How Rangers fans were fooled


Few would argue Rangers are in a spot of bother right now – six competitive matches this season played and only one convincing win to a lower tier side to boast of has fans deeply concerned about the direction the club is going in.

Indeed, it is the lack of direction that is especially worrying.

During that ‘friendly three’ of a trio of inspiring results, a plan looked like it was materialising and the new 4-4-2 formation seemed to be clicking. It seemed like Rangers were tentatively taking their first steps on the right path and it bought under-fire manager Pedro Caixinha a great deal of slack.

Unfortunately for the Portuguese, the league displays have seen significant regression back into the hole Rangers appeared to be in following the likes of Niederkorn and The New Saints, not to mention the rather weak end to last season on top.

While there have been fleeting glimpses of some reasonable play (the fifth minute to the 25th at Fir Park was some good football) every single time it has petered away and struggled regardless of opposition.

And it really does show just what an illusion friendlies really are, how they fooled the lot of us, including yours truly. They are good for morale, and little more.

Following those wins over Watford and Wednesday, and that draw with Marseille, the difference in the competitive action by comparison was almost frightening. From the first 30 seconds at Fir Park, the pace was almost three times faster, the physicality unrecognisable in its ferocity and the play pure blood and thunder.

Rangers just could not get into the match in Motherwell till Dorrans opened the scoring, and when that goal settled the visitors down, we did play nifty football.

But as it faded, and ex-Rangers target Ben Heneghan equalised, the rest of the match was scrappy at best. Rangers got the win, barely, thanks to a well-taken Dorrans penalty, but it showed just what a fraud friendly wins really are.

It got little better against Hibs – some fans still make excuses with the Jack sending off, conveniently forgetting he played the full 90 v Hearts and that Hibs were the better team after their goal and well before he went for an early bath – but when yet more points were dropped against a dishevelled Gorgie side with no manager and neither of their marquee players having particularly good matches, the warning signs were getting louder.

Rangers’ league form is absolutely dreadful. There is sadly no getting away from that. Under Pedro Caixinha Rangers have won five league matches of a possible 13 – and with his own squad this season one of three. And following the misguided optimism we had after the friendlies, it is back to the drawing board when judging the serious action.

We must sincerely hope the manager figures something out before Sunday because more dropped points to a side as meagre as Ross County would be close to a crisis point. A draw is not good enough. And even now a convincing win would hardly persuade everyone that it is all fixed.

But it would give the manager and players a little breathing space.


  1. Now we are looking at a punter/striker called Doukara who cant get a game for Leeds! and if the daily retard is to be believed we didnt get half as much as we are also led to believe from the sale of Waghorn. If we dont have the money for Moult and Walker then say so, cause up at Ross County might just be the last time Pedro is in charge. If we play Morelos and Hardie(a poacher) together we might just manage a goal. Its a long way to Dingwall and anything other than a win will cause ructions all the way back down the A9 right the the door of Ibrox.

  2. This weekend's game is a win or bust event. Based on results and performances in Pedro's watch there is no alternative. The board must be aware of the significance and already be lining up their next pick.

  3. I have said this here before; Caixinha has 11 league games to prove whether we should retain him as manager for a longer duration. Once we have played all the teams in the league, we must be in contention to be a comfortable second place in the league, as we are nowhere near attaining first position in the league this season.
    Should we be dwindling where we are at midpoint in the league, with a huge gap to teams above us then Pedro must be released from his position.
    This would give a new or caretaker manager time to assess his squad, decide who to release at the winter transfer market, which loan players to bring back and maybe bring in new players or loan players, giving whoever it is to salvage something out of the season.
    It is a sad reflection that at this early stage in this season we are even considering this scenario, but we have under this manager suffered some of the most humiliating results in the clubs history.

  4. It will be a long journey home if we don't take the three points.
    The season isn't over yet, but there is an all too familiar feeling of doom and gloom around the place after Saturday.
    Windass, Candeias or Miller need to be replace by Walker and Naismith. We will win nothing with those three filling regular spots.
    I'm not giving up on the manager yet, but he will need to treat the next four games like cup finals.
    We have had to put up with a lot in the last few years. I'm not sure how much more we can take.

  5. We have played 3 league games this season. 1 Win, 1 Draw, 1 Loss. It is hardly doom and gloom. The players have faced various situations that are new to the team, such as 11 hearts players sat on the ball. aggressive violent Hibs players. The team will have learnt from both games. Look at how we handled the brandon/windass situation. 3 games in and we have learnt a lot. We are playing a lot better football than we did under Warburton.

    • Craig.
      Thank fuk thought I was the only one thinking that.
      We will turn the corner soon just about the same time Pena comes out of the shadows!!!

  6. Cannot believe that we are thinking of getting shot of Pedro so early in the season! Feel he should have up to Xmas at the very least. Remember the absolute dross we had to put up with the Breadman's team and the MAJOR structural work needing done to help fix this. If you remember the first 25 minutes of the game against Motherwell, we were scintillating at times. I know we have not replicated this too often (hardly at all even) but this is what Pedro's team can be capable of and if given more time, WILL be capable of far more often. In King and Pedro (for now) we trust!

  7. Caixinho MUST GO RIGHT NOW. Give him NO MORE TIME OR MONEY TO WASTE. Only Ryan Jack, Dorrans and Alvesare Rangers class, out of the NINE signings he has made. The rest are NOT GOOD ENOUGH, despite the fact that some of them cost a lot.

