After last night’s pain in Belgium, echoes of last year in Sweden rang true, and it reminded us glaringly of Celtic’s abysmal European exploits of recent years.
Which only went to show what a crushing blow not winning the SPL actually was, what a crushing blow not winning the UEL was, and while we’re not out of the UCL yet, we’ve got a mountain to climb.
And it’s a mountain that didn’t need to be scaled – if we hadn’t dropped silly points in the league, we’d have comfortably won the SPL. Of course, Celtic ensured we were deeply hamstrung with regards their stitch up on the winter break, but nevertheless, it cost us a lot.
As did Seville. Yes, Eintracht were better on the night and ‘deserved’ to win, but who cares who ‘deserved’ to win.
Goldson cost us a goal, Kent cost us a goal, and Ramsey sure cost us one. The whole thing? Yes, we should have won.
And that only emphasises more the fact we finished last season close to empty handed after a monumental effort – the two biggies, 56 and the UEL, were in our hands and slipped through.
And now we’re really counting the cost.
Two rounds of qualifiers in the UCL and the ‘easier’ one is already proving as tough as the playoff last season.
And Rangers are proving as ill-equipped this season to handle it, despite spending around £15M in the transfer market.
It needs a gigantic turnaround next week, just to at least earn a space v Monaco or PSV, otherwise it’s the UEL yet again.
Which, in many ways, is starting to look like our level.
Celtic will be completely out of their depth in the UCL group stage, but it was about the money for them too, and it sure as hell is about the money for us.
We absolutely pray Gio can fix this and prove us doubters wrong, because we need the group stage.
It’s unbelievable to think we’ve gifted Celtic the UCL, and managed three times (Malmo, SPL, Seville) to ruin it for ourselves.
We have one more chance.
Let’s not screw this up a fourth time.