While today’s display at the Indodrill was far from the worst Rangers have played under Mark Warburton, that such context is being explored is definitely a mite worrying.
Rangers’ form slump seems to be extending match after match right now, starting with that uninspired win at Cappielow; this is natural, teams do have dips, but this is the second one under Warburton and while the matches with Morton, Raith & Falkirk yielded victories, today’s draw versus a battling Alloa was the first time during this spell the presently misfiring attack was unable to truly capitalise on dominant possession in the league.
Make no mistake – Rangers absolutely horded the ball greedily, and managed 25 shots, 10 of which were on target. But this growing trend of nice football with little end product is making a few fans slightly edgy, as is the resurfacing inability of the manager to try a different tactic when things do not go according to plan.
Let us be real here – Rangers remain 8 points clear at the top of the table and still look on course for promotion; but the harsh realities of what this squad is capable of are starting to hit home a little more – previous eras were absolutely slated for failing to get results in Alloa, and while Warbs had smoothly bucked that trend the first time he took his men there, this time the story was quite different.
Not unlike the Kilmarnock result, we are left admiring nice football but being frustrated by an impotence up front. Not unlike Killie, we are left saying we were the better team and should have won.
And this theme has been a sporadic one this season, on and off – naturally there have been many more victories than other results this campaign, and no one should throw themselves off a cliff at Rangers failing to win a match of football, but that is now five matches in a row Warbs’ men have been toothless up front or at best, underwhelming, and even more concerning is that effectively eight attackers were on that pitch for the Magic Hat and none looked terribly inspired, Jason Holt aside.
Rangers used a colossal get out of jail card today – Hibs and Falkirk also slipping up was a massive fillip, and general consensus is that hopefully Warbs’ men have got this sloppy spell out their system and will raise their game come Tuesday.
Because a loss at Rugby Park would see yet more questions raised about this Rangers squad’s ability to compete with the bread and butter of the Premiership, questions which have been simmering recently with such a below par period of football.
All teams have dips, that is football, and hopefully that is all this is.