But there is still so much more to achieve.
2021 will always be remembered as the year that the league trophy returned to Rangers, presented poetically ten years to the day we last won it. We had all been through so much, we had all waited for so long, it arrived and we all enjoyed it how we could in these times of draconian Government measures.
55 was massive. This club needed it, this club required it and this club had been in the wilderness for too long. Rangers are the biggest institution this country has and will ever see but it’s built on winning. That’s why all of the above is true.
It’s also the reason why 56 and the next championship remains bigger than the last. 55 is gone, confined to history and those that secured it will have a legacy intact forever.
To the management team that have left; I thank you for all your efforts. We needed someone to drag us to the next level, that was Gerrard and his team. There is zero criticism that they choose to move on because sometimes things reach their peak, those that read this consistently will know I have been forever thankful of their effort and of the belief they took the right decision.
That decision has led us to the next chapter and that is the arrival of the Giovanni Van Bronckhorst era.
This is an era that has shown a lot of early promise with a flawless December for the first time in over a decade.
I firmly believe that Rangers needed the next bridge to where we need to be.
Gerrard had done his bit but his message was no longer getting through as consistently as we would have liked, on the pitch has shown us that.
Now we have a new voice. A new leader. New ideas and what’s clear is, despite a very low amount of time on the training pitch, the players are all buying into it.
Rangers have been ruthless and efficient, it’s the perfect response to an era which ended so disappointingly at Hampden in November.
The players look revitalised, they look happy and comfortable in the changes Van Bronckhorst has made and they look recharged. Need proof of that? Just look at Alfredo Morelos. Enough said.
It’s exciting because if he can do this in Eight weeks then what can he do with more time and his own players.
But this is where and why I say there is so much more to achieve.
The league title has returned and it is the minimum standard of this club. Simply put, because we have waited so long we have been prepared to put the cup disappointments to one side and accept them as ‘collateral damage’ in our fight to be champions.
That now becomes not only a priority but a necessity as Rangers must return to dominating Scottish football completely.
Yes there will be years when we don’t win, when others Champion over us. As famously told, we must tolerate this with sanity. However the success rate in cups must improve and visits to finals and title chases Must become the absolute minimum.
The bridge has been closed, the gap is no longer but that is the challenge of Giovanni Van Bronckhorst. This club must take that next stage.
The league is the absolute necessity however and we remain in a strong position to achieve that priority. There is still work to do and we must keep winning.
There is absolutely no doubts certain clubs have used this situation to manipulate the recent covid scenario to suit themselves and they have done so successfully, avoiding a rampant Rangers side.
We must use this break to continue to flourish under the new management, continue to hear his message and continue to grow as a team. We have a domestic double to achieve and we must be solely focused on that. Of course we will have to slap Dortmund about also, but we’ll worry about that when it comes along.
But whilst 2021 remains fondly in our thoughts, for me it is only the first step, it is a benchmark to moving on to a level we should be at.
On and off the park we must continue to make strides and continue to set ourselves the targets that we know. We can improve off the park, promises from the board on customer service must be held to account for example. We must always be vigilant but we can be safe in the knowledge we are led by supporters doing their very best for the club.
This is Rangers. Champions of Scotland but only at 60% of its actual capacity, we have so many levels to climb and scale.
This is what 2022 must bring us. Continued growth, continued success and continued ambition.
To those that run be warned.
Look at that league table. Rangers reign supreme and yet we haven’t really even started yet.
Champions of Scotland, We welcome the chase.
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