That Monday morning feeling of being top of the league doesn’t really get much better to be honest, it’s been a long time coming.
Rangers have come a long way since the end of last season when goals were readily being shipped out the door and thrashing’s were being handed out. Steven Gerrard has installed a mentality we have craved for a very long time, a winner all his career you can see that transcending into his Rangers team.
This team has proven itself to have guts, character and desire in abundance. Well drilled and disciplined the team have come through so many big tests already.
Yesterday was absolutely HUGE for the club, I say that because in recent years, when these tests have come along, they have proven to be a false dawn. But this Rangers side are different, this Rangers team has those key ingredients that we have been lacking in those previous years, this Rangers team can overcome the odds put in front of them
This Rangers team makes me believe
One nil down away at Tynecastle, three days after a mammoth shift in Europe with ten men, they simply refused to accept their seemingly obvious fate. We rolled up our sleeves and dug deep. The team began to play, quickly turned around the score line and in truth we never looked in any danger whatsoever.
Craig Levein was stinging in his criticism for the officials and he is correct to be disappointed in that Alfredo Morelos was offside as Rangers went in front. But claims they were playing twelve or even thirteen men look childish when you examine key decisions which also went against Rangers.
Alfredo Morelos was clean through one on one and was wrongly described as offside whilst Lassana Coulibaly was on the end of a disgusting knee high challenge, which was every bit worse than what Scott Arfield received a red for. That’s not to say Arfield shouldn’t have been sent off, his was most certainly deserved.
The point is every team is on the end of fortunate and unfortunate decisions, Rangers get everything? Absolutely not and a quick look at decisions, the first day of the season for example, show that is laughably false. Indeed Morelos goal tally could have been at twenty if goals weren’t incorrectly ruled out.
But the narrative quickly set yesterday was Rangers are top because of an offside goal, instead of giving it the credit that it deserves.
Rob McLean and the ‘failed trialist’ could hardly contain their distain as they commentated on yesterday’s match. Indeed the narrative set on commentary towards Alfredo Morelos as dangerous as it was disgusting, describing Morelos as ‘going down squealing ‘ was completely ridiculous from a supposedly neutral commentary.
The outrage towards Morelos from Levein also laughable and somewhat enjoyable, ‘it’s a good laugh isn’t it’ ?!
Alfredo Morelos was fantastic yesterday, in only a short period of time Steven Gerrard has transformed him into the complete forward. He is now leading the line, bullying defenders and leading our team. What’s also impressive is Alfredo is pulling his weight, tracking back, fighting for the team and looking every bit the forward we know he can be.
Whilst others have spouted nonsense about his availability and his first touch, the stats destroy that very myth. Seventeen goals this season, ten assists or parts in goals in only twenty eight appearances is hugely impressive. The Columbian hit man is showing form worthy of the highest praise. It’s a little wonder the striker is being watched by top teams rumoured to be including Arsenal.
That turnaround only highlights the job Steven Gerrard and the management team have done. They are learning and we are still building as a team, but even yesterday there were clear signs they are getting it right. The decision to bring on Lafferty and go two up top and stop Hearts building anything, very smart and astute.
When you look at the form of Andy Halliday for example it shows what good proper guidance and coaching can do. He looks strong and confident, outstanding actually for a man who suffered so much criticism last season.
We also have a Goalkeeper every bit as good as any we have had in recent times. There has been a lot of debate, is Allan as good as Goram? Woods? Klos? I’m just happy we can have these debates. He is an absolutely unbelievable player capable of unbelievable saves
The decision to bring in Gareth McAuley also looks inspired and that has brought a calmness to a defence which was beginning to creak slightly after the trip to Moscow. It’s also once again brought the best out of Connor Goldson who’s form has began to once again settle.
You could see at Full time just what the result meant to Gerrard and the management, so much for a man who ‘looked quietly terrified’
Rangers are heading in the right direction. Whilst December remains a huge month we will continue to take it just one game at a time. There will be undoubtedly be bumps in the road but important that when they come we remain calm and trust the process we are on under this management.
However, in just six months this team on and off the field has been transformed into the kind of club we have asked for. That passion and desire on the field, the professionalism off it.
With improvements off the field to Ibrox and the Hummel training centre continuing, improvement on the field also continuing, we can be happy with where we are as a club for the first time in many years.
As King said at the AGM last week, we will strengthen again come January. If we are still in a title race at that point just imagine what a Steven Davis might do to this midfield for example.
Whilst the sensational headlines from the AGM last week were on our spending it is worth once again pointing out Rangers are debt free and own all our facilities. Debt with close brothers paid off, we are being looked after by people with Rangers in their hearts.
Rangers are being run by people putting in their own money to ensure we return to our rightful position in Scotland and in Europe. Whilst mistakes might happen, the obvious progression off the field in appointments and running the club show we are getting it right finally.
We can trust this management and we can trust this team.
One game at a time and onto the next one this Wednesday as the big games keep coming
Rangers top of the table in December and one game away from European qualification after Christmas, I believe the hype
Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise