Old Firm misery – where do Rangers go from here?


It is hard to figure out where Rangers go from here. It is plain to see that progress under Pedro Caixinha is either at a crawl or plain non-existent. Without directly saying that Rangers need a new manager, it is evident there is no coherent direction under this regime, and the squad is simply not good enough to compete for second place.

Yes, second. We are miles off Celtic – today’s defeat, while not the humiliating scoreline last time out, was still a complete humbling and if losing like that counts as some progress in the hunt to usurp Parkhead’s lot then we really do have slim pickings in signs of improvement.

But while Aberdeen were minced by on-form Motherwell, over the past two plus seasons they have been the benchmark for second place and it is they Rangers must aim for – but nevertheless what we have seen this season including today’s painful loss at Ibrox does not bode well for Rangers’ chances of overtaking Derek McInnes’ men.

As for the Old Firm clash, is there really any point analysing it? Once again, another Rangers manager simply does not understand how to compete against Celtic. Once again some bewildering selections were made, and once again, while we held out longer than last time, it was the same old result which has become the norm in these matches.

Only Graeme Murty has seemed to grasp the importance of keeping the defence and midfield compact and tight, and it was his management which got our only point against Celtic inside the last half decade.

It is becoming a sad, repetitive tale – clearly the team we were supposed to give time to, and the manager we are supposed to believe in are both undeserving of either privilege.

There were some half decent displays today, for sure; Ross McCrorie justified his selection as we knew he would, and Tavernier had a good first half going forward. Jack and Dorrans in the middle worked as hard as they could, but Rangers’ limitations were laid bare:

Candeias showed why his career never really took off – for a winger he has no pace. He has most other good attributes and we do like him, but he was done for pace nearly every time he ended up in a sprint. Morelos did an Inzaghi and tried to make a nuisance of himself, but was rather isolated. Pena barely deserves a mention, and Windass did his classic first 25 minutes of looking a player before completely disappearing. Meanwhile Hodson was destroyed by Roberts repeatedly, which made us wonder why Pedro was not ordering Windass to double up.

Basics. A little mix of why Rangers remain where we are and Celtic are miles beyond.

We have spent some £10M+ and we have closed the gap from 100 to 99 at best. Whether your blame is with the board, or the manager, or the squad – as things stand, like we said before, the state of play now is no further on really than it was.

Today was horribly predictable and disappointingly expected.



  1. nice article, we need a manager in who knows what he's doing, someone that's been there and done it in British football rather than a up and coming manager.
    with that said what decent manager watching us today would want to come to us?maybe this is why we can't get in a good manager maybe it is not a money issue or a poor appointment by the board. what good manger in there right mind wants to come in and build a team from nothing.

  2. We played the best in the first half I've seen against Celtic. I was impressed with there fight! But second half was pathetic and like IB said. I really don't know where we go from here. Either give Pedro money- to get several 3mill players or sack him and get a new British manager who knows Rangers ave back him to hilt

  3. Normally I'd say over to you mr King. However, since he can't entice investors due to his dodgy past and won't invest himself, relying heavily on supporters cash, there's a problem!

    The appoint of Hedgerow was bad, seriously bad, as he is clueless. The board have to take the rap for that.

    I have repeatedly said Henning Berg would have been a better appointment and I stand by that….his Liegia Warsaw team absolutely humped the nonces only to be denied by playing a guy who was still suspended or whatever the technicality was.

    We need action now as Hedgerow will never take us forward!

  4. Don't know what happened after half time today, I'm wondewondering if it's as simple as Celtic going up a gear and us not being able to compete.

    I could be imagining this, but some of those players looked less composed after coming out of the dressing room. Foderingham especially was riled. Pena looks like he won't cut it at Rangers, he seems more attuned to a considerably slower style of football; and since he was our biggest investment in the summer, that's not great news.

    McCrorie was quite impressive today though.

  5. no more money…Pena and Herrera cost over 3 mill so its obvious our manager cant spot a player. Morelos was Johanssens spot, McCrorie was Murty's

  6. Unless you expect an unexpected miracle it isn't going to happen. Yes we are all died in the wool fans, but this was the best Rangers display so far. We did compete when we could, and it did look like the old Rangers at times, but so far we don't have the players with the cutting edge to do the damage. Under the circumstances Pedro is doing a good job. Can you think of any other manager who could do a better job with the ammunition we have? I know we are all dreamers, but all dreams come true with time and I know this is not popular, but only by facing up to this can we succeed. I believe the team can take a lot of pluses and confidence from today and go on and have a successful season. Next term is when to consider criticism. We are getting there.

