Where are Rangers?

Where are Rangers?

Watching Aberdeen Hibs last night made Ibrox Noise realise truly how much times have actually changed.

Years ago ‘back in the day’ a fixture between any three of Hearts, Aberdeen or Hibs rarely mattered to Rangers (or Celtic) fans given both of us were usually clear alone together at the top of the table. Sure, there were moments in seasons either side had a dip, and the distance was narrower, but by and large it was plain sailing for the Old Firm and the rest of the SPL was miles off.

By actually having interest in what went on at Pittodrie, the reality of our situation became even more apparent:

We actually cared about the outcome, because, as deep into November as we are, it had a direct bearing on our position in the table. These two teams, who before were frequently victims of Rangers teams, were now peers who are matching or at times exceeding us in the league. Sure, Rangers have had some good results over Aberdeen, but it is they who always finish second in the SPL, not us – and Hibs have had the lion’s share of the spoils between both sides in recent times.

And therein lies the nub – us Rangers fans, who historically rarely agreed with each other about much anyway, are now in this surreal place of expecting the best from our team, not getting it any more, and then arguing about progress, this manager, that player, this result.

With a six+ year gap since the disaster of 2012, an entire generation of fans have grown up barely aware of a successful Rangers, and find themselves justifying what they see given it is indeed the norm for them.

Meanwhile us older Bears struggle to reconcile the piffle we’re served up today with the old masters of the past, and find ourselves trying to justify bits of it and parts of that to make ourselves feel better about 13 wins of 26.

The harsh reality is our players, even last summer’s, are not at the level they used to be. We still mostly sign players who are surplus at their current clubs – Goldson, Flanagan, Coulibaly, Ejaria, and Kent to name but five. We used to sign Arthur Numan from PSV, Daniel Cousin from Lens, DaMarcus Beasley also from PSV – now it’s youth from Liverpool and surplus from Brighton (two in a row). And we struggle now to appoint managers who fit with what we need from our boss – which, sadly, is Walter Smith.

As things stand, we are an upper midtable Scottish SPL side who fight with Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen and inexplicably now Livi for honours while Celtic beat us every time.

We’re not being defeatist – we’re being realistic. We’ve had six years of this level, and we continue to this day of arguing that we’re going in the right direction.

Our European adventures were impressive, no denying that – but Rangers teams have never measured themselves on that, it’s been on results against Celtic and the gap to second or third. European competence has always been an exciting journey (Manchester, 72, 1993, 2006) and sometimes an impressive result or two – just like it is for Celtic.

But the Leeds example continues to glare at us. Like us they experienced financial trouble, and like us have never been able to get back to their old level – but unlike us it happened approaching 20 years ago and it seems they’ll remain stuck, like Forest.

Rangers don’t just have Celtic to match, we have Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen to overcome as well, and we have to accept that where we are is where we are.

But it’s our ‘lack of accepting this’ while ‘trying to accept this’ that causes this ongoing dichotomy we suffer.

And a better man and woman than us can tell us how that will get fixed any time soon.

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  1. Great article: honest, realistic. As a 64yo Bear I can recall Rangers producing great home grown players too. What a difference today.

  2. Come New Year you will have be singing a different song. Last night proved Hibs and Aberdeen proved they are not as good as us. Life has changed since we signed Arthur Numann. TV dictates everything. When clubs like Burnley receive £100m per year before kick off we can’t compete. Simple so you can’t compare. Players sitting on bench in Championship can earn much more than playing in Scotland. So we must build to get into Europe and spread our brand. SG is doing a good job from scratch despite injuries, diabolical refereeing, and incompetent SFA. We are on our way.

  3. At 54 I'm one of those who was used to successful Rangers teams and agree that it's been sore on the eyes for the best part of 6 years..but I do think we are making progress (very slowly though).our team is not too far off but we lack leadership on the park..when the Russians took the lead u could just sense we weren't getting back into it and Rangers teams of old would have dug deep and got a result.my opinion is we using too many loanees ..both right and left backs are a problem,creative mid needed urgently and a top striker.RTID

  4. Despite previous, perhaps harsh criticism.? I must say this is a perfectly On The Button article Ibrox Noise.

    It actually made me sit up and realise just how far we have slid back in regards to Scots Competition is concerned.

