On the first day of the season last year Rangers went up to Aberdeen and dominated until one slip in the 93rd minute cost us 3pts
The most gut wrenching of feelings only to be followed up by the exact same scenario 2 weeks later at Motherwell
Arguably Rangers never recovered from these setbacks or it would be these type of results that would determine how the league would end. A failure to dig out these games effectively killed off any challenge before it had even begun
So 83mins yesterday you can forgive everyone for feeling the exact same gut wrenching feelings of dread. We had seen it all before and we had every right to think ‘Here we go again’
The frustrating thing is that equaliser had been coming and the passive possession that had set in meant it was almost inevitable. I suppose the saving grace being it came 10mins earlier than last year
One terrific cross from our captain and a bullet header from man of the match Connor Goldson meant 3pts and a huge sigh of relief for everyone.
When the ice cool Michael Beale is up off his seat punching the air you know just how vital it is
With a tight defence and eleven men behind the ball it was imperative we moved the ball quickly in attack. Sadly we lacked that and lacked urgency, sideways passing often far too slow and the manager really was too late in making changes
Perhaps tired from Thursday a few players were below par and changes earlier may have prevented any second goal and pushed Rangers on. We’ll never know I suppose
But what we do know is the squad will benefit massively from that winner in confidence and belief. The management will learn massively from the game in terms of where we do still need to strengthen
Some players aren’t playing badly but are hiding within theirselves doing the easy thing. One of them is Borna Barisic. Whilst he is neat and tidy, doesn’t lose the ball a lot, he is a huge part of the passiveness that has crept into our game. Whilst Tav plays with a tempo on the right, all too often on the left Borna will check in and play a ball backwards 10 yards. But he isn’t the only one, yesterday there was a phase around 80 mins where Ryan Jack and Scott Arfield had almost stopped to walking pace whilst we wondered what to do
Whilst speculation remains that Rangers are still in the market and had been looking at likes of Max Lowe of Derby, it is perhaps clear that the manager still sees left back as a position of concern. That’s something that will clarify itself in the weeks to come
We need to move it quicker and get the ball forward in between the lines to hurt packed defences. Perhaps there is personnel changes to make, maybe Aribo and Arfield could switch positions for example.
But playing poorly and winning is essential to any challenge we may hope to muster. The management will know exactly what is required and where we must improve
We can play better, we will have to play better but it’s an absolutely massive 3 points
It’s easy to see the football is back as the country is on the offended warpath over our game yesterday. We have been slated because we scored goals in the 16th and 90th minutes, this obviously the clubs fault. The over exuberance of our celebrations slaughtered by everyone and even front pages of the tabloids this morning. There is no point complaining or moaning, other teams do it and it’s not anywhere near the press that we get but we know this.
It’s absolute passion from the support and I won’t criticise that in any way at all. But it’s fair to say we have to start boxing more cleverly otherwise authorities are going to start coming at us with enforced sanctions
I warned in my last blog that councillors will soon have the power to enforce these sanctions on our club, these councillors are no friends of ours and the first place they will come to place these sanctions will be Ibrox.
We as a support have to be mindful of that
The manager is on record saying he wants at least one more in the door and Stewart Robertson is on record saying there is money for the manager should he want it.
I’ve said a few times now I still think we are short of one in the forward positions. The romantic side of us all will want the return of Ryan Kent and the truth of that has been clarified by Liverpool in recent weeks. The player is for sale and Liverpool will try and move him on before Thursday’s deadline
What we have to hope will happen is that doesn’t happen and Liverpool allow Rangers to loan the player, as if he hasn’t moved on we will undoubtedly go back and ask that question. Rangers are watching with intent as the manager is alluded to admitting this weekend
With Leeds set to sell Karim Roofe to Anderlecht today we expect this will open up the move for Kent. So potentially this could kill any hope of a transfer back to us
With Daniel Candeias left the club, Glenn Middleton set to go to Hibs on a season loan and interest in Eros Grezda set to intensify (Managers own words) then there is definitely scope for another forward. Almost all of our wide options from last season would be away from the club
As mentioned above the left back position remains up for discussion also
As the EPL transfer window closes there will be players not in squads who become available and I have long since said this is where I expect any business to be done. It will be interesting to see if that does come true
But what is clear is we aren’t finished in the transfer window and the manager has confirmed that. How many to come in remains speculative depending on who you ask, with just under a month to go it’s fair to say there is still business to be done in and out.
It’s this business which may just have a huge bearing on whether we are successful or tearing ourselves apart this season…..
Onwards and upwards for the club as we head to Denmark on Thursday for the third round of Europa league qualifying. Good luck to the players and management as we face the next in line of tough challenges
One down only thirty seven to go !
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