    • Common sense. On this site. Thank God. It's a long haul. Finishing 2nd was our target this year. We will do it. King can't get investors yet. Nothing to do with him. Creditors are still worried. I agree with every word you have written. Two new players in January. A couple more in summer and we will be in position to challenge. I watched Forest today again. Rubbish. The Magic hat with Davie Weir were being praised to roof only 16 months ago. King had no option but to retain him. We now Know King was not a fan of his. Worst thing that happened was win over Celtic . We were deluded.

    • well said Alan, There is progress and that's what we need at the moment. Yes, it sucks to be beaten in yet another old firm match but we are on a long road and we aren't going to suddenly be winning and the league and in europe after christmas.

  7. It's easy to be angry straight after yet another old firm defeat but I do believe pedro is improving us. Celtic dominated on the left side and hogson was absolutely terrible. Lucky 1st goal and they score on the break as we are pressing. A great reaction when down 1 nil but obviously heads dropped at 2. We never had a strong defence out and a left winger is a must, plus a cm who could compliment Jack or dorrans as these two are not connecting as a partnership. Both are 2 slow and we desperately need some creativity in the squad. Another summer transfer window and a team who have played together for a season and I think we will see a massive difference. I don't think continually replacing managers will help in the long term. We have been unlucky in a few games this year or the table would look different. We need to stick together at this moment in time. Watp

    • Totally agree I think we are progressing we had a good first half lost a sloppy goal just after the restart should some fight after that but the second goal killed us. We played without 2 of our most experienced defenders though young McCrorie had a fine game but Hodson is far from being a good defender and we must get someone up to support Morelas. Give Pedro a break who was the last manager to play youngsters like McCrorie, Barjonas etc., that's where our future lies.

  8. It's a difficult one. We are Rangers and we are at ibrox, do you really want to see an ultra defensive display hoping for a 0-0 or nick one from a set piece or do we try and be positive with a setup designed to cause problems? Personally I was happy with first half and thought team setup was good. Yes, Pena was poor and Morelos offsides annoying but they won't have played against a team as good as that before and the pace of Old Firm derby takes getting used to. Better players have had worse debuts (Ricksen took at least 4 derby games until he'd found the level)

    Before we slate the foreigners, it's worth pointing out that 50% of the ones you sign will fail. Always been the case whoever Smith, Advocaat or McLeish signed. No different here. We tried to sign the best UK players under Warburton and the best we could afford were dross.

    I think we are two quality full backs away and a playmaker away from giving them a game.

  9. This just proves what we already know and that is unfortunately Pedro is not the solution. Apart from individual failings the team looked very unfit. They chased every ball we stood back and failed to press them when they were in possession. Time for a British manager who understands both the type of player and tactics needed to make us competitive. Sadly the rest of Pedro time will be like death by a thousand cuts.

  10. At a time like this we need to reflect rather than shout, rant and condemn the manager and players.
    Examine the squads player by player; would any Rangers player who was part of the 18 man squad get into their 18?
    Again I would pass my opinion and say not one. I have supported Rangers for nearly 60 years and I can't ever think of a situation like it.
    Do we simply pump Pedro, bring in yet another manager, dump most of Pedro's players and re-build again?
    We are currently potentially between 2nt to 5th best in this league, trying to target 2nd place. If any of us think we have a chance at winning the league I can only hope their wish comes true, for we are far behind them. Whether we like it or not, we have to persevere with the manager until the league splits in March. By then we will know if we have improved after that time or not.
    We are sitting with a sow's ear at the moment and it may be some time till we can afford the silk purse.
    My comment for today on the game, most players gave 100% effort, some players however showed they are definitely not the standard required for Rangers.
    McCrorie played very well today, looks a good prospect.
    Thompson was Celtics man of the match, failed to issue 4 yellow cards, potential red there too, missed all the antics to aggravate crowd incitement.
    Celtic supporters (best in Europe) flare incident and ball retention. A FIFA requirement on consistant disturbance is an abandonment to the game, minimum action is for referee to remove players from the field of play, announcement for fans to cease disturbance. Not done today by Celtics referee Thompson.

    • Clutching at straws now are you not. An abandonment for that. What about your lot throwing golf balls etc last year and racial abuse of our players.

