We have been riding a crest of a wave and inside a bubble of excitement since the new management team arrived that it was only inevitable that when a crash did arrive it was going to be a sore one.
The defeat at the weekend was every bit that sore and it was every bit that disappointing. No point dressing it up in anyway, it was an awful result and has given plenty of ammunition to those that wish to criticise. Problem is we are doing much to stop that criticism and not a lot to answer it away from home anyway.
Two wins in ten away games, a 0-1 result against Osijek and victory away to Killie in the Betfred, are the only wins so far.
In context that has involved five away games in Europe and trips to Spain, Russia etc have all seen us come away unbeaten. So that is the context needed especially in knock out qualifying where getting a draw and progressing is just as good as a win as long as you are through.
But Sunday wasn’t good enough and probably for the first time I didn’t see anything to be positive about and we looked like we didn’t have a clue what to do. The players, to a man, performed well below levels expected and when that happens the end result is usually just as similar.
What went wrong? Probably easier to say what went right to be honest and it was very very little. No urgency, no fluency, none of the sharp passing and movement that has defined us so far. The midfield lost the battle and I have raved about Coulibaly but he has looked every bit as lost as Jack did when he was injured also, they both need each other as much as we both need them. Fortunately Jack is back in training and his return seems imminent.
In a game where the opposition pack their defence Ejaria didn’t recycle the ball quick enough, every cross from wide was too near Kelly and the forwards were nullified from the start, the obvious frustration from Morelos was clear and when that happens he is easily nullified. When Lafferty plays out wide and we tweak our formation, we don’t look anywhere near effective enough and only in my humble opinion, I think it has to be one or the other. When both play we have absolutely nothing on the bench to look at as options upfront are limited.
When players are in form then they have to play, whilst I understand the management of Middleton, Ryan Kent had to start and both wide men (Daniel Candeias on other side) would have made us look more comfortable and effective. When we have tinkered we have faltered and in every game where Lafferty has partnered Morelos from wide, away from home on the league, we have dropped points.
The centre backs looked uncomfortable and I understand we have an obligation to give Worrall games, Katic and Goldson have been so good together that sometimes it’s better not to meddle with the spine of the team. Arguably with the opportunities Livi created we can say that decision was misguided at best.
It’s the first time Steven Gerrard will be questioned on his match choices and he deserves that because we didn’t win or perform. But let’s keep it in context, we are miles better than before and we are progressing and evolving. The problem is we are still a young side and even as I’ve said in good times this year, we are a work in progress. That means inconsistent performances.
Gerrard won’t need me or any support to tell him where he went wrong or where we went wrong as a team, he’s been round long enough to know exactly what needs to happen to fix it. The time is now to do exactly that and he has too
The only way to answer critics is to get the results on the pitch and we must go on a run of results if we are to mount a challenge this season. Football has a way of quickly changing, last weekend we were on top of the world and this one not so much, answer the critics on the pitch and as the manager famously said this summer – Let’s Go!
Time to stand up and be counted Rangers, if you want to challenge and be taken seriously you really better get moving, put that consistent run of form together now and let’s start climbing the table immediately
Away from the pitch it was satisfying to see the share issue statement from the club meaning an end to the Dave King takeover panel carry on. If I understand it all correctly (bear in mind I’m not an expert or an obsessed opposition fan) the new shares given out clear some of the soft loans issued to the club by directors and also means King needs a much higher level of ‘yes’ votes to his 20p takeover ‘bid’. This meaning that there is more shares against that than for the likes of those that may have sold at that price.
Effectively meaning Kings issues are over and no £11 million bid will ever be accepted, the club have new capital coming into the club and soft loans have been diminished somewhat. That still officially needs to happen with TOP but hopefully that should now be a formality. That’s the easiest way the Rangers statement was explained to me. Hopefully the club or King will say more in time clarifying that.
With that said, that new working capital of around £6 million from the share issue (from Chairmans last conversation on this) and that of around £8 million pounds in expected European income, more than cover the summer spend which amounted in about £9 million spent. With season ticket sales at record highs and the shirt sales beginning to come in we can all see quite clearly that the club are in good health. Yes that’s not all profit and money ‘in the bank’ but it is enough to see the club have a healthy bank sheet and easily able to pay any obligations due.
Unfortunately for our club there are those that are so obsessed with us they talk of financial ‘holes’ and ‘issues’ that simply don’t exist. The club are in good health and with the support we have on the board, there is sufficient power should any emergency happen. We should always ask questions and be prudent but the questions to ask will never be found in the depths of social media from those that don’t even support the club.
With that said, it’s very much a case of ignoring the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise