Note: This article appeared first on The 4th Official Patreon on Sunday morning.
God put a smile upon your face should have been an appropriate song for our club as we began the season full of hope. Instead, Wake me up When September ends is maybe an apt song choice right now.
Looking for Divine intervention so early in a season to Save us isn’t the start I for one had envisaged. Our expectations as a support sadly not living up to the reality being served. Quite simply the football had been fit for a pauper rather than a King.
The last 14 days have seen cataclysmic events both on the field of play as well as off it as the Glorious sunshine of Seville just 4 short months ago is consigned to the history books.
Rangers are one of the only clubs in Europe where just a matter of weeks after a European final and a victorious Domestic Cup triumph would see a manager brandishing silverware, under the cosh before we have seen Conkers fall from trees.
GVB built up a healthy credit in the bank despite a domestic campaign that saw a 6 point lead overturned without so much as a whimper. His European feat is one only matched by 3 other Rangers managers in our 150 year history. The abdication of our Championship title was only softened by the carriage that carried us to Seville and the cup performances. Surely the foundations of our previous exploits would be firmly solidified as we sought to claim back our rightful Crown?
Champions League football is the Holy Grail our fans and boardroom desire. The vast riches of Europe’s elite club competition are the Jewel of UEFA’s Crown. The stage we graced as a founder member in 1992 is no longer the open audition it once was back when it was represented by the Champions of 8 countries. Instead, the corporate greed of TV money has ensured UEFA have padlocked the gates that should hold 32 of champions from UEFA’s 55 nations.
Now it’s been transformed into a European super league in all but name. 5 nations out of 55 holding an absurd 19 places. Leaving the others to scrap for the remaining slots at the banquet of cash we all want to be served up equally.
GVB against all the odds delivered in Europe. Eliminating a talented PSV side after almost succumbing to Belgians Union St Giloise. PSV, who in turn, defeated Monaco. The PSV result is up there amongst the finest in our recent history. However, warning signs were there with sloppy defending costing us goals that have now become an issue for a side that only 12 months ago ended a domestic campaign with a defensive record we may never see beaten.
Yesterday ended a run of 3 straight defeats with 11 Conceded and nil scored. That’s simply unacceptable for any Rangers side. Yes, 2 of those mailings were Champions league, however, 2 of them also came as a result of zero desire or passion. The bare minimum at Rangers is you leave everything on the pitch. Some simply never brought it, to begin with.
Yesterday’s 2-1 win papered over the cracks of a club that is fundamentally disoriented and dishevelled at every level. A Dundee United team leaking goals for fun being made to look like Barcelona when they play us. The same team that shipped 9 at home to our Rivals. It’s simply not acceptable… The longer this continues, the likelihood is someone will have to take the responsibility. The Manager, Board, Players and support are not in sync. The inevitable outcome will come to be with every performance that resembles a Court Jester rather than Majestic.
Napoli was a stark improvement. For 55 minutes we saw the attitude & resolve of the Rangers we know. The Red card changed the game, however, I won’t throw James Sands to the Tower as he has done admirably covering a position he isn’t natural in. Another recruitment failing. As we have signed two Centre halves who can’t seem to remain fit.
GVB is running out of time to turn this around. The bank is now empty, the fans don’t do overdrafts of goodwill when it comes to our club. Something simply has to change soon.
We once laughed as Lennon and Co fell asleep at the wheel as 55 was sewn up. The truth is they regrouped, recruited wisely and fought back. The stark reality is we fell asleep at the wheel and ended up in a crash all of our own making. We had all the pillars in place to dominate for years to come. Simply, we blew it. It’s not unstaunch to point out that our board got it badly wrong.
Right now, I can’t see Celtic dropping many points all season (reminder that this piece was written before St Mirren Vs Celtic lol). The standard of SPFL is as low a bar as its ever been. As much as we laughed when their manager was appointed, his style does its job. Relentlessly attack then dead on their feet. For the SPFL, it’s worked for them as they are out of sight by the hour. We are slow, turgid and quite frankly not good enough at this moment in time.
From Covid and season tickets on RTV, Castore ranges coming out for the sake of it, 4 strips, scandalous priced Champions league tickets, My gers, a Europa league final run. Our fans stood up and stumped up once again. A European run coupled with CL football, over 45 million banked in sales of 3 key players and Gerrard Compo. We’ve banked more cash than the Royal Mint this past 12 months yet we have been short changed woefully.
And for what? A summer recruitment that not one signing could make the starting 11 against Napoli. That’s a damning indication of where we are as a club. An institution that’s underperformed on every level.
This past week our Club and Support felt the Loss of our Head of State, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I will only comment on what we can control.
Our support have acted with class, dignity and humility. The Union Bears with a display against Napoli that had praise from all corners of the UK. The National anthem was superb altogether and made me proud of every single person in that stadium and beyond.
We are the Quintessential British Club. It’s part of our heritage, history and future. That’s our right as a support. It’s also the right of others to have their own identity whatever that may be. Respect is a 2-way street. We are rightfully proud of our history and whilst our values are ignored or attacked, you cannot complain when we disengage from those who insult the values we hold strong.
Every support has its undesirable element. Ours is no different and I don’t claim otherwise. We can only hope that one day we can debate what happens on the field rather than those in the stands or battling via a keyboard.
This past week our support has once again been outstanding as they paid tribute to arguably the greatest monarch our country has ever seen.
My final words are from the Man who was as close as Royalty as our club has ever known.
“To be a Ranger is to sense the sacred trust of upholding all that such a name means in this shrine of football. They must be true in their conception of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them. No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him.”
We have more than done that this week as a support. Time for our Club to match us.
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