Rangers: is this a new era?

Article by: Ibrox Noise

When Rangers strolled Hibs 2-6 in 2015, it did look like things were on the right track. For 10 weeks Mark Warburton’s Revolution was tearing apart the Championship and his 4-3-3 Barcelona model plan seemed to be working.

Then on 19th of September Rangers laboured to a scraped win against bottom-feeding Dumbarton at their patch, before being turned over three days later by a St Johnstone side whose canny manager Tommy Wright had clearly studied proceedings at the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium half a week earlier.

Scottish teams had figured Rangers and Warburton out literally overnight thanks to Dumbarton’s endeavours, and fan expectation changed from new-found confidence to confused frustration as weaknesses in the team became exposed and the side, while still mostly winning, was not as fluid and convincing as it was for those first two and a half months.

Since then, that ‘confused frustration’ over results like defeat at Falkirk Stadium twice in a row has evolved into an 18-month ‘work in progress’. For every good performance and win Rangers seem to be ‘on the right track’ while every bad display, even last night, is dismissed by many as ‘it will take time’.

The question is when do Rangers supporters actually expect the Rangers we recognise to reappear? Is there a time scale on how long will be tolerated that Rangers just are not very good?

There was a sore comment on this site for a previous article. In previous years and even months I would have been offended and appalled at the mere insinuation, but now I am starting to wonder.

The comment, from a Norwich fan named Stephen Godbold, read:

“But you are the ones who want Dorrans, and he has two years on his deal. So its OK for you to buy on the cheap is it because you are some huge club – well you were once, but now you’re no bigger than an English League One team. Either pay the asking price or go away”

On the face of it this is ludicrous. Ibrox packs 50,000 every other week, has 144 years of history, has a world record number of league titles and a European Cup Winners’ Cup – just a small sample of the scope of the Club.

But when you delve deeper, the quality of Rangers’ team and management over the past 18 months really has been somewhere between English League One and lower Championship. If as high as that.

Rangers last night lost to a team no better than Falkirk. Frankly actually a lot worse – Falkirk are not part-timers. And that shows just how far Rangers have fallen. We struggle against everyone. Pedro’s reign has seen one good display – the win over Hamilton on his debut. Since then it has blundered from one mess to another. Even the win at Pittodrie was not impressive – no one can tell me McInnes’ men were not the better team. They just fell apart after Kenny’s brilliant opening goal on around 79 minutes.

GodBold was clearly annoyed at potentially losing Dorrans, but his point is not totally miles off. Right now, on the pitch, Rangers are not impressive, and off the pitch there are issues too. The management is not impressive, the board is not impressive (retail deal fix aside) and the team sure as hell is not.

But the real meat of this article is how fan standards are arguably changing. Reaction to the first leg was mixed – with a lot of comments saying there were good signs and Rangers are a work in progress.

And that was already a very different outlook to the one I grew up with. Back in those days, a rubbish win against minnows was greeted with meltdown and sack everyone. Fans demanded a stroll every match. They demanded the title. They expected European competition every season. It was emotionally driven, but the demands were lofty.

Now some Rangers supporters appear to have reduced their expectations. They try to justify bad performances and bad results as ‘work in progress’, but why? Why do we feel this urge now?

Why have we changed?

Look at Juventus – when promoted from Serie B in 2007 they fired everyone they could after finishing third the following season in Serie A. They kept on changing things till they found a way to meet their supporters’ expectations, and they did so when they appointed fan-favourite Conte in 2011, an already fairly proven manager who had worked wonders with all his charges, Atalanta aside. Overnight their team was restored to what the supporters expect.

Meanwhile Rangers continue to look far from convincing having bought half of Portugal and Mexico and with a manager truth be told we simply do not believe in yet. And he has no worthy CV to speak of nor does he understand Rangers so why should we? And last night only cemented the case against him.

I am quite sure a sizeable chunk of you are reading this screaming ‘tim’ at me. Or that I am a total [insert expletive here]. I have had it all before and I am sure I will get it again. Cry me a river.

The truth is I, like you, am a passionate Rangers supporter who has put in hundreds like you all have. Who follows follows like you do every match I am able to.

