The reality of the Champions League for Rangers

The reality of the Champions League for Rangers
Rangers' English defender James Tavernier (up) and Saint-Gilloise's French-Malagasy forward Loic Lapoussin fall during the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg football match between Rangers and Royale Union Saint-Gilloise at the "Den Dreef Stadium" in Heverlee on August 2, 2022. - - Belgium OUT (Photo by LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ / BELGA / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)

We have to admit Union was coming. That is to say, our performance at Livi, even if the second half was an improvement, was absolutely dead poor, and if there’s one thing we’ve been clear on on Ibrox Noise:

Playing Barnet in the Champions League final is a level and distance miles beyond facing Real in the qualifiers of the Europa League.

What do we mean by this?

It’s not the opponent Rangers were against – it wasn’t Malmo, and it wasn’t Union, it was the quality and the level.

The UEL, as hopefully (unfortunately) our fans are seeing, is an absolute mile below the Champions League, and even qualifying for the UCL is hard as nails.

It doesn’t matter who you face – it is always a side who have the earth moon and stars to play for, and if you don’t bring your A++ game and more, you will be taught a lesson by the Malmos and Unions of this world, because they’re fighting for their UCL lives to secure that lucrative group stage.

So if you face Dortmund in the UEL, it’s a mile below even Union in the UCL, because there’s just a vast amount more riding on it.

And we saw this tonight.

We saw Union comfortably taking Rangers apart, when Rangers had gone to the mighty Dortmund and ripped them a new one on their own patch.

Because the levels of competition and what rode on them were completely different.

This is why we warned about Malmo last year – no one believed us and we got rightly pummelled.

This year we believed we were better equipped and had the stuff to overcome Union, albeit we didn’t take them for mugs.

We completely overestimated ourselves, and perhaps slightly underestimated the third round of the UCL qualifiers.

What we will say is this:

Gio has a week to completely sort this, and bring a totally different game to Ibrox – it’s hugely on him as well as the players.

Because even tougher still than Union await us in the playoffs if by a miracle we turn this debacle around and progress to the face off against PSV or Monaco.

Fail this one two years in a row, and it’s just unacceptable.

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  1. Gio has to take the blame for this one, plain and simple, we had a player hold us to ransom, when not a single team wanted him, then we give him a 4 year contract, Goldson is fit for the bin, he offers absolutely nothing to us same as Mcloughlin and Kamara yet Gio keeps picking them, and Kamara, we go out if the champions league next week, I’m afraid, Gio’s coat will be in a shoogly peg and tightly so, we should have won the league last season by a country mile and we let it slip out of our hands because the defence and goal keeping was absolutely brutal, yet Gio kept playing the duds

    Rangers fans will wake up tomorrow and anger will be aimed at Gio, the honeymoon period is well and truly over

    If we get beat against the east end mhob in 5 weeks, l will personally drive Gio to back to Netherlands myself

  2. We need to concentrate on league but by the last showings we will be lucky to get runners up in spl . CL is over already , in Europa league now , play reserves in that . It won’t happen as its all about the money now.

  3. Let’s be honest and I’ve said this all along, we are a Europa League side and a very good one on our day. To me the scale of the challenge in playing USG compared to Dortmund doesn’t merit comparison. Dortmund are a CL side year in, year out where USG were playing their first ever European tie. I do get the point however but he side we have now should be at very least be coming home undefeated from Belgium.

    A mixture of poor team selection and tactics plus the overconfidence from the players from being being Euro finalists only a few months ago has left us needing another miracle. It should be 1-0 at the halfway point because VAR apparently isn’t enough for some refs but in reality we got away with it at 2-0 because we were on the ropes at times.

    I think Gio’s tactics and selection let us down but the players have let him and us down. USG had no credentials to speak of in Europe but we have paid a hefty price for giving them no respect.

    We let our own ineptitude in the league blowing a 6 point lead deny us instant group stage qualification but we would have been found out anyway as I’m sure our close neighbours will soon enough.

    Scottish football’s biggest clubs are second or third level compared to the CL big boys. Getting to the QF stage of the Europa is a big achievement for a Scottish club. Anything else is just a pipedream.

  4. Has GVB and coaching staff been found out for their naivety, or is the recruitment process seriously flawed. We know it takes time for new players to settle in and gel as a team, but Livingstone and last night showed up serious issues and at Rangers there is no time for lovers and slackers.

  5. Going on last nights shit show, I can’t remember as bad a European performance since Progres, possibly Alashkert. I cannot see us stopping them scoring at Ibrox never mind scoring 3/4 to progress.

    Playing Spurs/West Ham should have set us up for this, surely it would’ve been better playing them in Portugal in the heat rather than Ibrox before heading to Belgium?

    Thank fuk we have the Europa league to fall back on, but if we perform like that, it will be us getting kicked out of 3 euro comps this year!

    Cannot comprehend why the injured Kent was replaced by an AM, Wright/Sakala/Matondo should have been covering both wings. Or Arfield/Davis experience used.
    As you say though, we can’t be buying championship/Bundesliga B level players and expect to qualify for this competition.
    If we struggle against Kilmarnock at all on Saturday, I will be VERY worried for the season ahead!!

  6. