-year-old admits he couldn’t believe what he saw from Rangers in the first half, where Celtic enjoyed 75 per cent possession. He also couldn’t work out what the tactical plan was, either.

“I haven’t seen that before,” McCoist is quoted as saying by The Herald. “I also haven’t spoken to Steven so I don’t know what the exact plan was, tactically, because if you’re going to sit off Celtic – and that looked like what it was – then I’m not sure I would have selected two up front.

“If that was the case, I’d have gone with five in the middle of the park and said to Celtic: ‘Okay, you can have the ball in that area but then we’re going to close you down.’

“But, with two forwards, you need to play higher up the pitch. As it was, Celtic were comfortable on the ball; Scott Brown is very good at making space for himself and he’s been doing that for years now.

“However, when Celtic go to play Hibs at Easter Road or Hearts at Tynecastle – and I know playing at Parkhead is different – they’re up against a different level of intensity than they were on Sunday.

“When Hearts beat them twice there recently, the matches were more like Old Firm games than the one on Sunday was.”

Ouch. A brutally honest assessment of Gerrard’s tactics from McCoist there, although it’s hard to argue with any of his points.

Asked if he expects Gerrard to use similar tactics in future Old Firm derbies, McCoist added: “I wouldn’t have thought so. Listen, Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister have more football knowledge between them than most managerial partnerships in the country.

“Not only was it the management’s team first Old Firm game but it was the first for seven of their players as well. I’d be hopeful that experience will have serve as…not so much a lesson but they’ll understand what it’s all about now because it is a unique fixture.”

Is Ally McCoist right about Steven Gerrard’s tactics v Celtic? Have your say below.

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