“Night and day” – wake up call for Rangers v Arsenal

“Night and day” – wake up call for Rangers v Arsenal
Rangers FC's head coach Steven Gerrard gives a press conference on the eve of their match against Belgian club Standard de Liege on the first day of the group phase (group D) of the UEFA Europa League football competition, in Liege on October 21, 2020. (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR / Belga / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/Belga/AFP via Getty Images)

If yesterday’s visit from Arsenal taught us anything, it’s that the standard Rangers will face in the CL is an absolute hike from anything in the UEL or SPL, and while the hosts got a decent draw from the friendly, the gulf in quality between both clubs was absolutely stark at times.

It’s only pre-season, but that applies to both sides, and Arsenal were quicker, sharper, hungrier, and infinitely more energetic than the rather sloppy performance from the home side which definitely lacked some bite.

Arsenal are a PL side, and Rangers were shown a real glimpse of the true quality at that level, and it’s night and day from what Steven Gerrard has faced in any competition as manager aside perhaps Leverkusen and Praha.

And it must be remembered it was a mostly fringe Arsenal side who took the field to start with, and which ended it too.

Rangers did score with two excellent headers, and didn’t play horribly, but there was a lack of cutting edge, with the home side doing their best stuff ‘in front’ of Arsenal as Stevie put it – in other words, not hurting the opponent despite some decent play in their own half to middle third.

Arsenal, on the other hand, sliced Rangers’ woeful defence open at will and wasted countless golden chances to score, with star man Aubameyang particularly profligate.

We’re not drawing any conclusions from this match, it is pre-season after all, and we’re seeing a lot of division from fans already, with some saying ‘wur doomed’ while others defend it with ‘it’s only pre-season’.

But there’s only two weeks to go till the serious action starts and Rangers really need to tidy up the loose ends in their play, particularly at the back, because teams of Arsenal’s level will hurt us in competitive action if we don’t.

A wake up call? Maybe a little.

Best we’re awake now though than sleeping in till the start of the season and caught completely off-guard.

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  1. Well, it’s early days and there’s still time for things to gel, but there’s never been any doubt in my mind that the CL and the PL are big steps up from the EL and SPL. Should Rangers qualify for the CL group stage, they will face a different kettle of fish and finishing first or second may well be beyond them this year, as is the case with most teams from smaller leagues around Europe. I think they have got little to lose but may positively surprise a few people.

  2. One thing that shines glaringly obvious is that we need another Striker or a Fully committed Morelos . We also need a top level midfield player that can play at the tempo and quality required for the CL. Where was Kent Aribo Morelos Barisic . SG not giving much away about anything , which is fine but the CL qualifying and Season start is fast approaching. I’m not panicking and get the need to not show your hand to early but it would be good for a realistic update for the Real Rangers People please.

  3. I can accept that Arsenal may have better players, even their fringe players, and be a better team than us but there is no reason why they should be quicker, sharper, hungrier and more energetic than us.

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