We covered this a little earlier but we wanted to go into this one in more depth this time; with Rangers facing Willem II tonight on RTV in the Europa League, a number of points definitely occur and are worth examination.
1: Rangers do NOT need to prove themselves at this level now. After 2017’s farce in Luxembourg, Steven Gerrard has done an astonishing job of not only restoring Rangers’ credibility in Europe, but massively improving it following the disappointing results we got after Manchester. In short, there’s nothing left for the manager and squad to prove – we can mix it with the best in Europe and that’s undisputed.
2: 55 is absolutely the priority. We simply have to win 55 this season, and the harsh truth is Steven Gerrard will no longer be manager if we don’t. The implications for losing out this campaign are drastic, and the manager knows it – which is why we completely accept him not making Europe a priority if he chooses that and treating it only as a bonus. Domestic attainment is by far the number one, and winning the league.
3: We already lost Kemar Roofe in Gibraltar, and our players have been dropping like flies in all competitions. There is every chance Stevie will bear that in mind and select a shadow side with players we can ‘afford to risk’ and keep our heavy hitters for domestic business. Calvin Bassey over Barisic. Edmundson not Helander or Balogun. Stewart over Kent. These kind of choices and others will preserve our important players for the stuff that really matters and keep Europe as that nice bonus.
The reality is the European adventure isn’t gripping fans this season in the way it normally would. Not only the global crisis still engulfing us, including the fact fans obviously can’t travel, but just the fact that the league is so damn important this time that it is reserved for top priority.
Don’t get us wrong, we want to win tonight and go as far as we can in the competition – but not to the cost of the league.
We hope for a good result and performance, but more importantly we want no injuries and we can handle losing if it means we can truly put all our eggs in the league basket.