When the dust has settled on a really bad day at the office, it’s all the more easy to reflect with a calmer viewpoint.
Yesterday was a horror for Rangers and everyone connected with the club, and easily the worst performance under Steven Gerrard in 3+ years of his management. It really was that bad, and while arguments vary about which players actually managed to gain pass marks, overall so few did that fans are definitely agreed on how poor a performance it actually was.
So it’s the next day, and we try to be objective about the reality about what happened.
To simplify it, Rangers didn’t show up and Utd did. Rangers’ hunger was absent and Utd’s was sensing blood.
But being blunt, it was Rangers’ first league loss in 41 matches, and that record was going to capitulate at some point.
Remember, Celtic’s Invincibles record collapsed abysmally by four goals at then 5th placed Hearts, so there is previous for seemingly untouchables to simply implode at unlikely venues.
However, as many fans protest, there are 36 matches to go this season and it’s still very early, so it’s not the end of the world. As one put it, would we rather lose at this point, or at the end of the season when it could really make a difference to a title run in?
What we must definitely say is regardless of how impartial and neutral you try to be with your arguments, we’re all agreed that the squad hasn’t been at its best this season, and hasn’t got going. But disappointingly, that’s more to do with attitude than ability, because we know they can play.
Why their attitude and hunger seem a bit absent so far is for better people than us to figure out and to solve, but it needs to solve quickly, because with Malmo on Tuesday Rangers’ CL future is at stake.
But we could also spin it another way. Rangers finally show up and beat Malmo – they’re then in the playoffs v Olympiakos/Ludo. Suddenly things look brighter, and a league cup win over Dunfermline will only aid that confidence.
But achieving that is down to them playing for our manager and his work behind the scenes.
The players work to his plans, and they did so brilliantly last season, but they need to wake up and smell the coffee of this season, not 55.
The season hasn’t started well, and the players need to look in the mirror and remember who they’re playing for.
It’s time to kickstart 21/22.
We only hope the players agree.