And I am unable to comprehend this new world in which average is becoming acceptable. Where the outrage after a poor result and performance is less than the ‘they need time’ or ‘lots of positives’. Admittedly last night’s carnage has seen a slightly less generous appraisal but the fact there was a single word of justification following the first leg was already a bad sign.

I am sure I will be getting all sorts of abuse, being called not a ‘Real Rangers Fan’ because I dare to express my opinion, but my opinion is because I love Rangers as much as any true fan reading this does. And it devastates me to see how some fans are starting to justify failure as a means to an end. Including some of those of my own age who lived through both the days of Super Cooper and 9IAR so understand what success and failure are like and mean.

It is a new era and I am having trouble reconciling it with the Rangers values I was raised with.

Am I the only one?


  1. A little self serving with the poor me stuff. As fan expectations go after five horrendous years I think we are more realistic given what has gone on financially. Timing too has not been kind in that had the merchandising deal been sorted when we had Warburton we could have gone for a top manager instead of the nonentity we ended up with. I think Pedro will be gone by October unless he revamps his tactics throwing caution to the wind and pack the opposition box with as many players as possible instead of this lone striker nonsense. Be prepared to lose the ball if you move it quicker to gain more scoring opportunities. Sadly Pedro is like Warburton before him incapable of understanding what is required to be successful in our game.

  2. Bang on mate why did the appoint someone who was always gonna be a massive risk. After the bread man you would have thought they had learned there lesson murty done a better job in a few weeks than Pedro has managed since March.

  3. Spot on mate. We needed to employ a decent manager with credentials first and foremost. Instead we went for someone who is unknown from less credible clubs and remind me of a Deila or Skovdal. Some of Caixinha's signings like Jack, Cardoso and maybe Morelos might come good but from what we have see from the rest (bar Pena) it looks like the team may just be a Mexican/Portuguese version of the shi*e Warburton left behind.

  4. No you're not alone. I've been watching and contributing to the club since the days of George Young,Sammy Cox and all and experienced the highs and the lows. However, the primary age supporters haven't experienced the good times and it's a danger that they accept this dross we're watching as the normal. It's the board's responsibility to ensure that doesn't happen. The only reason the team played well against Hamilton was because they wanted to impress the new manager. It would appear that that desire disappeared once they got to know the man. Change is needed now! Pedro might learn from his mistakes but , crucially, he might not. Our club is too important to us fans for the board to take the chance. Decisive action is required now. Shit, we'd have been better off with the Progres Niedercorn manager. The European qualifying games were also going to be preparation to get us up to speed for the new season! What happens now . I could ramble on about this all day. Mon the Gers

  5. Though your points are more than valid this situation is a 1st for us and would be a killer in most circumstances. Only our amazing support of our club has allowed it to survive. 50k fans in div 3 was the only reason the club was still investable as it certainly wasnt the players. To have a squad capable of winning the spl to having zero players and in the bottom division was 100% unthinkable , but it happened. I think some of the fans try to understand and look forward to a year or 2 in advance hoping by then we will have something that we were all used to. Terrible choices are being made and Pedro is the biggest so far. To have 10mil available and trust a guy who has no big team experience is a joke, We need to wonder just how many of our board members have brain cells. We have nobody else. No back up to king , no knights to save us. We need to get back to basics and quick. Have a proper scouting system. We need McInnes now and i hate to say it and i am totally against this but for the greater good we need to get Naismith in.

  6. When Walter came back to Rangers for his second stint in charge , he was exactly the right man for the job at that time . He knew Gers inside out , he knew what it would take to beat what was a very good Celtic team and he understood how the fans had been suffering , for he was one himself . He was also older and wiser . There wasn't the money to spent like he'd had before , but he made a great job of getting the players we needed with what was available . A hard core of Scottish and British players were recruited , along with a few foreigners and he forged a great team spirit among them . They took him to a European final , something he was unable to achieve with even Gaza and Laudrop in the side , when cash was aplenty . For me Alex McLeish should have been appointed this time , to come in with the same agenda . Eck is older and wiser , he knows what it takes to overcome a good Celtic side , he did it before , with great success . He would have made us " Rangers " again . Maybe he never set the heather alight during his time in England , although he did ok overall , but he knows Scottish football inside out and had some great successes in Europe with Gers . Walter wasn't overly successful down south either , there were mitigating circumstances for both of them down there . Pedro isn't going to cut it here , it's patently obvious to anyone with an incline for football . We need to get the right manager in , soon as , before anymore time is wasted . For me at this time , it has to be Eck . Maybe a place as a coach for wee Nacho , to communicate with the Spanish speaking contingent we've been landed with !

