Any new signings for Rangers will be joining the world’s most successful club, and have the privilege of plying their trade at the magnificent stadium of Ibrox Park, whilst enjoying our wonderful training facilities of Murray Park to hone their talents even further. Coupled by the added bonus of playing in front of the best supporters in Scotland, singing their 51,000 hearts out every other week – I wish it was me playing for them!
Exciting times ahead with four Englishmen – Matt Crooks, Josh Windass, Jordan Rossiter and Joey Barton already signed, with many newer players still to come, and strengthen an already decent squad of players.
Failure was seen as a disaster when two ex-Rangers stars, Ally McCoist, who managed us for most of season 2014-15 and Stuart McCall who was eventually brought in to pick up the pieces from the utterly useless tactics, performances and decisions of McCoist. If anything, it was even worse when Kenny McDowall (who didn’t really want the job), reluctantly took over the reins. McCall’s job was to simply guide us through to the play-off finals and win Rangers promotion into the Premiership at the first time of asking. If he succeeded, I have no doubt Stuart would have been the new Rangers manager.
Rangers playing football for another season in the Championship was never on the cards for our long-suffering supporters, or our board for that matter. I know it cost the club a load of money by missing out on promotion. But looking at our present situation, I am now thinking it was a blessing in disguise, as Ally’s Rangers team would have probably been hammered most weeks playing against much better players and teams each week. It could have become embarrassing for this great club to live with. Thankfully the decision was taken out of McCoist’s hands and he was put on gardening leave.
In the summer of 2015 a ray of sunshine arrived at Ibrox and we have the board to thank for bringing manager Mark Warburton from London and his assistant, another ex-Rangers star, David Weir, who have turned out to be a breath of fresh air to everybody involved with the club, and they managed to sign some fabulous players for almost no money. The complete opposite of the inferior players that Ally signed for us in previous years.
I, for one, trust our management team and our scouts to source the best players that they can bring to the club. It will have to be achieved within a fairly limited budget of course, until we can start winning titles and playing in the Champions League again. That is where the real money is nowadays apart from the Sky and BT Sport television payments. I hope that we have learned our lesson from the mistakes made by the boards of the past – as we do have to walk before we can run in our current accounting situation!
To earn a regular place in the first team next season, any new player will have to be better than we presently have at our disposal, and that will not be easy depending on who we eventually sign of course. Joey Barton will walk into the team and play in every game in midfield, as long as he is fit or not suspended and hopefully the same will apply to any of our other new top quality signings.
We already have the basis of a good team for this new season and they will have to be pretty special guys, if they are to dislodge players like Andy Halliday, Jason Holt, Barry McKay, Captain Lee Wallace or the way Harry Forrester finished the season in fantastic goal-scoring form, before his unfortunate injury. Even Kenny Miller was excellent last year playing at 36 with this young versatile team. Let’s face it, how good were Martyn Waghorn and James Tavernier in their first year at Ibrox – it really is very exciting times ahead for us all!
I don’t know about you, but it seems such a very long time ago, since I felt this good about being a real bluenose, and die-hard Rangers fan. I am back to the way I used to feel about this great club, before all hell broke loose around us in 2012.
The amount of season tickets sales is another indication of how all the other Rangers fans are feeling about next season. I will be surprised if we don’t eventually smash the season ticket sales record, when the rest go up for sale to the general public. If we don’t, the other tickets will be sold each game to guarantee a sold out sign, for every home match.
Watching this new style, all-attacking, young energetic, Rangers team, was like being in the front seats of the Blackpool Big Dipper. That’s one of the best and biggest rollercoaster rides in the world, so I suggest that you just hang on very tight and enjoy the highs and lows that this new Premiership season will bring us, now that the famous Glasgow Rangers are back to where they always belonged. The way I am feeling right now – I cannot wait for the new season to start.
Rangers’ rollercoaster ride back to the top league!