    Let Murtry take over as manager. Rangers cannot afford to recruit a highly paid manager. Any money that they have MUST BE SPENT ON BRINGING IN AT LEAST THREE MORE PLAYERS. We do not have a good striker (need to get rid of Millar and Herrera), and we do not have a good winger (need to get rid of Dulcio and Caixinho) and we STILL HAVE A GOALIE WHO IS JUST A GOOD SHOT STOPPER. We need a manager who understand tactics in the physical Scottish game–Murtry does–but Caixinho does not. Our league challenge is nearly over right now–with only three games played–and we have had our worst ever defeat in Europe. How bad does it have to get before the board see the urgent need for change of manager–and bringing in RANGERS CLASS PLAYERS, not keep trying with the duds that we have?????

    • Dalcio is the easy one just terminate the loan. The rest will prove extremely difficult Herrera and Pena probably want back home, it certainly looks like they are lost.

    • Pena looks like he's only interested in finding his way to the buffet – seriously overweight, a criminal offence for a professional at any level. And Pedro paid very good money for him by all accounts!

  8. Like all Rangers fans I am hurting badly seeing our club take 1 step forward, 4 back, Ped & Johanssen needs to go before any more damage is done, McLeish would walk over hot coals to come back, Murty also proved his worth, have guys in that can handle the pressure and guys that don't talk garbage at every turn, its that bad just now I would be a bit more optimistic if Wee Baz Ferguson stepped in, if Ped is still in charge end of this season we will be lucky to get forth

  9. The same arguments that people used to defend Warburton are being recycled.

    It's obvious that we don't have the right man in charge. Unfortunately the board are the real problem, how other fans can't see this is really quite startling.

    • Totally agree E-Chef. Pedro is the symptom, not the disease, if you take the analogy.

      There is no cohearant strategy of where the club is going. Long term planning extends to Sat at 3pm and the plan is simply 'winning'. I'm sorry but that's a load of bull *^%#.

      The club needs to establish a strategy and stick with it regardless of who the manager is. Giving a new manager a transfer budget and carte blanche to do whatever he wants every 12-18 months is a recipe for mediocrity, which is why none of us should be surprised by the present state of affairs.

      What is the preferred playing formation for the club?
      What are the attributes of a good player for each position?
      How many youth players will be promoted, and what is the process for the transition?
      How many players will we be looking to sell in the next 12-24 months, and what will be the profit from the sales?
      How do we intend to reinvest the proceeds to improve the club?

      Right now it looks like the board has given Pedro the keys to the Porsche, and he can drive it however he likes. Which is all fine and dandy right up until the point (soon, I hope!) that he's no longer the manger. At which point the board turns the keys over to someone new, and that person changes direction completely.

      Why is the board not stepping in here with some of these answers and hiring a manager who shares the club's pre-established philosophy? Throwing a bunch of money at the problem is not a philosophy…

  10. Absolute hysteria, as per.

    I want us to get back to where we were as much as anyone. I just get annoyed that Pedro was rejected even before a ball was kicked. Certain people only want certain types of men in the job at Ibrox. It's this tribal preference about Rangers men.

    I want Tommy Wright after Pedro however i think Pedro gets until Christmas. My only issue is i know exactly why a section of our support want Tommy Wright…

  11. Interesting article. I disagree the friendlies had "fooled the lot of us". I certainly wasn't fooled. It was obvious with the friendlies against St Johnstone and the welsh minnows in the early friendlies, also throw in our early european exit, that we were destined for hard times ahead. Most fans hailed Alves as the messiah to block the gaps at the back, obviously not. Jack and Dorrans do not offer creativity and miller needs to be benched.
    The friendlies against Marseille, Watford and Sheffield were all played without team buses in front of goal. It was free playing football, with very little challenge in tackles or urgency. That is why we seemed to play well.
    Now, as we know, most of the SPFL teams that play us this season will park the buses in front of goal. They will man mark our players and shut them down very quickly and aggressively to prevent us playing. We are so predictable, the opposition had us sussed since last year and have been successful in taking points from us playing this way. Watch Ross County play this way on Sunday.
    I accept we are all entitled to our opinion, but I am confident we all want to see us get back on top. However, Tommy Wright, Eck, Walter, Billy Davies, Sam Allerdyce are certainly not the answer to our problem. We need to challenge Brendan Rogers, and none of them would get near him, which pains me to say that, but i'm being realistic!
    Pedro needs to stop the rot. I would give him until the first old firm game. If we are miles behind after that, then we really need the board to take action before we play in the bottom six.

  12. Some of our fans need to behave it's a massive turn around of players and were 3 games into the season. Some of our fans need a reality check #crazytalk #getagrip.

  13. What's NEEDED more than anything are TWO PROPER TO GOODNESS FB's.

    If we get them, we can become proper contenders/ IF Pedro cannot see this simple FACT
    then we fans and our Club will yet again fail, big time too…. again.

    Our Crap FB's/WB's,,,,,if Not replaced with better, we fail and the Club fail and Pedro will be sacked.

    Can Pedro NOT SEE that both Tav and Wallace are indeed POOR football players ?

    If NOT, then he and his lot can have no comeback when sacked due to it being their own damn faults.

  14. Having a PROPER DEFENCE allows the OTHERS to all get about their OWN business in breaking down ANY side….. rather than a few of the players in midfiedl ALWAYS having to watch over their shoulder, to wonder…. should I now track-back to help our crap FB's /WB's ??????

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