Rangers v Celtic – Gio has a huge Itten decision to make

Rangers v Celtic – Gio has a huge Itten decision to make
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 19: Kemar Roofe of Rangers celebrates with teammate Cedric Itten after scoring their team's third goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Motherwell at Ibrox Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

This isn’t meant to be ‘make the scapegoat of a Rangers player’ day because we support all the men in blue even if some aren’t good enough.

Which brings us onto Switzerland’s Cedric Itten. To this day we will never understand why we paid £2.5M for this guy over a much cheaper and superior alternative in Livi’s Lyndon Dykes, and while Itten showed some glimpses in his first season, it’s clear on his return that the ex-St Gallen man has taken several steps backwards and is deeply struggling with the shirt.

Let’s be clear – today’s epic fail wasn’t down to him, but his substandard performance was certainly a problem. 3 dispossessions and one miscontrol not to mention a horrible passing level of barely 65% demonstrated how dreadful he is currently performing, and why bringing him back really isn’t working out.

We know why we did it – injuries and unavailable players forced Gio’s hand, but boy it really hasn’t clicked for the Swiss.

Today’s display was summed up when Joe Aribo destroyed County’s defence, pulled it back beautifully on a plate for the striker, only for him to dally and get caught on the ball. He took a touch where there was ludicrously little time for one.

That slow speed of thought, that lack of confidence was a huge hamstring for Rangers today, and that it took late into the second half before Gio hauled him off was another mistake on the afternoon.

Itten is well short of confidence, form, belief and sharpness, and unfortunately Rangers isn’t a club where you can get the kind of time you need to build that stuff back up.

As it stands Itten is less than a passenger and surely doesn’t start on Wednesday.

If he does and has another disaster, for the first time as manager Gio might just be getting a little pressure his way. Which is why we’d be genuinely stunned if he does.

The Itten experiment hasn’t worked, and it will cost Rangers in the long run.

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    • No disrespect to Itten but he just doesn’t have what it takes to lead the line in a Rangers team or any team as his loan spell proved with less than a handful of goals, Wednesday is a must not lose game as we can’t afford to hand the momentum to the dark side, I hope GVB has a rabbit up his sleeve.

  1. I don’t think Gio has a big decision to make. Itten surely won’t start against Celtic, maybe ever again for us. He was slow, ponderous, plays on his heels and seems to have no idea of where he should be on the pitch. I would rather we kept and played Defoe than bring back Itten. I can’t blame him directly for the result but a sharper striker would surely have put us out of sight long before the end. Roofe has to start.

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