We at Ibrox Noise have not taken a poll on how Rangers fans feel at the moment, but something strange happens to Rangers when we take a winter break.
Last year we were on a high, only to come back flat-footed after the winter break – we blamed it on the Cowdenbeath call off, before we lost to Killie.
But this year, without any hitches, it’s the same. We were on a high, and now look flat-footed.
It is clear as day that this two, or three weeks to get back into the swing of things is dangerous.
Celtic, however, look the exact same as they did pre-break, aside their Old Firm loss. They are relentless against the weaker teams. Always and attacking and shooting from just about every single angle and every distance.
So, why is it only our team that comes back looking exhausted, and looking like they have never played together before?
I find it worrying.
After watching the game against Stranraer it is clear Rangers plays to a fixed system. And it is also clear that it needs a very special player to play in this system, and that might be the issue.
It is a system that needs amazing coordination to orchestrate the final breakthrough move that follows all the high-pressure moves the team has to deliver, and the only real striker Rangers have that is in the super-league level, who is three seconds ahead of everyone else, is Alfredo.
It is not luck that Alfredo always seems to just be in the right place at the right time. He is both reading the play around him, and playing tactical manipulation with the defenders, and he seems to be doing it instinctively.
If Hearts don’t park the bus, then Defoe should get us a goal, or drag enough defenders out of shape, that someone else in the team should get a goal.
But, if it’s two banks of five….I would honestly go for one of our youth to just run at them and cause chaos.
It would give them much needed experience, and it might get some much-needed tempo back in the team.
However, Gerrard has to work out what is going wrong in these winter breaks (we’ll cover this more later today), because it’s playing dice, and we do not need to give Celtic a break they really don’t deserve.