    With respect also, to last summers signings? Apart from Katic, Grezda and Borasic I would keep NONE.

    I hear why for Karatic. He should never have change a winning partnership SG.

    Kent? In my own eye, great player. But we have our own skilfully equal in Glen Middleton who's bought and paid for.

    Wanna spend £3 'kent money'? Buy a RB Or Striker

    Please Please Rangers. Give the Scots guys a shot.
    Stop the constant rotation
    And get Tav in MF

    Good Article thanx

    • Brian, you say you would keep Katic, because he was in a winning partnership. Fair enough, but there were two in that partnership. Goldson, like Katic, started well and has dipped recently.
      Also interested that you don't rate Kent and would rather have Middleton. I would rather have both. We aim to play 60 games a season and I think we need options. Would you let Candeias or Grezda go, because we only need one.
      There are a lot of holes in our squad that need filled, too many to buy internationals for them all. We do what we can and that includes young Scots players, like Middleton. I would like us to bring Cadden, Halkett and Shankland in. All Scots, all young, all out of contract at the end of the season. A very cheap way to get decent players, saving our money for players better than we can find in our youth or elsewhere in Scotland.
      As for rotation, do you think our Scots can play 60+ games a year without a break? I don't. So we rotate first, or wait until they break down or cost us games, then rotate.

    • ScotsWhaHae
      I don't not rate Kent, great player there's no doubt bud. But if we can't afford to keep cover for every slot, I'd rather use monies by keeping Glen Mid and use cash for a Alfie Partner.
      Candyman or Grezda? Both
      Cadden, Hallett and Shankland, superb recruits to add to Hardie, Atakayi, Dallas, Burt, McCrorrie
      Looks quite promising put that way.

      As Rob also says.
      The Futures Tough but its Bright

      Let'S go from 3 today

      Enjoy guys

  5. Ibrox noise great article and eventually some severe home truths now if only the rest of our fans could see what you see. But I said on an earlier post you yourself was taken at the start with all this guff about Gerrard and King being the saviour I told you he was a chisler Gerrard was there to put season books and nothing else but as I said great article.

  6. Yes, as a died-in-the-wool supporter in his seventies, it is hard to get used to the sub-Rangers standards that have become the norm. The article is spot on. Too many loan players who are not Rangers quality, too few opportunities for the McCrories and Middletons and other young players. To what end? Certainly not building for the future.

  7. Great article,saying it as it is, people might not like to hear it but it's the truth. Sure we're better than this time last year but in all honesty we're still miles behind that lot. Like I said great article. The truth hurts. WATP.

  8. My prediction is that we will finish second by a distance. Hearts bubble has burst, Livingston are plummeting, Aberdeen and Hibs are stagnating, and Stevie Clarke has probably taken Kilmarnock as high as he can.
    As an older Bear I don't need to reconcile what I see today against anything we had prior to 2012. Unlike some fans I understand the catastrophe of 2012 and am realistic about the road back. It's a long road and at times it seems never ending but I believe we have made remarkable strides in just 6 years. Yes we've had a few wrong turns along the way, Whyte, Green, dodgy managers, dodgy players, limited budget, but that just makes where we are all the more remarkable.
    To all fans, stop and think about that and be realistic and patient about your expectations. Yes, we are Rangers, but you can't just wake up one day and decide you want to be back at the top. You have to plan and build, then plan and build some more, then hope you get a huge chunk of luck along the way?
    We'll be back. WATP

    • Rob
      I agree. Some people could do with remembering wher we have come form and how long and how much it takes to rebuild almost everything. As you say there have been mistakes, wrong turns and thieving bastards on the way.
      Plan and build, plan and build, each time hoping to get better. We will make it.

