James Tavernier, the victory over Hearts was one of the most enlightening
performances of last season in terms of truly teaching us fans and the manager
more than most matches have.
nothing – we already knew this squad was awful, and nothing in that display
suggested anything different. We had already suffered the humiliation at the
hands of Celtic on two successive occasions, so if nothing else had conveyed
the poverty of this current Rangers squad, that certainly did – we did not need
a shocking display at Firhill to affirm it.
No, the win over Ian
Cathro’s men was more illustrative than most matches this season because it
led to a very stark conclusion; when the pressure is on, this Rangers squad
simply cannot perform. Remove it, and suddenly the players can sometimes
produce. And that is the most insulting thing you can say about the squad we
of the Hearts match, there was only one team really in it. While certain
individuals were not having great matches (Tavernier, Holt, Toral and Miller)
the team as a whole was expressing itself a lot better than it has in a long
time – the odds of such a performance are rather long these days according to best sport betting and it was the
most convincing display since Caixinha’s debut against Hamilton. But of course,
there was literally nothing to play for; third place was assured, and Europa
League participation along with it.
Rangers have can indeed perform a bit, even if Cathro’s Hearts had been mostly
a shambles since the ex-Valencia coach became the manager.
However, the sending off of Prince
Buaben early in the second changed everything, and not in the way it should
have – going by that second half, it was Rangers who looked a man short. From
the red card onwards, Hearts took control, playing thrifty football, often
bullying a feeble Rangers who were unable to accommodate being a man up into
any meaningful attacking.
should have won, just like Partick before them. Through luck, grit, and unseen
forces, Rangers have scraped undeservedly through the last few matches and
seized all 9 points on offer.
modestly perform when the pressure is lifted, and there is nothing to play for.
But change the circumstances suddenly, and even that is gone – and the
performance deteriorates horribly.
changes in circumstances, to adapt to the game altering around him (often
making wildly inappropriate switches), while his players have shown zero
ability to cope with pressure or alterations around them.
most because there is a belief he deserves to have his own men. That is indeed
a fair assessment, whatever you think of his methods. And the players are
copping a great deal of the flack as well they should because they are indeed
dismal. But then, they did not sign themselves.
was down to inept management and rotten players, or how much deeper the rabbit
hole at Ibrox truly goes.