Finally, a Final. The Importance of the Cup for Rangers

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The Scottish League Challenge Cup Final sponsored by Ramsden’s:
Raith Rovers V Rangers; April 6th 2014.
Host Venue TBC.
It’s a trophy and we’ll take it.
When administration engulfed
Ibrox in the spring of 2012, the Govan side not only lost 90% of its best
players but came perilously close to annihilation as well. Therefore while The
Ramsden’s Cup is not quite the Champions League, the absolutely critical
importance of Rangers making their first domestic cup final since Whyte’s
malevolent actions cannot be understated.
This is a club, lest we forget,
which was a whisker away from complete oblivion. So when we look at the
headline of this blog, highlighting that Rangers will play for cup silverware
next April, while it is not the most coveted trophy in club football, The
Ramsden’s Cup will nevertheless be treated by Rangers and our fans like a world
cup final.
Looking back to 2012/2013’s
incarnation of the competition and I hasten to add that last season’s Ibrox
adventure in the tournament came to an abrupt end at the hands of Queen of the
South in the quarter finals. A terrible performance at home led to the visitors
winning through to the semi finals by way of a penalty shoot out, helped in no
small part by future Rangers striker Nicky Clark.
While last night’s display at Ochilview Park on its plastic surface was hardly
vintage Rangers, a steely determination following dogged effort saw its reward
when in-form Jon Daly crisply banged in a header on 74 minutes. It had been a
gritty, patchy, messy night where high-quality play was conspicuously absent,
and Stenhousemuir had done themselves proud with a resilient showing, but the
visitors, with strikers like Daly and Clark, would always have too much in
their lockers.
Not quite the 8-0 drubbing of last time and they provided a sterner test.
Consequently a poor display last
night still saw Rangers win, while the same kind of sub-par performance last
season saw the Light Blues crash out.

Now Rangers fans have a cup final
to look forward to against Championship side Raith Rovers, who are in a very
strong second position in that league. They will be far from pushovers but, of
course, a lot can happen in 5 months. Rangers will be the underdogs, which is
surreal to say up against a side of Rovers’ standing, but it is the way of the
world right now until the Govan men return to their rightful position, fighting
with Celtic at the top of Scottish football.
It must not be forgotten also
that the club has a third round Scottish Cup clash with League One strugglers
Airdrie United on Friday night, and victory in this one would clearly help keep
going the excellent cup momentum Rangers have cultivated, League Cup collapse
aside.
Domestic cups do not have the
allure they maybe once did, particularly for the big teams, but for sides in
lower divisions a run in a cup and the glittering prize of a trophy held aloft
by their captain is worth its weight in gold.

1 COMMENT

  1. Ok so we got knocked out of the League Cup at the first hurdle – but that was the first game of the season and with the new player we were yet to sign we were not putting out the 1st team that had been training with – so lets be honest it was to be expected – nice that it wouldve been to have had a run in all 3 Cups – it wasnt to be this season – However; weve grown we have won every game since then and if we continue in this fashion we will create all sorts of records this season – who knows we may even get a decent Scottish Cup run too – although I dont expect us to win it but you never know…. 15 months ago we couldnt dream of this start to a season, long may it last – until we are back at the top and looking down.
    Also – personally I look at this as a Rangers tour of Scotland – we are giving more to Scottish football this way than we ever would have if we stayed in the top league – the teams in the lower levels are getting so much (not just money) from Rangers and their travelling support – League attendance at lower levels is up all round – their is a renewed lease of life in the lower leagues – What has been a humbling but necessary journey for Gers has been without a doubt a blessing to Scottish football. The top tier is suffering but that will change in 2 seasons – and in 3 when we hear the Champions league theme at Ibrox again – we'll know its been a worthwhile journey

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