What a difference three weeks can make in football.
Big questions were being asked of Steven Gerrard after Rangers’ 1-0 defeat away at Celtic on September 2.
The scoreline flattered the Gers, who defended resolutely but showed very little attacking intent over the course of the 90 minutes. Rangers fans were critical of Gerrard’s negative tactics at Celtic Park.
Having picked up five points from their first four games, that result meant Rangers had got off to their worst start to a season since the 1989-90 campaign.
Gerrard demanded a response from his players after the international break and he got it thanks to a 4-0 win over Dundee.
Five days later, Gerrard’s men sealed an impressive 2-2 draw against Villarreal in the Europa League. On Sunday, meanwhile, they hammered St. Johnstone 5-1 at Ibrox.
Celtic played earlier in the afternoon and suffered a shock 2-1 defeat against Kilmarnock. This was the Bhoys’ second defeat of the campaign. Ten points from their opening six games is a return that very few people would have predicted at the start of the season.
Following Sunday’s results, a number of Scottish football fans all have the same theory about Gerrard and Rodgers.
They reckon that Gerrard’s arrival in Scotland has rattled Rodgers, who has breezed his way to the last two Scottish Premiership titles.
The two men know each other very well from their time at Liverpool and Scottish football fans - including some Celtic supporters - reckon Gerrard may have got into Rodgers’ head.
It would certainly explain Celtic’s unexpected drop off this season.
Rodgers admits he faced biggest challenge
Rodgers admits he now faces the biggest challenge of his Celtic tenure.
“It is. It’s a challenge,” he told Sky Sports after his side’s latest defeat. “We have to accept that. There’s no doubt we need to be better. When you’re at the biggest clubs and you don’t win the heat comes on to you.
“That’s when you show you’re a Celtic player, manager, member of staff. You come together. When you lose games the spotlight will always be on you.
“You have to work hard, do the basics right. The basics cost us this time.
“It hasn’t been great, but we have to accept that. We’re the only ones who can make it better and get more consistent results.”
Gerrard delighted after 5-1 win
Gerrard, meanwhile, was understandably thrilled with his side’s emphatic victory over St. Johnstone.
"We certainly deserved to win by a big margin today - five different scorers so I'm happy,” the Rangers boss was quoted as saying by the Daily Record.
"Today in patches was some of the best football I have seen from us.
"We are trying to do it the right way, the Rangers way which is playing attacking football."
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