Today on Ibrox Noise we’re taking an alternative trip through history, a ‘what if’.
We watched with interest last night the first leg of the play-off final between Dundee United and St Mirren, and it invoked memories of 2015, and the ultimate failure to secure promotion suffered under then-interim manager Stuart McCall.
To be fair to him, he did a man’s job taking that roughshod squad as close as he did to securing promotion and overcoming Motherwell, but the match v Fir Park’s finest was a stage too far for the squad we had.
But… what if? What if a team filled with Bilel Mohsni, Lee McCulloch and Ian Black had actually managed to overcome Motherwell? What if that ragamuffin crew of SPL dirge had actually beaten Motherwell and got promoted?
Well, if ever a cloud had a silver lining, failure in that playoff final was it – can we imagine how badly a Rangers squad, thinking it was WAY better than it was, would have actually done in the SPL?
We’d have deluded ourselves into thinking guys like Black, Law, Aird and McCulloch were up to the standard required in the SPL – after all, three of them were experienced SPL players in the first place.
We really fear where our club would have ended up in the surprising event of beating Motherwell, and suspect bottom half of the table at absolute best.
Just imagine – we’d think our ‘SPL standard’ players were good enough to handle the league and not invested heavily in the summer transfer market – and we’d have been lucky to be higher than bottom three.
Of course, it’s complete supposition, and it’s not what happened, so why go there?
Because it matters – our history matters, and while languishing in the Championship for an extra year hurt like hell, long term it was the best outcome.
Mark Warburton’s reign overall was a bit of a failure, but the one thing it gave us was a clean promotion – and a squad that was at least top 6 in the SPL the following season.
We can’t see that having happened with David Templeton…