The Increasingly Bad Attitude at Ibrox

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As season 2012/2013 has worn on,
Rangers supporters have become increasingly disillusioned with life on the
park. There is now no doubt whatsoever that, as this blog predicted last year,
attendances are genuinely suffering, just as they did in the 80’s. In the past
3 or 4 matches, the spaces in the stands have increased significantly and while
factors such as the weather, TV coverage and kick-off times have certainly
contributed to some poorer crowds, the fact that 3pm Saturday matches, which
are not aired on any network, have also seen dips in the attendances shows that
supporters, by and large, have become utterly frustrated with the product on
the pitch and are currently staying away from Ibrox in increasing numbers.
The reasons cited include the
dire football on display in Govan, the appalling tactics, debatable management
from Ally McCoist, and players who quite simply show zero effort on the pitch.
Looking back on Saturday’s
atrocious draw with Stirling Albion, yours truly was delighted to see such a young
lineup start the match. After preaching endlessly about how Rangers’ SPL
signings were struggling with this level of football, it was felt that a young,
fresh team saturated with youth players like Barrie McKay, Kyle Hutton, Fraser
Aird, Kane Hemmings and Robbie Crawford would be a breath of fresh air. The one
thing this team would not lack would be effort – even if the tactics, whatever
they were, did not look great, the effort and desire would over ride this.
After all, young players have everything to prove.
Saturday proved me completely
wrong.
Yes, it was the first time this
team had played together but the complete lack of spark and industry on show
was alarming. The stale, turgid football of previous weeks continued in
abundance and it was clear the attitude of the bright young things was
absolutely no better than those who should know
better.
McCoist is certainly not
blameless here; why on earth a Rangers manager, no matter what position or
league he is in, would ever opt for
a single striker up front at home against the fourth bottom side is completely
unknown. This 4-5-1 formation was inexcusable. Super could try and point to the
absence of Shiels, Sandaza and Little as reason why but with a perfectly decent
striker on the bench in Kal Naismith there was absolutely no gamble in playing
him alongside the Englishman up top. This league is nigh-on won so quite why
McCoist chose a defensive team against such meagre opposition (with all due
respect to Albion) defies logic.
Many supporters used this tactic
and performance as the final nail in McCoist’s coffin, and while yours truly
still does not blame Ally for the club’s overall current state, he certainly
has to take his portion of the blame. Especially if he runs scared from such a
feeble team, who, by the way, completely outplayed Rangers and deserved to win
the game.
That said, with youth players who
prefer going to Nando’s and lazing about at home to working hard on their
fitness and improving technique it is no wonder the Union Bears slated them
with a banner: ‘Less Tweeting, More Training’. I do not wholly agree with the
UB at the best of times but they are bang on there.
The attitude at Ibrox absolutely
stinks right now, with players as a whole who have a flagrant disregard for the
club they play for.
McCoist also failed to help the
situation with his recent comments about the squad:
            “I told you at the start of the season
that we needed players, I’m not going to change my tune on that. We had seven
or eight players out. I’ll probably go down in history as the only Rangers
manager who has struggled to fill a bench. That’s where the club is at the
moment.”
McCoist is not wrong here, but he
followed it up with one of the most demoralising comments he has ever made as
manager of the club:
           
            “We spent Friday morning looking at our
youth players – not because they deserved an opportunity, but because we needed
to fill a jersey.”
The above has to go down as one
of the most ill-advised and poorly-conceived comments McCoist has made in his
time as manager. In private, yes, that might well be the case, but to publicly
state that none of the players he brought in really deserved to be picked
showed an amazing lack of awareness. McCoist is right to have a ‘moan’ about
the situation because it is unfair and it is dire, but making comments like
this will help absolutely no one. How would the likes of Crawford and McKay
feel reading this, knowing they were starting this match out of their manager’s
desperation and not because they had earned it?
It really is not bright at Ibrox
right now; a manager increasingly struggling with the responsibility of bossing
the club, and players who simply are not interested (justified or not).
Whether wholesale changes are
needed or will happen is another question; the transfer ban still hamstrings
any attempts to bring in new players bar Bosmans, so really the only change
that can be made is switching the manager. With the increasing fervour for this
to happen among the fans it would probably be a welcome change.
I just am not sure if it would
fix much.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I think you'll find that Ally was referring to young Andy Murdoch as opposed to Crawford or McKay.

    He did say afterall "I’ll probably go down in history as the only Rangers manager who has struggled to fill a bench ….We spent Friday morning looking at our youth players – not because they deserved an opportunity, but because we needed to fill a jersey."

    Unlike Crawford, McKay and the rest of our young first team squad players who started the game, Murdoch is an 18yr old member of our youth squad.

    It's maybe still harsh on the lad to be spoken about in such a manner, but funnily enough it's not the first time a Rangers manager has done so, as Walter said exactly the same thing when he was faced with exactly the same dilemna for a game a couple of years back.

  2. Strong and accurate article. These points were raised earlier in the season but those who raised through genuine concern were shouted down. To progress, one must be able to self assess. Now is the time for Ally to do so.
    Some of us are old enough to remember the last time we were managed by a Ger's great, and our subsequent shared pain with him in his moment of failure. It took a number of years to recover. Ally has a season at best to sort it out.

  3. If ever the Gers needed a Jock Wallace type manager its now .A manager who can inspire the kids to stand up and be counted , as Derek Johnstone did as a 16 year old . Also a manager who will make them the fitest and strongest team in Scotland , who will fight for the jersey in every match . I'd love for Ally to be the man to do this and i very much hope he can , so far its not looking good .

  4. Good article, but far too weak in its criticism of Ally McCoist. However you look at it , he is to blame! The signings, the training, the selections, the tactics(or lack of them),the substitutions, the players attitude, Ally's apparent touchline indifference, his condescending and insulting press statements, the same old excuses and the 2nd highest wage bill in Scotland!
    Great striker, legend and leader thru the past year, but not a fotball manager! Has lost the support of half the fans, and should go before he is sacked!

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