When trying to assess Rangers’ present squad’s chances next season in the SPL, the most useful data to take is previous results against opposition of that level.
Naturally this data is liable to a boatload of extraneous variables and none of it is absolute, but looking at the results since 2012 is probably the best way to actually measure how the team would stack up against that quality of opposition week in week out.
And having looked at the overall results, it is far from inspiring. Naturally the disclaimer is that fans would envisage further signings being made in the summer, to boost the team somewhat, but many supporters would have this present team fighting for a top four spot when the reality of results suggests such an achievement would be more than impressive.
Looking at the numbers, oddly enough the post-admin Rangers team’s best result and display was curiously enough its maiden one. The performance against then-Motherwell boss Stuart McCall’s second-placed high flying Steelmen really did give cause for optimism. That 2-0 result actually made both Kyle Hutton and Ian Black look like footballers, and it still remains far and away the most impressive match Rangers have had in three years versus SPL opponents.
If we look at the results and displays since then, it has been scrappy, unconvincing, and overall mediocre. And sadly that could include Mark Warburton’s efforts, for as much as his side play prettier football than previous managers advocated, the results remain underwhelming. And it is a results-based business, not a sexy football one.
Taking the results one by one:
Rangers 2 – 0 Motherwell win; Rangers 0 – ICT 3 loss; Dundee United 3 – 0 Rangers loss; Rangers 1 – 3 Dundee United loss; Rangers 1 – 0 ICT win; Rangers 1 – 0 St Johnstone win; Rangers 3 – 0 Kilmarnock win; Celtic 2 – 0 Rangers loss; Rangers 1 – 3 Motherwell loss; Motherwell 3 – 0 Rangers loss; Rangers 1 – 3 St Johnstone loss; Rangers 0 – 0 Kilmarnock draw.
Overall: four wins, seven losses and one draw.
Breaking that down further:
Four wins, six losses.
One loss and one draw.
The football has been night and day, but until Warburton manages to actually win against that level of opponent, questions have to be asked about this team’s capabilities against SPL opponents on a weekly basis.
The pressure is certainly on come the trip to Rugby Park – Killie were absolutely horrendous at Ibrox yet Rangers just could not breach their rearguard. They are likely to be a tougher prospect on their own patch even if domestic results have them equally as poor at home as they are away.
We can only hope all those shots from the Magic Hat’s side finally start finding the back of the net.