      Your now a small club who thinks its a big club and will continue sacking managers in hope and desparatiin which wont work

    • A very well balanced post Alan. I agree with everything you say. We did show more competiveness today and who knows what might have happened if Thomson had stepped up to the plate and awarded the stone wall penalty in the first half. Like you Alan I've been supporting the Gers for more than 60 years but it's still hard to have patience. Hodson was poor but he's a natural right back and struggled against Roberts with little support from Windass. (Again a 30 mins wonder). Mcrorie played better than either of the Celtic central defenders so that's hugely promising. I think we need to ensure we pickup Moult and Walker in January. We won't have to break the bank to get them and we should have a pretty good second half of the season. Get some money to spend next summer (by whoever) and we will see further improvements. Take Celtic out of our minds and the equation for now, and concentrate on beating everyone else. We'll get there! Mon the Gers

    • What about the last game when a bottle was thrown on the pitch by rangers fans, and one then ran on and attacked the Celtic captain?

      I assume you would also say that should have been abandoned?

  11. Well for me this was Pedro's test today and he got maybe 7 out of 10. At least he didn't go out and try and be too adventurous and get us battered again. He has shown he understand's whats required more than the Breadman ever did and he had someone we used to consider a Rangers legend at his side. So we need to support Pedro and yes Friday night is the next big test and we need to go there and get a good result. I think we will.

    I think we have improved on last season and we probably need 3 more Dorrans/Jack level quality of player. Its clear in the second half we needed more men in the team to gather together and turn the game when it goes against us. This was clear in both Patrick games…we need more men who can turn the game. Pena is way off the type of player we need. He is now looking like he is a mistake and he cost us £3m?!

    So I think we need 3 X £3m value players, preferably British. We need players who understand what is required and who know they have to compete for every ball and every second ball. Its not about football its about competing man to man and we still need men that have that attitude.

    Not sure if the board can find that money but to me thats what we need, 3 battler that can help the other raise their game. I here people still moaning about the board but the board have give Pedro £10m of their own money. So not sure we can point the finger at them other than to ask is Pedro the right choice.

    Hodgson proved he's not Rangers quality, sadly, not aggressive enough and should have blocked the first goal with his body. I think Cardoso played better when Alves is not there (today + Tuesday) and young McCrorie looks a good prospect.

    Finally, a we have a group of players who have been together about 12 to 14 weeks and it will take time to build them into a team. We are 3 players short but what we have needs to be welded together to get us to win a cup and come second and I think thats achievable. We just need to support the team and the manager. Over to you Pedro.

  12. Watched the game, how can ANYONE say we did okay..???/
    FOUR reasons why this was NOT even close to being a good display by Rangers….
    1. late on we were down 2-0 on goals.
    2.on corners, we were down at least 6-0.
    3.goalscoring attempts at an earlier stage, 7-0.
    as a Rangers fan,this was just awful….our most expensive player,PENA should have been replaced by someone on our terracing, they would have done even better than him.(this season so far,he has been ANYTHING but good.
    Yes, we had a number of valuable players injured (Alves,John,Wallace) but we still need a number of better,hard working players( 30% possession is NOWHERE near good enough,against any team…

    • Maybe because we are fans of Rangers FC. The same club that 7 years ago lost our full team, credibility and financial power. Went through 3 years of green in power further lining his own pockets. This team has only been together 3 years (from the 2nd year in championship) and we need to be realistic. Celtic are making so much more money than us and until we cement second place and play in Europe past August will won't be financially able to catch celtic. The performance was an improvement, not a performance fitting of rangers but an improvement all the same. As someone else stated earlier in a comment, celtic are a step up from all our players, morelas, pena, mccorie, candidas, were all playing there 1st game against celtic in any game never mind an old firm. We are not playing man city, barcalona or psg every season and we need so much more time and patience in order to see us back to our best. Watp

  13. Fair play, a relatively honest piece. Celtic won without ever having to click into anything like top form . That should be the resal worry for Rangers, no easy answers at all here, Celtic simply miles ahead

  14. There was no composure after the interval. Clearances were hurried, the goalkeeper more than once sent the ball into touch when clearing his lines. There was no measured build up into attack. Credit to Celtic, whose forwards gave us a torrid time in one to one situations. Pena was anonymous and Windass does not do his defensive duties. It was sad to see that Scott Brown never broke sweat such was Celtic's midfield superiority. Still, it was more encouraging than I expected.

