Some Reasons For Ibrox to Smile

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What a difference 90 minutes
make! Yesterday I tweeted that “70% of our problems would be forgotten if
we managed a good display and result” and the mood on Twitter following
the comprehensive dismantling of Brechin
City at Ibrox is a
testament to the fickle mind of the supporter (yours truly completely
included).
In the build up to kick-off, BT
Sports’ coverage momentarily focused on the negative/defiant banners inviting
the current board to relieve themselves of the power they possess while
programme host Darrell Currie interviewed beleaguered club captain Lee
McCulloch who looked like he would rather be anywhere but on TV.
However, from the moment club
Legend Sandy Jardine appeared in the Ibrox tunnel speaking to BT’s Emma Dodds
about his recovery and his honour at unfurling the championship flag for last
season (2012/2013), morale rose. In the stands the chanting began, the songs
belted out with gusto as Jardine then appeared on the pitch to carry out his
duty – it is fair to say a collective sense of pride at this recovering warrior
unfurling the flag for this recovering club swelled up and was a momentous
moment which, for now at least, spelled an end to an absolutely horrible week.
And the football! Oh what quality
the team collectively produced out there. Yes, Brechin City
are not Bayern Munich but last season they may as well have been after Rangers
struggled to win against them in front of the famous hedge. Today was a
completely different story.
From the first minute, this
evolving side (fielding just 2 of the new signings via the absurd and
preposterous ‘trialists’ rule) simply went for Brechin’s jugular and it took
less than two minutes for the Govan men to take the lead, after good work on
the left led to a deflected cross which Chris Hegarty gleefully tapped into an
empty net. It only got better after this, and at this point no article about
Rangers’ current play would be complete without mentioning the immaculate Nicky
Law.
The ‘Lawman’, as he is starting
to be dubbed, is dominating the middle and entirely running the show in the
centre of the park. Not only is the Englishman completely comfortable as a CM,
as he said himself a while ago to me he works hard and attacks too. And we saw
that today with his wonderful goal, a powerful drive from around 18 yards. Even
the terrific Lewis MacLeod is being slightly overshadowed in the centre by the
former Motherwell star, and the young Scot had a quieter match for Ally
McCoist’s men.
That said another player who had
a fantastic match in the middle was often-berated Ian Black. ‘Blackie’ has been
a scapegoat for a long time, with some quite horrendous displays and abysmal
temperament. The criticism was justified, but somehow Law’s hard-working graft
and flair in the middle freed Black to play his own game the way he wanted to
play it and the former Hearts defensive midfielder simply excelled. I have been
harshly critical of him in the past, and have no qualms praising him either –
he was superb today. Not only did he play with composure, presence of mind, and
even some creativity, but he did not allow himself to be provoked by some hefty
‘challenges’ from Brechin players. He deserved his goal, even if his actual
penalty was woeful!
Other standouts included:
Lee Wallace, who looked every inch the best left-back Scotland
has. He marrauded up the left wing and Brechin’s rearguard could not handle him
– he was also solid enough at the back in a defensive capacity.
Sebastien Faure, who continues his fine run in defence. He did not
fully feature last season and was mooted for a move away but given how assured
he has been in the central defensive area, he could well thrive with new
signing Bilel Mohsni. His tackling and positional sense today were impeccable.
The rest of the team performed
admirably enough – Cribari did not really have a lot to do and was
unfortunately injured, Little had a decent enough match and did well to put the
Forfar fallout behind him, Daly had poor finishing but a decent solidity at the
front, MacLeod did not quite have the level of impact he is capable of,
although he did decently enough, and one hopes he can recapture his best, and
Gallacher, despite the goal, was robust enough if not exactly inspirational.
The one real disappointment,
despite his goal, was Hegarty. Chris is no right back at all, and struggles to
make a cross. He can get forward ok but he cannot do anything with it. I am
unsure what his best position is.
Predictably the second half did
tail off a bit following a rip-roaring first 45, but the overall score and result
was just, and a nice antidote to the negativity the club, its supporters and
the players have been feeling recently.
The attendance of around 45,000
also showed “no matter the days of
anxiety that come our way, we shall emerge stronger because of the trials to be
overcome
.”
If this is how the team responds
to adversity, watch out.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Once the full squads available and the strikers start clicking, by christ is someone in for a hiding…..and it might even be a side higher than our division. Law is everything we lacked last season and despite over shadowing Lewis, Law could be the making of the lad. Its no bad thing the focus is off Lewis. Nice to see Deano back, smashing goal!
    WATP

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