Thursday, 25 May 2017

Major investment needed

We can only hope that chairman Dave King and other board members have opened their eyes to the considerable gulf between ourselves and Celtic and begun to realise that Rangers are in dire need of a major overhaul this summer.

Believing that a combined transfer and wage budget of just £3 million a year would be enough for us to grow next season is just crazy, especially when we have just watched the current squad get outplayed and outclassed in the latest Old Firm clash which we lost by the biggest margin at Ibrox since 1897. That alone should ring alarm bells for the powers that be, and although this is our first season back in the SPL since clawing our way up the leagues, it would be completely pointless if we were satisfied with gradual progression instead of making the radical changes that we blatantly need to make this club great again.

Simply put, the squad is nowhere near good enough. If it takes a 5-1 hammering at the hands of Celtic to make that point perfectly clear, than so be it. Perhaps it will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in terms of changing any notion of settling for building one step at a time for one of that sees us spend; Rangers are not exactly loaded, but if fans do not want to see us be destroyed by Celtic four times a year and watch them stroll their way to the title whilst twirling a cane, Pedro Caixinha has to be backed to the hilt. Combine this with the fact that arguably our best players this season have a combined age of 75 in Clint Hill and Kenny Miller, it tells you how much of a state this present Rangers squad is in.

You have to feel sorry for Caixinha for picking up the mess that was left behind by Mark Warburton who thought the grass was greener elsewhere, yet now finds himself in severe danger of dropping into League One with Nottingham Forest. Karma at its finest. However, we have absolutely no idea who Caixinha will target during the summer, but with Celtic likely to be overwhelming favourites with Footie Live to run away with everything next season, he has to get it right. It would not surprise me if there was an influx of Portuguese players arrive at Ibrox this summer,

In many respects, we are heading into the unknown.

We hardly know anything about the current Rangers manager, and if truth be told, he has hardly set the world alight since arriving at the club. Any suggestion that he was merely chosen as Warburton’s replacement to fill the void rather than appoint a good manager is perhaps more cynical and based on the anger of how poor we have been than factual, but Caixinha has a major job on his hands. The present squad is a combination of players who are average or not good enough to wear the shirt – as was proven by just how embarrassing we have been in both the recent games against Celtic where we practically laid down and died. It is difficult to accept when a Rangers side is turned over without any sort of fight, work rate or passion, but when it is one that has a distinct lack of quality in it, the feeling of disappointment and anger is far greater.

Rangers fans may argue that finishing third in our first season back in the top flight is a good achievement, given how bleak our situation looked during the dark days of 2012-2015. However, even if the current campaign is the platform for greater things in the future, there has to be a major improvement on the pitch. Barely any of the players who were involved in the recent 5-1 debacle, which in all honesty could, and perhaps should, have been far more embarrassing if Celtic took some of their other chances, came off that pitch with their head held high, and while Caixinha held himself responsible for the defeat (for which I give him great respect and admiration; takes a strong manager to publicly admit when he gets things wrong), he has already stated that major surgery is required.

If we are being brutally honest, there are only a handful of players that should be there next season. Hill and Miller may not be around to do the donkey work for everyone else who cannot step up to the mark, while Wes Foderingham, Danny Wilson, Lee Hodson, Lee Wallace and Niko Kranjcar (if he makes a strong return from a serious knee injury) are good enough to remain. The others….well, less said the better; Emerson Hyndman has been shocking ever since Warburton left, Jason Holt and Josh Windass offer very little quality on the ball, and when you have Joe Garner, Joseph Dodoo and Martin Waghorn as the main striking options, you are pretty much screwed. On the whole, it would be a pretty strong Championship squad, but if there is to be another Rangers team that pushes Celtic all the way in the title race on an annual basis and manages to make a mark in Europe, then it falls well short of where it needs to be.

Anyone who is mad enough to back us to win the league next season in our present state may wish to read the 1xbet review on Footie Live before putting their money where their mouth is, but Caixinha will almost certainly have to utilise what Rangers give him to manoeuvre in the transfer market. It remains to be seen whether our new manager has the ability to scour the market for shrewd signings that are not only much better than the players that currently pull on the Rangers shirt, but also keep the books balanced; Caixinha may have to twist King’s arm in order to get more funds to utilise, and for what it’s worth, he may have to actually do it.
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