  7. I completely agree. Football clubs go in cycles. I think we're still at the bottom of a cycle. The boards have picked possibly the 3 worst managers in Rangers history on the trot (excluding Le Guen from the past). Each had a great opportunity to bring something as we were starting from scratch. Walter Smith signed 2 centre halves after Le Guen and that stemmed the flow of giving away goals. I hope Alves and Cardosa do the same, but although he has not been at the club long I feel that this will be all Caixinha gives to the club. If there are any more positives please let me know. I can only see the embarrassing defeats that go down as some of the worst in history. He talks absolute nonsense and tactically you could bring in someone from Junior football who would do a better job. In the cold light of day I was going to give him until Xmas but he must go now as I feel he is not competent enough to make any more decisions for Glasgow Rangers.

  8. You're not alone. I feel like a bit of a mug eagerly awaiting each next game, ready for the switch to "click" and all the talk get backed up.
    You'd think I'd learn.

    Where I slightly disagree, and probably admittedly from ignorance, is that for me the Board have been supportive of their managers. Okay, they may have misappointed, but come on, who wasn't excited by Warburton?
    And they backed him, even the crazier stuff (Joey).

    Any shadowy stuff over Warbs and Weir departure seems to have been bollocks- wherefore art thou, legal challenge to your "resignations"?

    And they have backed Ped. I think most on here would admit that he's had more to spend than any of us expected. Okay you can argue they appointed the wrong person, but come on- who of us hasn't been excited by the rhetoric and the seeming intelligent "process" he talks about. How were we to know he was talking out his arse?

    We are a bit like the English national team; turn up to a tournament and expect to be challenging because of who we are.
    That doesn't work. You need to have a plan and a passion.

    Both of them. Not one. Both.

    Even not having the best players is no barrier to success when you have a plan and a passion.

    Greece (ok, ugly football, but great WINNING plan). Iceland (grit and organisation is all they had with one or two first class players, not world class).

    When we got to the UEFA final with Walt, who cared that our European performances were seriously fecking ugly (Wattanacio)? I didn't. Much.
    We had a plan. We used the players we had and we dug deep.

    No-one has dug very deep for some time at Ibrox.

    Except maybe Pedro digging some graves for my hopes and dreams.

    I am always sad to see people, be they players or managers or coaches, leave Ibrox.
    I will always back a manager until the last and was proud of our record of so few managers.

    Not in the last 18 months.

    Ok, PLG was a major cockup, true. Warburton wasn't a cockup, just a stubborn one-trick pony and who could know that beforehand? And as for Pedro? He's just a prattling buffoon.

    Who do I want there? I don't care, I just want them to care.

    And have some kind of fucking PLAN.

  9. Were becoming like the Arsenal support who just accept the mediocre…

    It starts with flag bearers that drag the flags across the grass and ends with half the stadium leaving with ten minutes to go…


  10. Couldn't agree more. Getting rid of Warburton offered us real hope for the future but the numpties who appointed Warburton then appoint Caixinha who within months has presided over two of the most embarrassing defeats in our long history.

  11. With the tax case EBTs have now been deemed illegal so it's only a matter of time before the legitimacy of our previous titles comes into proper question.

    Some will argue they were won in the pitch but they were players that would never have been on out pitch otherwise.

    If the titles go then it's suggestible the rangers of old was never actually in existence.

    They should take Murrays knighthood and put him in jail.

