The fine lines of football slapped Rangers right in the face in a twist that most feared was coming. A Saturday, which could easily have been three or four, ended with the cruelest of equalisers for our opponents. It was a sore one and one which was hugely avoidable.
It’s a tough one and the immediate reaction is always one of frustration and naturally from that everyone is in the firing line. McGregor too old and should be dropped, Tavernier isn’t playing as well and played a part in costing the goal, Bacuna is hopeless and Morelos isn’t interested. It’s a free for all on everyone and Rangers is a tough place to ply your trade when you don’t win.
That’s life at Rangers but in reality we need to take everything in context for what it is. The reason we didn’t win on Saturday was because of extremely poor finishing and a GK error uncharacteristic for the afternoon he was having.
Allan McGregor produced some top saves to keep Rangers on level terms from Boyce and McKay noticeably, his last minute mistake cost us and the goal is completely on him. However shouts he is suddenly too old or ‘past it’ is reactionary to that one moment and not the performance overall.
The fact is and this is absolutely a truth, we should have been miles ahead by that point. Alfredo Morelos had a really poor afternoon and this is not an attempt to lump it all on him but the reality is he wasted four clear opportunities, the last of which was so easy that the miss left Kemar Roofe holding his head in his hands.
The problem Alfredo has then is he will be scrutinised and when he isn’t scoring then his whole appearance, attitude and application will be questioned. Alfredo of 2019 is gone and he isn’t returning, that turn of pace and slight build won’t return. He is bulkier, that sharpness isn’t arguably there and he does play a different role in this team. He undoubtedly should have notched his 100th Rangers goal and undoubtedly should have had his 101st also, but it has happened and it is gone.
The manager is right and as he said, Alfredo isn’t on it but that comes down to him to sort it. No one is above sentimental selection and I can’t help but feel a few of them are in there on previous performance only. This isn’t an article to tear anyone down however, but in my opinion there are some that now need their opportunity for those that could do with a freshener on the bench.
When you have someone of the quality and brightness of Nathan Patterson on the bench, there comes a point when you use him, that point for me was here at Hibs and should have continued. Perhaps some of Alfredo’s issues are there isn’t that natural replacement for him but maybe we go with Roofe whilst he takes that time away from things.
Last season will have taken it’s toll on some of them and we need to be mindful of that. The mental and physical exertions of title 55 is a huge factor and you can see that. That’s where the freshness side of things may just help. Morelos, Tavernier, Davis or whoever it is you or we may think aren’t suddenly performing, are not now suddenly past it or poor players.
If the John Lundstram scenario isn’t mindful for everyone then we need it to be again, the players need our support and we need to be aware of that.
But the point of it all is when you look at it with perspective and with a level head, Saturday was a three or four goal game of which the ‘blame’ and problems are because we didn’t convert our chances. Some players are struggling for form and some are perhaps even ‘treading water’ with their performances but the reality is a lot simpler.
I’m not sitting thinking everything is rosey nor is everything ok, I am aware there is issues and I am aware that there are team selection questions for one and performance for other, I’m merely saying that perhaps the time to keep with it is now as frustrating as that might be.
Look it’s natural and when we don’t win the tendency is everyone should get criticised, the reality is always a bit different. We need to take a breath and try to remain level headed, the players also need to learn the lessons of Saturday and start putting the ball in the net would be nice!
If that happens we wouldn’t be discussing this but those are the fine lines at Rangers.
Friday’s manufactured outrage at Rangers strip launch was calculated and quite honestly, absolutely pathetic.
Jeanette Findlay, the self proclaimed ‘IRA songs at Parkhead are songs of independence’, a token BBC employee and the ‘permanently offended by everything Rangers’ Michael Stewart all were calculated in their release of tweets of faux outrage at the strip launch promo.
We all know the truth about four lads had a dream, we have been singing it for years and way before any other song shared it’s tune. We know the context and what happened was those so outraged were made to look extremely foolish.
It is calculated and it is now a concerted campaign to target Rangers. It’s clear and it is a strategy that is blindingly obvious, the problem they have is they are having to invent reasons to be offended and it looks foolish.
That’s all Friday was, a desperation to be offended and they were laughed at widely by everyone.
There are plenty of things NBM could be educating people on but being led by this band of Rangers haters was an extremely silly move.
Rangers were superb and the follow up tweets where they refused to back down was refreshing to a support which still has nightmares of a leadership that would previously have apologised and crumbled.
The fact we are even in this situation is a horrible reflection on individuals who need Rangers to try and create a controversy to stay relevant.
Otherwise who are they really? Nobody of note that’s for sure.
There is plenty to fight against, plenty of issues to target and plenty of initiatives to tackle, Rangers aren’t immune to criticism at times. But there’s no criticism of Rangers here.
Rangers weren’t wrong on Friday, the only ones wrong are those fuelling the flames of sectarianism by creating false scenarios, that blame is on them.
On to Thursday, take the performance of Saturday and chance creation then I think we will be on the right lines.
It isn’t perfect, it isn’t outstanding but the margins are thin to where we want to be. Perhaps it’s me and perhaps I will be proven wrong but either way we will find out soon.
This is Rangers and we are built to win, when we don’t questions are asked and criticism comes. Thursday has been described as a must win but the truth as we all know it is every game is a must win. European aspirations will hang on Thursday night and everyone could do with a result to kick us on once more.
Then the games keep coming with a League triple header with trips to St Mirren and Motherwell sandwiching a visit from Aberdeen who will no doubt play like their very lives depend on it. Create the chances we did on Saturday and the goals will come followed then naturally by the results. Seems simple doesn’t it?! There’s no additional pressure because here at Rangers there is always pressure.
The team have shown they can handle it before, time to show it again.
Onwards we go