After the brilliance of the Rapid and Hearts results, Rangers fans have been brought back to earth a little following the slightly underwhelming draw with Spartak, sandwiched in between a bizarrely poor win in Hamilton and a crushingly bad loss at Hampden to Aberdeen.
However, the past two domestic fixtures have both shared one dramatic thing in common – a shock start for a completely unfit player.
Against Hamilton fans were stunned to see Jordan Rossiter come from nowhere to start – as much as regular Ibrox Noise readers will know this site’s love for the chirpy Scouser, we would never have seen a start for him in from the cold like that – and certainly not on 3G.
Then on Sunday Stevie Ger did it again – stunned the support by selecting Umar Sadiq to start up front in the biggest domestic match Rangers have had this season, Celtic away aside.
In the Sadiq example, Gerrard’s hands were certainly partially tied. He had no other striker available to call upon, which made some focus on his decisions to let Ryan Hardie, Zak Rudden and Jason Cummings go (circumstances notwithstanding).
So we won’t completely hold the manager to account on that one, albeit the double edge sword is his own previous decisions led to his hands behind his back.
However, that’s two domestic fixtures in a row where someone completely unexpected has come in from the cold to start, and we do wonder how much of a role that has played in the dreadful performances blighting our last two terrestrial matches.
Rangers were horrible in Hamilton – no getting away from that. The win was bizarre at best, and while we are absolutely not blaming Jordan Rossiter (who did clearly suffer a lack of match sharpness) for this display, the decision to play him may have been a factor.
Then the agony v Aberdeen – another tepid display by Gerrard’s men, and we wonder, again, how much of an impact selecting Sadiq had on this.
We hasten to add – we are blaming no one person at all – we win and lose as a team and management.
But the fact two frozen-out players found themselves starting and the subsequent displays were disjointed at best and weak at worst surely has more than a touch of correlation.