  12. Having survived the holocaust of liquidation and eventually got back 'to where we belong', the performance last night was a sharp reminder that the effort from fans to stabilise our once great and mighty team and move forward, is being undermined by wishful thinking by our board. I have witnessed some rank Rangers sides(being 3 quarters of a century old), but the lack of creativity and guile we had to witness yesterday showed us that the Berwick humiliation was only a piss in the pond. There can only be 2 months for the manager to get a grip, and if not, the boot! I understand the loss of money already invested but it's better to pay the price again than say we've already done our bit. When you support the greatest team in the world….I'm rambling, but aren't we all? So frustrating and feeling let down. Don't have a solution. The Ibrox roar doesn't get through to the present team and I'm not sure it ever will>

  13. Okay let me have a go. Last night was the worst result since Berwick Rangers but at least they had Big Jock Wallace in goal. Who had ever heard of Pedro or most of the mariachi brothers signed this Summer. If Pedro fails then our club is in serious trouble given the level of change he has implemented. I accept that it's relatively speaking still early days but…..there has been no honeymoon period and hardly a performance of note. The evidence is stacking up. I hope that he and the players can turn things around. My first game was in 1964. It's not always been glory glory and we have had some dark times but I am genuinely worried that Pedro may not have the ability to turn this around. Last night was a disgrace. Pure and simple

  14. You are of course quite right –this isn't a work in progress it's just a mess from a guy who hasn't a clue and whose only contribution is to ban green boots and transfer arguably our best player .If we have any standards at all this guy should have been binned last night and a hunt undertaken for a competent manager immediately.His Mexican ( ffs ) and Portuguese signings look as if they are auditioning for a Mariarchi band not a football team — is Dorrans a Spanish speaker ?

  15. Agree with a lot of these points. And at the risk of being tagged as from the other side, let's think of some points rationally I hope:
    1. Run the club like a business (are we? maybe?)
    2. Look across the city to when Fungus took over, he flushed the rats that were in the building out? Where is our Fungus?
    3. Compare managers over the same time period – who was most successful, Walter, Big Eck, people who new Scottish football, Rangers expectations who was least successful, PLG, might not want to admit it but Advocaat was shown up by O'Neill.
    4. Bottom line is in my humble opinion, spend the money on development, scouting, again do the math, across the city, buy low sell high, don't want to put names on them, but they've brought some serious coin into their coffers.


  16. I agree that sums it up,it is the Fans that run a club no Fans no club we all have a say and we can say it out loud.

  17. No your not. I've been following the team home and away for 50 years and last night was just about as low as I have ever felt after a match. Pedro has now overseen two humiliating results, last nights and the 5-1 going on ten debacle against Celtic. Add to that the loss at home to Aberdeen for the first time in twenty years. He appears tactically unaware. What were the tactics last night. Two defensive midfielders against a team of amateurs, one up front. Two Portuguese wide players who couldn't get a game fir their clubs back home. Totally boring possession football with no penetration or end product.
    I remember when Ronnie Deila signed on at Celtic. Who is this guy we laughed? Exactly the same thought crossed my mind when Pedro arrived. No one is laughing now.

  18. I agree with everything you say. Totally mediocre throughout the club, and there are no signs Caixinha is the right man for the job.

    However I think we're in too deep with him now and we need to give him a few months.

    Overall I don't think the outlook is quite as bad as it feels right now. Mark Allen seems like someone who will bring short and long term change to the club, finally addressing our scouting shortfalls. Could be the signing of the season.

    The board not only got the SD deal sorted, but also dug deep this summer, allowing a club with no money to go on a spending spree.

    Bruno Alves and Dorrans are almost guaranteed to be great signings, both acquired for bargain prices.

    And a number of the signings will surely still come good. Pena, Herrera, Morelos, Cardoso.

    Dalcio looks like an inexcusable signing, and to have spent 250k more on Candeias than we got for McKay an outrage too.

    But for me just now I'm happy with the board, happier with the squad, but not happy with the manager.

  19. The reason why we r pish is that since 2011 we have not had a manager worthy of the club. Ped mustve gave the perfomance of a lifetime to get the job as his cv doesnt justify him ever being considered
    Cut our losses now. Go get a manager who is worthy of the job otherwise i fear we.re delaying the inevitable.

