Are Rangers Good Enough?

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The significance of yesterday’s
William Hill Scottish Cup Quarter Final at Ibrox against Albion Rovers cannot
be overstated.
It was Rangers’ furthest foray in
a major domestic cup competition since the club was placed in administration in
February 2012, it was manager Ally McCoist’s most impressive run in a major
domestic cup since becoming boss, and it was a chance for Rangers to make a
statement.
A statement, that this club is
recovering – that the Ibrox club has taken its overzealous beating like a man and is
on its way back, brick by brick, to the summit of Scottish football.
With motivation like that, the
players would come out all-guns blazing, producing a high-octane energy-driven
display with purpose, power, and pace. It might not be the display of the year,
but it would have the right attitude, of a team desperate to make the
semifinals of the country’s most prestigious knockout competition.
Only…they did not. Cue the
worst performance this season, with absolutely zero energy, vigour, quality,
and the harsh reality of a few home truths about where this club is at right
now, off-field woes set aside for the time being.
Where do I begin?
First off, McCoist’s inexcusable
inability, no matter what he said pre-match, to get his players up for this
match. His failure to instil the determination in them to fire full throttle at
Rovers was absolutely remarkable, and a major cause in the team’s failure to
justify their colours.
Secondly, his best friend Lee
McCulloch. Jig’s place in this side is becoming an increasing embarrassment. I
blogged about his undeserving of a Hall of Fame nomination; now it is plain to
see he does not deserve to play for Rangers any more, full stop. It is, to be
fair to Jig, McCoist’s stubborn loyalty to him which sees him play every match,
but to everyone else it is a painful eyesore to see a washed-up striker who
cannot defend sitting in the 18 yard box doing basically nothing except
appealing every decision.
And in brutal honesty, where he
was once majestic and powerful aerially, he is now abject. He has no skill in
the air any more, and his headed assist for Rovers’ goal summed his ability up.
Again, I am not here castigating Lee McCulloch the man – but no sane Rangers
fan can truly believe his place in the team, especially in the critical back
line is anything other than a total liability and if he plays against an SPL
team should the side negotiate the Rovers replay, and our midfield and attack
cannot protect that rearguard? Humiliation. Absolute humiliation.
Then there is Nicky Law. A
seasoned SPL professional with Motherwell, he excelled during the ‘trialist’
period at the start of the season; yet since then, has been, to be blunt; a
complete and absolute flop sparing the odd decent performance here and there.
He just has not done it at this club. Anonymous in about 80% of Rangers’
matches, whether it is his requiring a break or something else – Law has been a
failure.
Now we turn our attention to
Bilel Mohsni. Increasingly beleaguered, the ‘McCulloch effect’ looks to finally
be taking its toll and he has been incredibly lackadaisical the past few
months. He has been pretty good in the air, truth be told, with some very
important clearing headers to clean up what McCulloch cannot do, but overall
having to basically play as Rangers’ only central defender has finally got to
him and he looks like he is struggling with concentration levels.
And what of Fraser Aird? Is it
safe yet to finally say he has been an abject disappointment? What, precisely
has the young man done to merit a run in the first team this long which McKay
did not do and merited a loan out?
Aird cannot cross, cannot beat a man, and cannot score. He just does not look a
prospect at all, and this is after a good 15+ 90 minute appearances this
season. No knee-jerk reaction about him.
Then there is Foster. He is not
woeful as a defender, truth be told, with good pace and ability to catch up on
strikers, not to mention decent work clearing his lines, but his work over the
half way line is miserable for a right back, with a total inability to cross
the ball, and I cannot quite fathom why Faure remains on the bench behind him
despite being one of the club’s best performers this season.
Ian Black has also fallen away.
Excellent up till around late November, the midfield enforcer has utterly faded
and does very little productive work now in that area compared with what he
did.
It is not all atrocious though;
Wallace, despite recent poor form remains an excellent LB and huge asset of the
club, Templeton is showing signs of potential improvement with some excellent
displays in January and a few in February, Daly is a reliable striker up front
(Rovers’ match aside) and Shiels has been in electric form of late.
But unfortunately there are
increasingly too few outstanding performers and loss of form by too many. If
the Rangers side who scored a last-minute penalty at East
Fife and struggled horribly yesterday against the SPFL’s
fourth-bottom team shows up in the semi final V Dundee Utd, with McCulloch in
defence…it could be a total massacre.
I hope I am not being unfair
regarding Lee, but I really do have a nagging feeling his place in the team is
causing the rest to struggle, as if the side is playing with one less player.
The McAusland, Faure, Mohsni and Wallace defence is the best Rangers have/had,
but was never give a chance to develop by McCoist who has stubbornly insisted
in playing McCulloch in every single match he is available for.
However, in positive news,
Rangers should wrap up League 1 on Wednesday with victory over Airdrieonians. I
guess, to finish on a lighter note, only Rangers fans could go through a season
with only 3 draws and one defeat and be totally unhappy with the product on the
pitch!

