I’m Currently watching ‘League of their own’ on Sky catch up in my down time, when one of the questions from round one is ‘Which sports star walked out of their press conference earliest?’. Choices range from Cristiano Ronaldo, Tyson Fury and Jon McEnroe. From the confines of my living room the Mrs pops up with ‘That’ll be Stevie G if you don’t sharpen up’!
It was nice to attend the press conference last Friday and get the chance to speak with the manager and Leon Balogun. Inexplicably I messed up delivery of my question and basically repeated a question to the manager about Juninho Bacuna’s arrival, much to his obvious, and quite rightly, frustration. That’s completely my fault and a learning curve for me to practice my delivery but his answer insightful, even if unnecessary to repeat part of his previous explanation.
We would learn he is skilful, loves a shot and likes to dictate the ball, a player we will all love according to the manager. Michael Beale would tell us he has a very similar in style to Glen Kamara and having missed Glen so much, with no one near what he brings to the team, it is no surprise we have tried to replicate his style incase Glen is unavailable for any reason or indeed to add that style on the right hand side of the midfield.
Kamara was back on Sunday as Rangers showed glimpses of that return to attacking potency. He was integral to Rangers play as he dictated and set the tempo. It is no surprise that we were more direct and varied in our attack with Rangers answering the manager’s call to find solutions to different problems on the pitch.
What Kamara did, and does, so well is the simple things. The short quick passes, the passes in to the feet of Alfredo, who in dropping deep pulls everyone out of position, and the more direct passes which get Rangers on the front foot. He has the skill to get out of tight spaces and the brain to know when to do it.
He was key to how much better we looked on Sunday and we should have easily scored more goals. James Tavernier and Alfredo Morelos were in on goal to miss but the move before hand was every bit the football we have been missing. Rangers were slick, pacey and direct with lots of movement, almost shades of that which made us champions.
Defensively we were a bit ‘ropey’ at times and the frustration of the manager changing centre backs becomes more evident when those changes result in slack play. In defence of those decisions however he is entitled to point to last season when that rotation became seamless and kept Rangers watertight.
So that is the concern and major point but as we begin to get back up to speed elsewhere, I have no doubts in my mind that other parts of the team will make that jump and we will be looking back to our best in no time, the good news is that there is definite ‘shoots of recovery’ both in individual and collective team performance.
As players return, suspensions pass and things begin to settle down, I am hopeful that we will begin to hit our stride once again.
We aren’t Champions by fluke or chance, this team haven’t suddenly become bad and even if I am repeating slightly (in a good way for a change) I am confident that this team will click and kick on.
Respect the challenge and welcome the chase, but certainly don’t fear it, We are Rangers.
Yesterday’s behaviour in the ‘supporters bus’ is indefensible and has been, rightly, roundly condemned by everyone in the Rangers family.
I’m not here to morally lecture anyone but it seems as simple as ‘Just don’t do it’ and there is no excuses, ifs or buts. It’s not welcomed, it’s not clever and when you are travelling to watch the team or at a football match, your actions represent our football club.
As a club we shouldn’t have to keep telling people that this behaviour isn’t welcome, we can’t do much more and the club will quite rightly take swift action. That’s the correct thing to do.
Once again these actions have allowed people to get on their soap boxes and paint Rangers as the worst of the worst. Giving them stupid ammunition like this does the club absolutely no favours.
It’s disgusting and if you choose to represent Rangers like that then you simply aren’t welcome. Think about it and think about the damage you are doing to the club and fan base.
We all have a responsibility when supporting this club, think about it.
Finally a word of sincere condolences to the family and friends of Zoe Smith who tragically passed away, aged just 36, suddenly over the weekend. The Rangers family have lost a lovely character who was always smiling and loving everything to do with our club.
I met her again just last month in Oswalds for Alan Carmichael’s charity night and she was wonderfully positive about our club. She spoke glowingly about the joy of our 55th title and was generously kind of her enjoyment of this platforms charity evening.
We have lost someone who loved our club dearly and was always smiling. Another cruel lesson in life and reminder that life is short.
Zoe would want everyone to get behind the club and be positive about her Rangers as we head into a huge week.
She would have been there cheering them on every step of the way, a lovely Ranger who will be sadly missed.
For you Zoe