Before I begin this entry, I would like to take this opportunity to praise the response to the last piece. Emotions ran high last night, but the vast majority of the feedback, even the critical ones, were made with respect and little vitriol. Even though Rangers are struggling right now, fans still seem generally able to discuss it without throttling each other, at least here anyway, and that is admirable.
“I can’t think of anything else tactically we could actually do”
Yes, I have quoted the headline again. Because I simply cannot believe a Rangers manager has said this. Mark Warburton, having been critical of his team’s performance last night, has finally admitted in plain English for the first time that he does not have anything up his sleeve – no plan B, no alternative approach.
That the primary tactical approach he employs is the only thing he can do; I will not speak for other fans but for me this is not the mentality of the manager of a team the size of Rangers. This is the kind of quote a loser makes, someone out of his depth, someone without answers, and any Rangers fan who willingly accepts this has lost every ounce of standard that it takes to be Rangers.
Not even Ally McCoist, in his darkest days would publicly go on record to effectively admit he did not know what to do.
It gets worse:
“If I knew why it was happening I would be a genius.”
No Mark, you are supposed to know why it is happening and resolve it.
These post-match quotes from last night are not just deeply worrying, they are unacceptable. Not from a Rangers manager.
I have no issue with a manager saying “I made a mistake”. That is fine. That is taking responsibility for something that went wrong and learning from it. We are all human and we all err. But admitting Rangers basically do not have anything else they can do, and there is no alternative method, no tactical tweaking available?
Not good enough.
Naturally a great deal of all this is post-match emotion, that a dreadful performance has, this time, been punished with a draw rather than scraping an undeserved win; but anyone denying the gravity of what Warburton said last night has their head in the sand.
There is no plan B, no contingency when plan A fails, and rather than saying the best plan B is to do plan A better, Warbs has finally admitted it is more that he knows nothing else.
As I said in a previous entry, when it works, it is good – great, even. But if it does not work, as it did not last night, we now know we are officially snookered because our manager knows no other way.
And that is great news for our opponents.
Whether Warburton has been ‘found out’, is having a ‘bad spell’, or whatever (and it has been going on since early April post-Old Firm, incidentally) something deeply worrying has now set in at Ibrox.
I take the point of many critical replies about ‘fickle’ – that when things go right this site praises everyone from Warbs to the tea lady – of course we do, we are football fans. Football is an emotive, fickle sport and results can be inconsistent. And when things are good, those who achieve deserve praise.
But if things start to go wrong, like they are right now, we reserve the right to call that.
And right now something is not right.