The 2016/2017 SPFL Premiership season has concluded and it sees the curtains close on what has been a very poor campaign from the boys in blue. Most our fans did not expect to win the league this season, after all we have a playing squad budget two fifths the size of our closest rivals.
However, it was the way we surrendered any fight and were so well away from Celtic, and more worryingly Aberdeen, early in the season. A large factor in this was Mark Warburton’s lack of tactical flexibility, but having a squad packed full of players who do not have what it takes to pull on the famous blue jersey was a problem which meant we were posted missing every time the going got tough.
Players that were out of favour at teams like Wigan, Bradford and Hearts suddenly thought they were heroes and untouchable because they performed well in the Scottish Championship. The idolisation received by players like Holt and Waghorn meant that they thought they were Rangers class. At the time, winning the Petrofac Cup and Scottish Championship were the biggest moments in some of these player’s careers. That is simply not good enough, and the way in which we surrendered second place (as a bare minimum) to Aberdeen will be the final nail in the coffin for some of these player’s time at our great club.
The one continuous bright light in what was one of the worst seasons in our long history was Kenny Miller. He is a model professional, carries himself with great dignity and most importantly knows what it means to play for a club the size of ours. It is too easy to wonder how much worse off we would have been this season, but I have worked out how valuable his goal and assist contributions have been for us over the course of the league season. Of course, we would have faced an even earlier Scottish cup exit if Miller hadn’t grabbed two late goals against Motherwell at Ibrox.
Here we can see the final league table as it happened, including Miller’s 11 goals and 7 assists:
Then when we deduct points for Rangers that were won by Miller goals or assists, and then add the points which would have been gained by our opponents as a result, the final league table would look like this:
The harsh reality is that without Miler’s contribution, we wouldn’t be in Europe next season and we would only be in the top 6 by the skin of our teeth. Rangers without Kenny Miller are a borderline bottom 6 team. It is easy to suggest “oh but someone else would have stepped up” … No, no they wouldn’t have, because they didn’t. Our squad is full of very poor footballers, and as much as Miller is a great professional, a 37-year-old should not be bailing us out game after game.
Not much more can be said on this issue, the facts are damning. Our squad needs overhauled.