Steven Gerrard ridiculed for 'brutal truth' about Celtic league win
"Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forfty percent of all people know that."
Homer Simpson did not let something as trivial as statistics or actual words get in the way of winning an argument. Springfield's famous (cartoon) son would surely have approved of Steven Gerrard's Scottish Premiership pre-season interview.
The former Liverpool captain led his Rangers side to second in the Premiership, last season, but nine points back from winners Celtic. Their Glasgow rivals finished 19 points off their remarkable 2016/17 total  and lost Brendan Rodgers to Leicester City before the run-in but Neil Lennon successfully navigated them home.
Celtic started off their latest title defence with a 7-0 victory over St Johnstone that featured a Ryan Christie hat-trick and a scoring return to league action for Leigh Griffiths.
Before his Rangers side kicked a ball, in the league, Gerrard sat down with reporters and lamented the poor game management that he felt cost his side the title in 2018/19. He commented:
"Having analysed last season, if the games had finished after 86 minutes we’d have won the league. That’s the brutal truth.
"So we have to be better in our game management and when we get ourselves in a decent position we have to find a way to get over the line."
Gerrard pointed out squandered leads against Aberdeen and Motherwell, early in the season, and said the same issues plagued them throughout their league campaign. "Throughout the season," he said, "fingers were pointed at us for conceding late goals or not finding that consistency."
Saying Rangers would have won the league had all their games ended in the 86th minute was always going to attract scorn, and ridicule. For former Celtic striker Chris Sutton, it was the latter:
Reading Steven Gerrard this morning..”Having analysed last season if the games had finished after 86 minutes we’d have won the league, that’s the brutal truth”...
I was under the impression games have always lasted 90 minutes but there you go...
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) August 3, 2019
😂 if the games lasted 3 seconds there would have been a 12 way tie. Nae bother Stevie 👍🏻
— Kevin Davidson (@edgarbear3) August 3, 2019
Rangers kicked off their 2019/20 league campaign with a trip to Kilmarnock and got off to the perfect start when Scott Arfield put them ahead.