  15. We don’t have good enough players and yet we could have gone in at half time 1-0 up if the penalty had been given and converted. A good manager that can work with a good budget could produce a better team. The fans were amazing, keep it up!

  16. thought we were a shambles today pedros signings are no better than the bread mans .canyass,pena,herrera alves the list goes on total waste .give wee pedro his due hes the only one ive seen squaring up to smelly broon .give the job to big butcher put a end to this circus.why are we helping smelly celtic fans bye giving them full stand to attack us get rid those stupid screens put them smelly in the corner .big tel knows how to get right into the smellies

  17. some sensible comments here, good to see! I maintain my stance that we should NOT have sacked Warbs, we should have backed him. I think with more money he could have done much better and I think he was set up to fail. Regardless, Pedro is the man now and I'll support him! Now, with my credibility in tatters to many here…

    Re. today, a work in progress is never going to be the finished article in 7 league games. We are getting better. Last year, EVERY time Celtic went forward they looked like they could score, it just wasn't like that this time around.

    The defense is stronger, the midfield is stronger, the strikerforce is more potent. The creativity is still flawed and the final ball is lacking. But on a First 11 basis, we are not a million miles away, 2-3 good players maybe.

    Celtic's 2016/2017 Revenue was £90mn last year.

    I estimate Rangers 2016/2017 was c.£30-34mn based on their half year figures. Now that is a million miles away from Celtic.

    But wait, if Celtic had only entered the Europa League, this would have been c.£52-55mn. Approximately the same as season 2015/2016.

    If we add on to Rangers, for 2017/2018 the new merchandising revenues thanks to coming to an agreement with MASH, that could be another £2-3mn this year. Taking Revenues to c.£32-37mn. In 2018/2019 If Rangers can get consistent Europa league (I believe they will finish 2nd this year), you could add £6-8mn to that previous figure, getting you to £43-45.

    So Celtic's revenue with Europa League football is c.£52-55mn. Rangers is £43-45mn. Now that really isn't an insurmountable feat. With a smaller squad relying on more youth players and some smart loans (of the Hyndman variety – probably should of signed him instead of Pena…) then our first 11 could be strong enough to compete with them on a regular basis.


    So, the season that Celtic slip up in the qualifiers (or get less of an easy ride than they have been having – even today they wouldn't beat Legia Warsaw over 2 legs!) and we get into the Europa league, then they ARE in sight on a commercial basis. After that, its just build build build, brick by brick, step by step, defeat by defeat, until it becomes draw by draw then win by win.

    • James Workman I admire your positivity but you use the word IF, bottom line is they have qualified for CL two seasons in a row and we got dumped out europa league off a pub team !! Let's forget Celtic and start concentrating on Aberdeen,Hibs etc, once we have the beating of these teams and are able to finish a comfortable 2nd the we should think about Celtic and Europe!! If they didn't qualify for CL then all they would do is sell a Teirney or Dembelle to off set it they cunts have a good business model and it kills me to say it but it's a fact !! The last 2 seasons we have wasted a lot of money on guys like Barton,Niko and now it looks like Pena, Herrera and a few more will fall in to that bracket,we could have got young hungry guys like moult,walker,shinnie to name a few from the spl who know what the league is about for a fraction of the cost, the board have a lot to answer for !! We have a obsession about over taking Celtic when the fact is we haven't even took over teams like Aberdeen, St Johnston who have a fantastic manger and we should have went for him after Warbs in my opinion…

    • Biggest issue was warbs and weir tried to sneak out the back door to forest because they couldn't handle the pressure. Pedro is made of tougher stuff I believe. Totally agree about revenue. Even the squad value. The players they have sold over the last few years have made them a fortune. Hopefully morelas and cardoso could make us a few bob, only if the guy who agreed to 500k for mackay is not in charge. Other clubs are offering us peanuts for players and we are playing into their hands. We need to be stronger in a business sense to compete with celtic, once that happens the team will improve drastically.

    • You're absolutely right Realist, their business model is fantastic. They manage their players as assets should be managed, with timelines on how they will be developed and when they will be sold. If a player is struggling, they don't just give up and accept the first bid (Barry McKay would never have left Celtic for £0.5mn) You have to admire them for that (and Lawell especially). They could sell a few players (2 or 3 would be needed to cover a £22mn deficit), but they would then have a weaker team as a result, and Rangers would be closer by default.

