Selectarianism, Scottish cup and Signal Iduna

The silence of this last week, since footage of a Rangers fan being racially abused and the horrible hate crime on the old Rangers store in St Enoch square, should not have surprised anyone.

Make no mistake at all, if this had been ‘Anti-Catholic’ or ‘Anti-Itish’ abuse then you would have heard about it from the media to the parliament. Quite rightly also because there is no room for any of this in modern day society but when one group only shout about one section of this abuse, then one side of the problem think it’s a free for all.

It’s only a few months since an innocent advert celebrating a new Rangers top triggered so many in positions of apparent ‘spotlight’. Not to mention the fiasco of the fake tik-tok which people even now refuse to apologise for but were hell bent on creating a Police investigation.

Where is the outrage now someone has clearly been racially abused? Is it not relevant because he was holding a Union Jack flag? These are the same crusaders who were publicly outraged by graffiti underneath the motorway but are silent now in practically the same circumstances.

No, sadly, it isn’t surprising and as tiring as this continued fight is, it shouldn’t be unnoticed or not highlighted. If any of you think a video of a Rangers fan shouting racial or sectarian slurs wouldn’t be highlighted then the above would confirm it most certainly would.

All of this type of behaviour is an absolute nonsense and shouldn’t be in our society, but when we do encounter it then the reaction shouldn’t be different depending on the colours the victims wear.

That’s a sad inditement of this country currently. Not only that it happens. but that others are only triggered when it suits their agenda.

Call it all out.

Rangers have bounced back well these last three games with ten goals scored and zero conceded. A lot of positives in that run and a welcomed response to a poor start to 2022.

I was strong in my condemnation for the manager and the players in the aftermath of that Old Firm performance. It’s never easy to be so critical and the inevitable backlash from some is understandable, even if at times unpleasant. That’s the life of this blog, sometimes that criticism is draining but I’ll never stop trying to be honest as to how I see it.

The criticism of the club was fair and although arguably harsh, at the time it wasn’t. I’m obviously enthusiastic with the response and overcoming two potentially difficult league games against the capital sides. However it is games like Sunday and trips to Tannadice that will really settle any questions surrounding this team.

The manager has to get it right and the players attitudes have to also be on point. If they are and they respond similarly then I believe we are still in a really strong position, sadly not as strong as it should be.

That attitude has been good the last three games and at Annan they were on point. Eleven changes and the players went about things expertly and showed the right performance. The Scottish cup and the league are an absolute priority so every game must be treated as such.

I am enthusiastic with what I have seen in that response. Players returning to fitness with the likes of Helander, Davis and Jack is key to everything. The return to form or better form from Lundstram, Tavernier and Goldson also a welcomed plus. Suddenly we have the makings of a decent team capable of a run of form. Chuck in Aaron Ramsey and an Alfredo Morelos on a mission to be ‘Roy of the Rangers’ then we have the makings of something decent.

I’ve heard it suggested that perhaps this team were in cruise control and this may shake them into action, well if that is the case then more questions regarding the team are relevant but not essential to now. If it sparks players form and we get the response then we will finish strong because the players are good enough.

We have to prove it however. We have to keep answering the criticism.

Dortmund on Thursday is a free hit, relatively speaking not much is expected against a top European side. I’m looking forward to seeing how we will be set up and organised however. It’s a chance possibly to see how a Jack and Lundstram partnership develops further for example.

Also a chance to see how the players react in this environment and to see if we have learned from before in terms of organisation etc.

So as much as we maybe don’t expect much I am still certainly looking for a performance and if that comes then we will do well over the tie which is all I am looking for. It’s brilliant to have a glamour tie to look forward too and it should give the club additional revenue also.

It’s a welcome diversion from domestic duty but could work as more confidence for the squad if we do well overall.

Time to put the disappointment from the winter restart behind us and continue the form of the last three games into the rest of the season. Even if I had cause to be critical, it’ll never stop the love I have for this club or the real want that this club does well and it’s all to play for now.

This team haven’t been angry in a while, they haven’t peaked as a group yet and there is signs in Alfredo, for example, that they may have kicked in just in time.

Dortmund is a challenge but every game is at Rangers and only maximum effort will do, if we give that when we will be just fine.

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