9 COMMENTS

  1. Ally McCoist is not the man to take us through the championship, The only reason he is still with us is the fact he puts bums on seats with the majority of brainwashed supporters who think he is Rangers. We need a forward thinking manager with fresh ideas, yesterday game with Rovers was embarrassing to say the least.

  2. Excellent summary of the team and our performances this season. Ally has managed to make great players good, and good players average. He is not a leader in the mould of Walter Smith, and I doubt if he knows how to get the best out of his players.

    His insistent calls to spend on new players is equally baffling. He says it's any managers job to improve the team…. In the state we are in financially, I don't think it's a clever plan to be honest. If you want to inprove the team, then start by getting the absolute best out of the players we have, like any manager worth his salt would do…..

    Time to go Ally, management is not your forte I'm afraid.

  3. At last people speaking on the same hymn sheet, McCoist go no idea tactically the league were in anybody should walk it , David Moyes would love the break, Billy Davies the man who would invest with coisty as manager,I lost my shares my family bought me and would not invest a penny again at the moment, so bring on King and Billy

  4. Hard to disagree with any of the above.. Look at Motherwell and see how they cope EVERY season losing all ltheir main players. We had a much better goalie and lost him because he wanted another year to his contract, Why is the Honduran on the bench when he will not be at Ibrox next season. Untill yesterday Daly was untouchable and if we look at the top scorers in Scotland there is a man who would play for us for nothing, I thought McKay a great prospect and being a Canadian I still think that Aird can make it but he needs to be taught. None of our coaches were wingers so how can they teach him Why did they get rid of the irishman Mithell ? Why is there no permanent place for Little ?

  5. If I wanted mince, I'd go to a butchers, I for one, will not waste my money on a season ticket, irrespective of who begs for it.

  6. Excellent piece, apart from the bit where you said "Daly is a reliable striker up front (Rovers' match aside) and Shiels has been in electric form of late." Shiels has been non existent the last couple of games, in fact he's hardly had a kick away from the game he score a hattrick, and Daly has had a terrible second half of the season. Yesterday was the first time he had ever been subbed. Long overdue.

    Can't disagree with much else in the post though. Good read as always.

  7. how come dave king hadn't given super a few milloin pounds? whers the big stars? theres none there and supers only plating shitey amatuor players and no big nsmes. 16 years with a season ticket for govan road upper and im no doing this again untill the money men give mr mcoist PROPER money to chalenge septik their septik fans taking pish but give mccoist the money and well be laighing at thame. rally together bears dont slag mrmccoist when hes no money

  8. Just think, the teams Rangers are playing are just slightly better off than Junior teams, in fact their support in numbers are less. For Rangers to be paying the amount they are paying for coaches and players is incedible when you see the lack of quality. We are all daft to be paying for this, we should not be the financial shambles we are now in, liquidation is what it is, clear the debt, instead we are worse off financilly and cant put 11 players on the park paying huge sums to beat Junior outfits. It is not all bad, sack M cCoist, dont replace him, give the money to every team in the league we are in andeach team would be better off, or keep him, keep watching the brilliance produced, are we daft or what!

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