  20. 100% correct ibrox noise. Was talking to someone from the manky side on Monday n he asked what do I think the result will b on Tuesday n I said to him I know they're minows n we re expected to go through to the next round with ease but after watching the first leg at home I had no confidence in caixinha to take the team there n win the game, cos we are not creating chances or making the keeper wrk as has Been the case since warburton started playing a 4-4-3 formation. Now I use to b one of the supporters going to ibrox every other demanding n expecting to steam roll most teams but that's gone now cos u know the players on the park haven't got that rangers fighting winning mentality u need to b brought up in it to understand that means u need a team of mostly diehards surrounded by the odd foreigner but the opposite is happening n these players wer use to playing with clubs that it's ok if u don't win every game because they've came from middle of the road teams who don't challenge for titles n are happy to fin mid table. So ryt now I say get dorrans in, get Naismith in, get Hutton in, get shagger bck in goal. Pay the money to get Maclean n walker now. play them all week in week out cos these guys know wat it takes n mean to play for our great club n they ll fight till the 90 th min week in week out. Fed up seeing this half hearted nonsense every single week.

  21. It couldn't be at a worst time. Now that everyone is screaming for us to lose titles it's time we need to gub those wee teams with fans that only come out when the sunshine. Such a bit time for us ATM. Scared to check any footy news incase anything worse happens

  22. Ibrox Noise your exasperation is palpable. For at least 18 months numerous comments on this site have ridiculed the lack of penetration and non existence of goal opportunities. There were more goal opportunities when Herrera came on with 15 minutes to go than in the last 15 months watching Rangers.. And yet Caixinha did not put him on the field until we were out of Europe.
    The Rangers media should be reduced to 5% of its present size. Inane questions answered by junior level footballers at wages I could only dream off. Lets get right down to it. Rangers board members are shite. The manager and more than 50% of the players are shite. Results are shite. Shite in and shite out. Been like that for years.
    It will not change. We are a third rate team with a third rate manager and a totally unrated board.
    By the way I am an optimist by nature and a reluctant realist when it comes to Rangers. But I have had it. Until all the shite is blown away from Ibrox I'll keep my cash in my pocket. Been going to Ibrox for 56 years. From now on it's schoolboy games on Saturday mornings for me with guaranteed MORE ENTERTAINMENT, and EXCITEMENT. 2 minutes from my front door. Free.
    On a parting note I must say that Alex Rae has put his finger on many tactical mistakes made by Warburton and Caixinha and given explanations why they don't work with what should be done for better outcomes. I have much respect for Alex.

  23. Dalcio looks hopeless. Windass was culpable in both goals and headed his chance to the only area the keeper could get a hand on it ( and on to the bar). He should never play for the team again.
    What really gets me though is the manager's lack of tactical awareness. Two defensive midfielders when you are 1-0 up against the fourth best team in Luxembourg? After you have scored and they need to get three, then absolutely, but to start that way?
    I hoped for the best but it has turned out that Cax is a blethering buffoon.
    Gone by Christmas along with any chance of a trophy.
    I'll keep hanging on as a supporter, but there's no joy or optimism being a fan at present Dave.

  24. I agree with most of what everyone here is saying, sick of feeling good about what could be just to b let down time & time again, naive tactics & formations, shit buys with no heart, fight or knowledge of the Scottish game or what it takes to play for the gers.i don't get how we didn't go for players like Boyce mcginn moult Taylor who were available on frees or pennies & know our game & why don't stump up the money for McLean & walker but we go for nobodies apart from Alves & herera who will come good but it's not enough, I could scout better players fuksake. In the end we have no choice but to give this team a chance & hope for the best but I'm not holding my breath.go back to 442 control midfield with 2 upfront to give us a chance.as much as it hurts to watch this shit I will stay true & blue like the rest of us & hope we come good. Warp, no surrender

  25. Wow talk about knee jerk this site right now is break dancing on adrenaline .
    Calm down bears things will get better were in transition ffs.
    Time Required fuking deal with it.
    We need 3 bounce games a week for 2 weeks then a few stiff games to get us gelled and balanced!!@

  26. Hope that your right Robbie. Knees been jerking for a while now though. Been dealing with it but 4th in the Luxembourg League our under 21s should be beating.

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