Rangers, top four, and European football

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With European football to play for and the small matter of their Rangers’ careers, Rangers’ players find themselves in a very strange situation. Post-split, the majority know their places are up for grabs, and despite their lengthy contracts, Rangers, if suitable suitors can be sought, would happily rip up the majority of those deals to free the dead wood, especially in light of manager Pedro Caixinha making it clear significant surgery is required this summer.

As such, Rangers have four matches left this season, following April’s traditional split fixtures. They started the worst they ever have post-split, with a record-breaking home gubbing by Celtic crushing morale and creating a really unsettling atmosphere in and around the club. But the worrying possibility is that Rangers might not win another match this season, with a sprightly Thistle awaiting just a few minutes’ drive away from Ibrox in Firhill, before tricky matches with the likes of Hearts and Aberdeen.

Rangers’ form is concerning of late – an ultimately decent win over Thistle at Ibrox seems a long time ago with two horrid afternoons against the best the East End has to offer still fresh in the memory, and it barely gets any easier.

Rangers’ record against each of the top four (left) teams this season is as follows:

Aberdeen:      LWW
Hearts:           LWL
St Johnstone: DDW
Partick:          WWW

So 12 matches; seven wins, three losses and two draws.  The problem now is the business end of European places kicks in – with 12 points up for grabs St Johnstone will just about fancy their chances of clawing the six points back to Rangers, depending on how results go, and based on how utterly putrid Rangers have been of late, one has to worry a little about Caixinha’s mens’ chances of securing that final Europa League slot.

Hearts and Thistle are nowhere, but Thistle have not managed a point against Rangers this season and will be desperate to avenge that. Hearts have been a catastrophe under Cathro but equally he still somehow found something to destroy Rangers in the most recent fixture and one would not want to bet on a Rangers win even at Ibrox.

The further problem is Rangers will gain access to a slightly higher calibre of player (and crucially finance) by managing to clinch third and the Europa League qualifiers, and failure to achieve that would be a disaster. But worryingly a very real possibility.

There are some fans who would actually rather Rangers finish fourth to avoid being thrown in the deep end of European competition before we are truly ready, and that is a fair view. But financially speaking it is not a good eventuality and in terms of the players Rangers can attract, it is even worse.

So while Rangers, on successful qualification for UEL qualifying rounds, will probably be papped out before the ink is even dry on our Uefa Licence (much to the chagrin of conspiracy loons everywhere who often used to post on this site stating factually how we would not be granted one), it still guarantees €215,000 (which increases by round) for making it, and improves the calibre of the player we can attract.

But getting there is not going to be a given. Far from it.

NB: it is true that Rangers only need a point, but right now form is horrible and nothing is guaranteed. And that is the point of the piece. Genuine fear we could lose all our four remaining matches.

15 COMMENTS

  1. I was of the understanding that top dour qualify for Euro spots due to Aberdeen v Celtic freeing up one place as they play in Scottie Vup Final

  2. I thought Scotland had 3 places for the Europa league. With Celtic winning the league that meant Aberdeen had got a place via being in the Scottish Cup final. The other two places then would be for 3rd & 4th places in the league. Not sure on this tho'

  3. I think you'll find that 4th will qualify for Europe as both the Sheep & tims have already qualified through their league positions & therefore the European place that would go to the cup winners will go to 4th place in the league…

  4. This article is riddled with inaccuracies. There's only 4 games left so only 12 points to play for not 15. Also since both finalists for the Scottish cup already have European football sewn up 4th place will also qualify for Europe basically meaning that Rangers are guaranteed European football next year. How far we get in it is another thing, of course.

  5. If the players can't raise it for the last few games with there own futures at stake then there will be excuse for them, hopefully finish on a high and get ready for the storm coming in the summer when all the duds should be blown out the doors for good

  6. It would take an epic intervention of biblical proportions to stop Rangers being in the Europa League! The Gers only need 1 more point to secure, at worst, a 4th place finish. Hearts are currently in 5th place on 46 points and would have to win all their remaining games to equal Rangers current point total of 58 with Rangers similarly losing all 4 games (admittedly on current form not entirely impossible) but I am pretty confident Hearts will not run the table for that scenario to be likely!

  7. I'm not confident of getting the point that we need though to be honest.After last week I just can't see it.If we are to then Thistle will be our only hope of a draw/win.A shabby state of affairs indeed.I've always had faith in the Gers but like thousands of others at Ibrox last week I saw a team (loose term) totally devoid of any commitment to the cause.I hope I'm proved wrong.

  8. Rangers won't be being thrown in the deep end of European competition. There will be a number of preliminary round games against weak opposition. Anyone remember Lincoln Red Imps??

  9. I have no doubt we will get the qualification place. I have total confidence that we will be completely out our depth, lose to first half decent side we play and have our pre-season disrupted for little in return.

  10. Loving the positivity ffs lol… Let's face it Rangers have crashed out early in the past before.. Even the great WS and all stars & money he spent AEK Athens rest my case

  11. And FC Kaunas. Also not written in stone CFC will quality to CL
    Scottish football is not competitive or has enough quality to do well on international stage

  12. Lets get amongst it .. surely we can do better than the one or two game farces Hibs Hearts and Aberdeen do against pish !!! We are Rangers . It will as you say attract the better players if there is a chance we can go further …Its just great to see it and is where we rightly belong …in the Champions League in 2 Years …#fuckeyer10inarow lololo !!!

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