      Either way, the Celtic board shit their pants at the start of last season, their spending, mostly on wages, ballooned by around £16mn. We're seeing the effects of this.

      I think we have overtaken St.J & Abz, time will tell. A bit more time gelling, a chance to actually play them and then we'll see where we stand.

      What I don't agree on is Tommy Wright. Hands up, he's done a super job at St.J. But I do wonder how much of a big team manager he can be. I might be very wrong, but he may struggle to manage a team that is expected to be on top (as opposed to a counter attacking team at St.J).

  18. Hindsight is a great thing, but with the benefit of it I think I would have played Holt instead of Pena and asked Dorrans to play as the advanced midfielder trying to get up and support El Buffalo.

    Jack and Dorrans cover a huge amount of ground and I'm pleased with them but in games like this one, the extra man in there it would have tightened us up and denied them space (and Holt is possibly the fittest player at the club) but all 3 have the energy to get up and support attacks if possible.

    I might have considered Wilson at left back if he was fit. Not sure why he's out of the picture.

    So next Old Firm game it has to be a 4-5-1 with plenty pace and energy to counter attack when the chance presents itself – similar to Walter's team during 2nd spell

  19. Absolute disgrace today at least with the bread man we controlled possession no further forward in my opinion totally outclassed from start to finish no excuses wake up people they shouldn't be strolling like they did on our patch no passion or commitment piss poor

  20. Magi. Tommy Wright !! Look at the league table and you will be lucky if most of his players are on 500 a week, gets the best out of players and a master tactician, FACT !!

  21. It's neither time to look for a new manager, or time to be pleased with where we are.

    If board still believe in their man, because he is 100% their man, then they need to back him properly in the transfer market. We need real quality and that takes proper money.

    I made argument pre season that we were making a huge mistake signing unproven players and diluting the money on too many average players. I still believe that was our mistake. Stick 2-3 players of class in team and we will take a leap forward.

    Today the highlights were emergence of a good young Scottish defender and a decent performance from windass. Hodson was truly abysmal and at fault for both goals. The game was lost in midfield, can't just blame Pena as candieas, jack and dorrans were all well beaten.

    • e chef why back him with more money what do we do with 6 or 7 players that clearly aint good enough .smellies are penny pinchers but someone on there coaching staff has a good eye for a bargain wee need the same doesnot matter how much smellies make they aint going to spend it wee ped looks a beaten man to me .

    • We need to sign higher quality players regardless of who manager is. I would never have picked Pedro but we are where we are.

  22. Bit disappointed today.

    First half was good, not great, second half just fell apart.

    Pena got caught in possession at least 4 times, losing the ball in the middle of the park, mid counter is just not on.

    I'd like to see McRorie getting a run of games and bring young Barjonas in. Play him in the attacking position where Pena was playing today or move Windass over to the middle and play him on the left wing.

    Surely there are some upcoming wingers in the academy?

    Either way, if we had gotten the penalty in the first half, its potentially a different game, yet again we were done out of it. Craig Thompson should have never been in charge of this game after being demoted to Championship games at the start of the season.

    Finally, we're at a point where it's not just Celtic fans slating us, their players are also doing it now. We are a laughing stock who have been beaten by our rivals in out past 6 games from 7. (i'd personally class the draw as a loss too.)

    I'd like to see Pedro do well, but things are going to need to change, and fast.

  23. we stay calm no need to sack Pedro we are moving in the right direction we need to hold on to Pedro and the players we have Selltic are a good team we are not that far off them we can beat them i can see that second this season then a huge push next with most of what we have now we are heading that way now.

  24. How can anyone say we are moving in the right direction? We weren't even second best yesterday. We were playing our best and just hanging on in the first half. Can anyone really say they are confident Pedro is the man to take us forward? Hes won 12 out of 22 competitive fixtures since taking charge, including our worst ever European result and three defeats to Celtic with a combined score of 9-1. He has thrown millions away on unproven, underwhelming players … Seriously, is this the mark of a good manager?

    • agree 100percent we could not get out our own half and were playing at home we cant let pedro spend anymore on players like pena ,candyass .herrera or were forked for next 3 years .we need a manager that can motivate .i think the bread man done a better job than pedro infact i know he did,the right manager will turn this mess round instantlly .wee didnt lay a glove on seltic today another brass neck only enjoyment we grt now is watching seltic in champions league.

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