Friday, 5 February 2016

What tomorrow's result means for Rangers & Warbs

Tomorrow Rangers host Kilmarnock in arguably the most important match of Mark Warburton’s well-established Rangers tenure.

While it is true to say that Rangers have passed many tests this season, and Andy Halliday himself is on record as being a little tired of every other game being described as the next test, tomorrow’s Scottish cup clash with Lee McCulloch’s side probably qualifies the most of all.

Back in May, shudder to remember, Stuart McCall’s atrocious Rangers outfit were crushed both home and away by an abysmal Motherwell side in the infamous playoffs.

Back then, Motherwell were the second bottom side with St Mirren well and truly lost at the bottom of the table, but then-manager Ian Baraclough’s team themselves were utterly wretched and Rangers were overwhelming favourites, despite the Govan mens’ own lack of quality.

The rest, as they say, made for a painful 180 minutes as Bears realised their diabolical side had been condemned to at least one further season in the dungeons of lower league Scottish football.

Fast-forward to the present day, and Warbs’ astounding, borderline miraculous transformation of an abomination of a team into a frankly well-oiled machine, which may have the odd dip now and then but simply plays a quality of football which would have been unthinkable early summer last year.

Consequently, with Kilmarnock currently occupying pretty much the same slot as Motherwell did way back when, there is no more accurate a comparison or test than this is.

Rangers failed atrociously against the second bottom side last year, this time Rangers fans can truly and utterly accurately measure just how far their side has come since the Magic Hat took charge.

Many might point to the St Johnstone match as a valid example already, but that was in September and Rangers’ team was still fairly fledgling, having only had a few months together in the Championship while their opponents were seasoned SPL pros.

Tommy Wright’s men may have been lower midtable at that point, but today they sit comfortably in the top half – they are a very decent team and the loss was a learning experience for everyone connected with Rangers.

Tomorrow, however, really is the acid test – the first true chance to see where Rangers are under their new board, new manager, and new team.

Many may also point to the managerial turmoil at Rugby Park as a way of dismissing this argument – unfortunately Motherwell were also in a complete stramash themselves, and Baraclough’s future was also on the line. Their results had been painful viewing for their supporters, and it is one of the reasons Rangers were favourites.

And before anyone points out Hibs’ impressive results v SPL opponents this season, particularly Aberdeen; bear in mind Hibs’ squad (and manager) had had a season’s head start on Rangers, relegated as they were in 2014. Well over a year’s development together, while Rangers v St Johstone saw effectively a brand new squad.

However, back to Rangers’ tie, and the circumstances are so astonishingly similar that it really could not have come at a better time, Holt’s injury aside (please make it!).

Win, and win well, and the progress is evident. Just win, and it is still decent enough. But draw or lose, and there may be a question or two as to exactly what status the team is currently at.

We shall see where things stand come around 3PM on Saturday.

14 comments:

  1. No way this is "the most important match".

    The cup is a nice bonus, but the most important match, in my view, will be the Championship title clincher.

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    Replies
    1. Agree, while Kilmarnock are probably the worst side in the top light right now and Jig probably will not be breaking his neck to win the game the cup is the cup, nice decoration but requires a good bit of luck along the way or certainly requires no bad luck that can swing a one off game. Bar anything crazy happen with red cards or the like I would expect a comfortable home win but I would not be using it as any measure of progress as the same opposition were pretty easily beaten last season as pointed out below.

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  2. I have faith in the squad and think we will run out convincing winners, we will have our tails up and hope Jason holt returns. WATP

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  3. we beat a kilmarnock side 3-0 last season with the embarrassment we had.

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  4. the game against Killie is important as are all games but I thing the league games have the edge W.A.T.P.

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  5. It wasn't Stewart McCall's " atrocious " side . The wee man did the best he could with what he was landed with and has clearly proven himself to be a good coach .

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  6. I just hope & pray we win, As i do for every match league or Cup. Mon the Bears!
    I also think the returnees will be booed every time they touch the ball

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    Replies
    1. Hope not! Once a ranger always a
      ranger.

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    2. I hope big Lee get's a brilliant
      reception. A real true blue & captain.
      Treat our own with respect.that's
      why we are the f***** people.

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  7. Anything less than a convincing win will be an embarrassment as killie were seventh in the league when we beat them last year

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  8. never mind beating Kilmarnock its about winning the cup and being back in Europe rangers don't accept second best.

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  9. same again tomorrow lads,,WATP. DONT GIVE THE FAT MAN A PENNY GET SD AND ASHLEY OUT OUR CLUB NOW,, THE NEWCASTLE SUPPORT SHOULD WAKE UP ALSO AND STOP GIVING MONEY FOR HIS PIGGY BANK,,

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  10. Whatever the result is tomorrow - people will read too much into it.

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  11. We're not the complete side yet, but the progress has been quicker than most of us
    could have imagined.5 quality additions in the summer should see us compete for top spot.If the attitude is right the results will take
    care of themselves.

    ReplyDelete

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