Steven Gerrard’s admission that Rangers ‘haven’t hit top gear yet this season’ is about as big an understatement as it gets, but despite that we sit top of the table in the SPL a point ahead of the nearest side and 3 ahead of Celtic.
It’s all a bit of a mixed bag this season – we can’t very well say ‘where did it all go wrong’ because despite those indifferent displays we’re at the summit of the league and we still managed to get into a European group competition.
But we’re definitely not at the races yet, and there’s a lot of players who haven’t shone anything like they did last season. McGregor, Goldson, Tavernier, Barisic, Kamara, Davis, Kent, Morelos and one or two others are just something off the pace, and there’s a hundred theories and reasons for this.
And Stevie’s not wrong to hold his hands up and admit the sparkle from last season just isn’t there right now.
He and Goldson have said much the same this term – the latter admitted we’re just not the same team as we were last term, and the reality is we’re not the same team because we ARE the same team.
Little-to-no decent refreshments/signings have seen the same squad taking most of the slack, carrying themselves over to the new campaign with little new blood there to add a new dynamic. So instead of taking on the thrust of new signings, it’s pretty much the squad from 20/21 which is carrying the expectations again.
And this means instead of a newly-invigorated squad taking on the rigours of a new season, it’s the same fellows from last time trying to repeat their triumph.
While we may question some of what our manager says, it doesn’t take a blind man to know he’s calling it straight by admitting we’re something off what we’re capable of.
Whether we’re capable of getting to those heights again with much the same players is another matter.
There is of course the small matter of crowds, but then, how much does that fit when we’re top of the table having beaten Celtic?
Celtic fans themselves have not been swarming all over our sites recently, simply because as questionable as Rangers have been this season, Celtic have been horrendous. So the threat from the east is mercifully non-existent for now.
But it would be nice to see Rangers click into gear, get into some form, get some heart and belly into the displays.
There’s been a lack of guts and effort, too many players lazy and not working enough.
But we could be here all day explaining the negatives.
What we are thankful for is our position in the table, our participation in European football and the potential for doing a lot better in the cups this season.
We got 55. Let’s not give up on 56.