Rangers emerged from the capital unscathed and unrelenting in our push for title glory come this May. It wasn’t the most polished or fluent of performances but against a team more used to hacking than passing and on a difficult surface, the victory was all that mattered and Rangers went up the road with the three points.
Rangers always face tough games going to smaller teams grounds and Hibs are no different as they up their game for our visit. For the second time in a little over five weeks Rangers were able to comfortably handle everything Hibs offered and then pounce when the time was right.
The tone was set when Porteous lunged towards Alfredo with a little over 30 seconds on the clock. Reckless, out of control and with intent to hurt one of our players, it was everything that the player has come to represent whilst playing us. This is a guy who has attempted to injure Alfredo and Borna Barisic before, then would try similar on Ryan Jack later. He then likes to stand and laugh whilst that happens like it’s a triumph. He is classless and sums up a club that have behaved just the same since the final whistle blew.
Alfredo and Porteous would clash again on the seventeenth minute and as Alfredo attempted to find his footing he planted it firmly on Porteous’s leg. Given the response we have had since, you would think that the player was left in two but he was up and unmarked seconds later.
The faux outrage since from the press and coverage from Sky has been predictable and disgusting. Any time Alfredo is involved in anything they highlight it and almost plead for action to be taken. Yet when it happens to him there is very little attempt for clarity.
Darren McGregor would do very similar to Glenn Kamara and it would be described as clumsy but yet Alfredo is malicious.
Perhaps we should ask exactly why that is?
Rangers would however prove their ability as they carved Hibs apart with a free flowing move which ended with Alfredo sweeping home to earn all three points. Davis, Tavernier and Kent worked the position for a deft Aribo flick to send Morelos in to finish superbly.
It was no more than we deserved and another huge step towards our 55th title.
Sadly that’s not the end of it as comments from Hibs TV have dominated since. Irvine Welsh, Hibs guest on their TV channel, would describe Alfredo as the ‘sticky bun’ much to the amusement of host David Tanner and other guest, Hibs women’s Captain and Scotland international Joelle Murray.
It gets worse as Irvine went on to describe Alfredo as ‘the monster should be macheted into small pieces and sent in various packages to different corners of the globe’ then ‘consumed by Seagulls’.
Can you imagine that being said anywhere else? He has openly said one of our players should be violently murdered and dismembered, again to the amusement of the other guests.
One a Scotland international and the other an experienced media pundit who have been silent since. Is an apology or clarification they didn’t agree with the comments too much to ask?
So where is the outcry? Where is nil by mouth or where is the ‘respect our players’ Campaign now? Can you imagine if Rangers TV had allowed a guest to openly say one of the opposition players should be murdered?
Ryan Kent was hounded for a celebration and Alfredo was front page headlines for signalling a game was over. He has faced racism and now has people saying he should be murdered on live TV, what must he think of our culture?
Hibs have privately apologised to Rangers after our club raised it with them. That’s not nearly enough and the public silence since has been appalling. Those who are so easily offended before and unsurprisingly extremely silent now.
As a supporter I am sick of the coverage Alfredo gets but the latest comments are simply disgraceful. When our society remain silent they are complicit in it also.
Winning this title will hurt a lot of people, the thought of Alfredo holding the trophy, to their despair, is just as satisfying. When he does leave and go on to new surroundings, will anyone in this country wonder to themselves just what respect they have shown to a young man who is living in their country?
Alfredo isn’t an angel, but this is a guy who has raised a lot of money for charities in his homeland, but guilty of at worse being clumsy on a football field means it’s open season on him.
Hibs are just as complicit as is the silence of everyone in any position in this country.
It’s simply not good enough.
January was the month we were supposed to collapse, indeed we were told the pressure was ‘all on Rangers’. The players, management and everyone deserves credit for the fact we have performed so well.
Now is not the time to rest or celebrate as there is still work to do. Make no mistakes, no matter the narrative attempted, Rangers are by far the best team in this country and we by far have the best individuals. 26 games unbeaten, only seven conceded and just three draws are amongst the hugely impressive stats available.
What’s even more satisfying is we are strengthening for the future and tying up key signings on Bosman deals. The club this week announced Scott Wright and Jack Simpson have signed pre contract deals.
This is fantastic news. I have been a long term fan of Wright and I feel he has the attributes to kick on whilst offering the squad a lot at the same time. Quick, tricky and direct he has a lot of attributes which suit our current structure.
Simpson is a player I haven’t seen a lot of. He is capped at England under 21 level, has played for Bournemouth in the EPL and obviously has a good grounding to progress further with us. Given the players the management have brought in, it is a case of trusting that process for me.
What I do like is the forward thinking by the management and clearly acting windows ahead of where we are to ensure we are in the best place going forward. That could save us financially not to mention ensure there is a smooth transition if we ever face a situation where we lose a centre half unexpectedly or to a big transfer offer.
Rangers are acting and behaving like the big club we are. We can’t control what anyone else does but I am glad we have a club behaving in such a way.
Rangers are heading towards our 150th anniversary in style and there is a lot to be grateful for with the overall management of our club. I spoke on Monday about the debt of gratitude we owe to many for the turnaround we have enjoyed but the ultimate prize is to win that title and return the club to where we belong.
Rangers has always been Scotland’s premier football club and we are an institution that has been silent for too long.
A lot of people are not going to like what happens in the coming months but they better get used to it.
It’s coming home and this is our time