Ibrox immortality awaits Steven Gerrard’s side when Rangers clinch title win

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THE task of comparing teams, achievements and eras is often a thankless and at times largely pointless one.

In one of those regards, there is an easy correlation to be made between this Rangers team and the great ones of yesteryear, however.

Steven Gerrard’s side are far from the best to have challenged for a top flight title. And the level of the game overall isn’t as high today as it has been during some halcyon times for Scottish football.

But this title success – it is a matter of when Rangers go on and complete the job this term – will be the most memorable and most important ever to be won at Ibrox. That is the opportunity that lies ahead for Gerrard and his squad.

No other league flag has been as sought-after by supporters. Through false dawns and broken promises, they have remained loyal to their club and shown remarkable patience while hoping and praying that the better days return.

When Rangers win the league this term, you cannot argue that the fans don’t deserve to savour every last second of it.

No support has been through as much for as long as they have and the pursuit of the title has dominated their lives.

As John Bennett, the Rangers vice-chairman, said at the AGM last month, there are two numbers that are of paramount importance to the club and the fans right now.

READ: Steven Gerrard is a legend in Liverpool and will be a God in Glasgow if Rangers win the Premiership title

If Rangers can raise flag 55 and go into their 150th year as champions, the pain, the suffering and the anguish of the last ten years will finally be enveloped by the joy and relief of celebrations that have been too long in the making.

The message from the manager and his players will be that nothing has been won yet and that the focus has to remain on taking the campaign one game at a time.

With 14 fixtures to play, it is only Rangers that can foil Rangers in the Premiership. It won’t happen.

If Gerrard’s side retain their standards and their mentality for a few more weeks, then a place in Ibrox folklore will be the reward alongside the silverware and the medals sooner rather than later.

It was a point that Gers legend Ally McCoist made last week whilst discussing the job that Gerrard has done and the position that the league leaders find themselves in.

McCoist, of course, knows all about the significance of title wins and just what they mean to a club that was built on success and glory days.

Rangers are back level!
Gerrard’s side equalise through a header from Itten. Can they go on and grab all three points?
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He was part of the squad that ended the barren years of the 80s under the guidance of Graeme Souness and would then inspire Walter Smith’s side to nine-in-a-row.

On his return to Ibrox, he was alongside Smith as Rangers won three league crowns, several cups and reached the UEFA Cup final.

That title in 2010-11 was the last top flight silverware to reside in the Ibrox Trophy Room and was famously the league that was clinched in seven minutes at Rugby Park.

READ: Chris Jack: Rangers can welcome the chase after Old Firm power shift

Kyle Lafferty scored twice, either side of a strike from Steven Naismith, as Kilmarnock were beaten 5-1 in the end and Rangers would party in Ayrshire before returning to greet the jubilant crowds at Ibrox.

Nobody that was at either venue that day or that celebrated at home or in pubs could have envisaged what would happen over the next decade. It is for that reason that this next title will mean so much to Rangers.

The debate about where the Class of 2021 rank alongside other successful sides is an interesting one. Right now, it matters little, though, as they attempt to join their illustrious predecessors in the hearts and minds of supporters.

“I’m telling you right now he will be thinking he is in the biggest and best job on the planet because he is probably, maybe six weeks away,” McCoist said of Gerrard and the chance to win the Premiership sooner rather than later this season.

“If he didn’t realise, he is hopefully six weeks away from realising the effect that he is going to have on so many people. And it is going to be unbelievable.

“And I hope that Steven reaches that position and I would imagine that even he might be a little bit surprised about the effect he has on so many people if and when he crosses that line.”

The list of characters that have been part of the Rangers story since that memorable May day could stretch the length of Edmiston Drive.

There are many that fans will have forgotten about and many more who they wish they could banish from their minds considering their role in the fall of Rangers.

And that is why Gerrard, his staff and his players will be recalled as fondly for generations to come if they can end those ten years of hurt and bring closure to a tumultuous chapter that will forever scar the club’s history.

The full details of who, what, when and why in relation to those barren and controversial terms need not overly concern Gerrard. He has always been focused on where Rangers need to get to, but there will be an understanding of where they were, too, and the significance of what he seems set to achieve will not be lost on him.

Last season, Gerrard was able to savour a success that meant so much to him and his fellow Liverpool fans as the Premier League title was won.

A triumph for Rangers may not have the same tug at the heartstrings attachment for the 40-year-old, but it will mean just as much, and perhaps even more, to the support that laud him today.

Gerrard will always be a hero to the red half of Merseyside. In a matter of weeks, he will be a legend in the blue half of Glasgow.

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