Since Giovanni Van Bronckhorst took over Rangers I have written several critical blogs and asked questions over his tactics.
In that period I’ve also written on Ross Wilson and on this board room. When you are critical of Rangers it brings a lot of personal attacks and when you get to a European final it allows people to fling it in your face and tell you how clueless you are.
On the flipside there is people who tell you that you simply aren’t critical enough. He won’t criticise and give up his comfy position at the club, an accusation people won’t let go. On my last blog I criticised Alfredo Morelos, his attitude and condition. The very next day the manager dropped him from the squad and said the same. The personal abuse was overwhelming. I was a puppet, a fraud, a club arsekisser. The fact Gio shared my opinion was irrelevant, I must have been told by the club to do it.
When we didn’t spend after Champions League qualification I said this board was negligent because the squad was short of quality, people said I was an entitled brat.
Two atrocious results later and writing something is now unavoidable. I have waited, ‘don’t overreact Steven, don’t blog angry’, there is so much wrong that it needs said and I’m prepared for the backlash of whoever has an opinion on it.
There will be those that will even say it’s not enough, those that want anarchy and aggression towards the club. To them I say this, 4lads is a free fans blog, it’s not a supporters group or supporters trust, I’m not here to demand answers or lead a revolt. If you think I’m not hurting then you don’t know me at all. I will continue to ask the club and lobby for better but I am a small blog which is worth remembering as you set your anger levels.
I said before that both Giovanni Van Bronckhorst and Ross Wilson’s performance left questions that were completely fair and criticism that was unavoidable.
It’s now September and it seems we are back to writing this again.
Two four nil thrashings are never pleasant, it should never happen but every single one of us know from the last ten years alone, that we have no right to achieve anything simply by turning up. The manner of the defeats though are absolutely appalling and this can’t be disputed.
Gio has an away league win record of 46% this calendar year, something I spoke about online. Thirteen games, six wins, five draws and two heavy parkhead defeats. The performances less than impressive, littered with mistakes and a lack of enjoyment. We have conceded nineteen goals in those thirteen games with two clean sheets only. Europe a bit different, two leg affairs but two wins in eight.
The manner of these ‘away’ performances getting steadily worse. This season in Belgium against USG we were lucky it was two nil only. Against Ajax and Celtic we were lucky it wasn’t worse, both quickly three nil up and allowed to soften their tempo.
We look unorganised, we look short of ideas and there is no pattern to our play at all. What’s even worse is the players look like they aren’t trying and have no heart. We aren’t winning tackles, it doesn’t look like they are bursting a gut, half paced jogging a theme and dare I say it, looks to me like some of them have given up.
Van Bronckhorst can’t change it and he certainly doesn’t seem to be solving it either. The same goals conceded and mistakes of February are prominent now.
This will now only go one way for him unless he arrests a horrible start to the season. Personally I’m not sure he can. Unless he installs some passion and confidence into this team and they then have to buy into his ideas which they look like they don’t even understand currently.
But he hasn’t been helped.
Ross Wilson’s recruitment has been abysmal. Not just this summer, but for windows before. Dross like Zukowski, Diallo and Ramsey plauged his January efforts whilst Sakala is his signing of the summer before.
Every single one of us knew the positions to address this season, we needed the midfield strengthened and we had to get a right winger. Instead, we got a winger who played on the left and two attacking number tens on loan and a free. Zero money spent where we needed it. Scott Arfield and Steven Davis being renewed was a sign of what was to come.
Big money was spent on a centre back from Liverpool who so far has barely kicked a ball for us and millions on a left back who looks a project signing for the future.
Now we don’t have millions, we have a small budget but somehow he has managed to waste it all because months in we are still waiting on many of them making an impact. We needed to be ready, we needed to scout players and we needed specific questions answered.
He has failed miserably to recruit what we needed. He was also happy to be front and centre and claimed responsibility for the managers arrival.
If Van Bronckhorst does fail at Rangers he shouldn’t be the only one falling on his sword, Ross Wilson’s record is dismal and he should be following him also.
As for the board and the running of the club? Every single one of us is indebted to Douglas Park and the investors. We know they covered the clubs short fall, especially during covid and we know they have put in million of pounds.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t legitimate concerns.
Rangers football club has taken in million of pounds of transfer income and spent very little in return. That is undeniable fact. Sure we don’t get it all upfront and we have to watch FFP models but surely speaking to the fans isn’t too much to ask, when they don’t it merely creates voids people are willing to fill with the magical whatsapp rumours.
The failure to address so many issues and somehow become completely silent (when was the last time you heard from Stewart Robertson?!) from fan engagement, is almost absurd.
Australia, email debacle, Fan engagement, customer service, ticket office, club website, travel European Partner, Castore, Edmiston House, champions wall, Safe standing, Disabled access, MyGers, the list of complaints goes on and on.
When you don’t address it and communicate then people get even more pissed off. I don’t think any of it is irretrievable but fans want answers and basic customer service, the ‘small things’ then become ‘big things’.
Then you get maximum Champions League charges, nothing in return and before you know it we are exactly where we are now.
A pissed off fan base ready to go for anything. Accusing you of ripping them off and treating them like customers only.
The saddest thing of all, no one can blame the criticism nor defend it either.
The club requires leadership and action, immediately.
There is a balance to everything, everyone is angry. I’ll forever be indebted to those who have put their own money in and guided the club, but criticism and questioning is completely fair.
What they can’t afford to do is sleepwalk any further during these next few weeks and months.
Big questions are coming with a fan base that is already angry. The manager, the Director of football, off the field issues. It’s all coming to a head and this boardroom better be ready, this boardroom needs to do better.
There is so many questions and very little answers.
Action will speak louder than words and it can’t be anything like it is lately.
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