It’s the big question we’ve been repeatedly hearing from supporter after supporter the past month:
‘What happened in Dubai?’
The truth is this is one we’ll probably never know – we’ve heard conspiracies and tales of the most ridiculous and sordid nature, but we do know this – the Rangers that came back from the Middle East is not the same one that put Celtic in its place last December.
That Rangers team could beat anyone in Scotland, and many European teams too. We had concerns the overall squad wasn’t overall good enough, and regulars know our thoughts there, so we won’t bang on about that, but we definitely know how good the first XI and bench was.
And yet, since Dubai, it’s a pale imitation of the side who left for the winter break, with no coherence, no energy, and a total lack of team spirit.
We’re not going to conjecture what, but it is clear something did happen out there, something which has broken the run we were on, the confidence, and the general progress we were making.
These players are no longer playing for the manager, and the only two who really are, are the two who weren’t there: Ianis Hagi and Florian Kamberi.
Gerrard wasn’t even willing to back his captain up lately – not criticising, of course, but he didn’t defend Tavernier’s performances as the holder of the armband, and we can’t remember the last time the manager actually spoke positively about anyone.
Something definitely occurred out there, and while we do have information as to what it was, we wouldn’t share that as it’s not productive unless we have absolute proof. And we don’t.
All we have is a shell of a team, and performances well below what they should be, alongside the results.
We are sorry we’re being so negative, but so is the manager. It’s hard to find positives other than a bland ‘get behind the team’ etc because that’s not constructive.
We try to cover all angles as much as we can, and either way, whatever did happen in Dubai has completely derailed our season.
How it gets back on track is up to Steven Gerrard.