FORMER footballers often spot things within a game or on the periphery which the rest of us might miss.

One such ex-player, who I won’t name, pointed something out I hadn’t noticed after the final whistle had sounded at a near deserted Ibrox on Sunday afternoon.

He insisted Steven Gerrard had stayed sat on his seat during the second half as his team continued to pass the ball to nobody, huffed and puffed and yet failed to exert any real pressure on Celtic.

The word he used was “hiding”. Ouch.

READ MORE: Rangers seal £7 million deal for Ryan Kent

This isn’t 100 per cent. Gerrard was on the touchline during the half, there are pictures to prove so, but not very often. He rarely doesn’t stand for most of the game. Even Gary McAllister who normally can’t sit still wasn’t to be seen.

A Rangers manager can’t sit on the bench when his team are losing to Celtic at Ibrox. It’s not a good look. In contrast, Neil Lennon never left the touchline, barking reminders to his player the whole game.

Gerrard lost more than just a game on Sunday. The supporters remain with him, as they should, but doubts are beginning to creep in. Don’t take my word for it. Go to the many Rangers podcasts, blogs, videos etc and they to differing degrees say the same thing in the wake of losing the Old Firm game.

Gerrard choose a team on Sunday and drew up a game-plan with more than half an eye on what Celtic could do when he should have picked his best eleven for what was the biggest game of the season so far. That’s what is needed when it comes to the Old Firm. This is not the match for tinkering and tweaking, especially if it’s unnecessary.

That Alfredo Morelos should have started, his substitutions were wrong and that playing with no wingers was a mistake has digested by supporters and pundits. There is no need to go over that except only to say that the ‘right’ team may not have won given what mood Celtic turned up in.

But if Gerrard is to win the league, and let’s be clear that’s his job, he needs to learn from this because he was taken to school by Lennon. There is little point in being given a lesson if you don’t learn from it.

Rangers have a decent run of fixtures after the international break ends among the Europa League matches. That gap at the top can’t get to four, five, six points because even with so much football still to be played, Celtic won’t give up any sort of lead.

Look, Gerrard knows more than most about football and he is still learning. We all make mistakes. The Rangers fans’ biggest complaint was that they errors were obvious. Within ten minutes, the team just looked wrong. They had a lot of the ball but nothing was happening.

And while not all the shouts and chants at a derby match are sensible, Sunday was the first time I have ever heard so many cry for some wingers to be put on.

READ MORE: Old Firm: What we've learned so far

Gerrard is an intelligent man and not one for excuses and, refreshingly, did blame himself in part as he has done previously. He must have known as the second half went on and Celtic, who have played better in this fixture and not won, were the ones that created more chances.

Even if Neil Lennon wanted them to defend the one goal lead, Celtic couldn’t avoid attacking because there was so much space to do it.

As we have seen before with this group of players, and the summer additions have made them a better squad, of that there is no doubt, but when things do go wrong, there isn’t anyone on the field to rally the troops – at least not in an obvious way.

There was a time in the first half when Celtic were struggling to get on the ball. Scott Brown put in a tackle and then turned to roar at his team-mates; the measure surely to be for them to raise their game, and they did.

It’s hardly the case that he rips up the book and starts again. Gerrard has been doing a good job for the most part, but manager and the players let down their supporters by getting just about everything wrong.

And don’t believe all the ‘no marker will be put down’ or ‘this doesn’t affect the league’ tosh. Of course it does. Yes, even with 34 games still to go. Sunday told us that Celtic remain the better team, a team used to winning and who back themselves to get a result even on a bad day.

Rangers won nothing last season but that okay. Sort of. They finished second, played better, beat Celtic twice and the European run brought a lot of joy to the fans. But he probably won’t get away with another barren campaign.

Harsh? Yes, but it’s also true. It will be interesting to see how Gerrard reacts to this but one thing is for sure and that is the supporters need to see a reaction.