  9. Rob
    I don't agree. We have been spending £ millions on players, compared with the budgets of Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs, Kilmarnock, for several years now. Yet we end up performing no better than they do – so far at least (Europe excepted). I've seen too many semi-final defeats to Motherwells and Aberdeens, teams with a fraction of our playing budget. I'm prepared to give Gerrard time to prove whether he can learn from his mistakes, but on our recent run of games I'm not sure someone who keeps thinking Flanagan is the answer at left-back, or that Coulibaly and Ejaria are better than McCrorie and Jack, is going to get there anytime soon.

    • Guido,

      Don't know anyone who thinks Flanagan is the answer at LB. For me, Barisic, Wallace, Halliday and someone from the unders all ahead of him.
      Remember, Coulibaly looked awesome before he got imjured. We need SG to decide which is normal, before or after St Mirren. His call. Either way, with Rossiter we already have 3 for the holding role so if Coulibaly stays, someone else will go.
      Ejaria, for me, plays further forward than the others, so not competing with them for the holding role. Not that he is ripping up trees there either.

  10. IN an honest and forthright article but i think its about time reality bites in
    Please can we have an article on the subject closest to my Heart MR KING
    Also some statements like have patience -we are improving – we will get there!!
    all poppycock this institution needs CHANGE NOW thats FACT OTHERWISE god knows where we will be in another 6 years

    • Ok Scim, you have the floor. This institution needs change – what change, how will it be implemented and who will do it?
      Please detail the changes you want.
      -If you want King out, who do you want in?
      -Do they have funds?
      -Do they have a plan?
      -Do you/they want Gerrard out?
      -If so, what will that cost us?
      -Do they have someone lined up as manager?
      -Who? If they are under contract elsewhere, how much to secure their release?
      -Do you/they have a list of players they want rid of?
      -What is the estimated cost of paying up these contracts?
      -Do you/they have a list of players they want to bring in?
      -If you can't name all of them, a sample will do
      -What is the cost of buying them?

      Do you in fact have anything? I am happy to listen

    • Scotswahae If i had the answer to all of your questions i would,nt be on this site
      You seem to be an armchair Manager discussing team formations which will always bring argument and disagreement
      My Point is the Man in Charge is not Up to the task he is unprofessional in his dealings and untrustworthy now asking me who is going to take over etc is not really a solution is it
      Why not just answer 3 questions 1 Are you happy with the state of the Club
      2 Do you think the Chairman is doing a Good job
      3 do you see any Silverware this season
      If its 3 Yes .s then your deluded ,If its 2 Yes,s your deluded and if its 1 Yes your sticking your head in the sand and your deluded
      You may not believe it but i love this Club and i really worry about the future under this man
      If i had a Name with millions to give i would say it I DONT as for Gerrard
      i think he could be a MANAGER However with limited funds its going to be difficult for him -One thing is for certain the players he has just now will not win anything this season -I HOPE TO BE PROVED WRONG
      There is no doubt whatsoever King IS/ has been a Poor Chairman
      I urge all fans to bring him to account before we go further into the abyss

    • So Scim, your proposal is we get rid of King, with nobody to replace him? We would go bust without the financial guarantees he has given. I don't want that. Is he perfect? No, but then neither am I?
      You don't get rid of a chairman unless you have a better proposal. You don't. So there is no justification to support your view, although as a fan you are entitled to hold it.
      As to your questions, my answers would be
      2)Yes and
      3)Unsure, ask me in May
      That doesn't make me deluded. That is an opinion, which you are entitled to, but it is not a fact. What I gave you are facts and questions which you cannot answer.
      Our funds will always be limited by the income at the club. Unless we find someone willing to just give us £50 million, we have to earn our money. I have not heard of anybody who wants to give us money, or buy King out.
      I am glad you hope to be proved wrong. i will accept being proved wrong about King. But your saying it does not constitute proof. I would ask you to give your definitopn of poor and good as a chairman, but this is getting boring. I will wait and see what happens. As will you

  11. Spot on! 👏
    …Painful Watching Nowadays

    26yr old Bear whos grown up watching The Bears of the 70s and 80s and The Team of 9IAR 💪

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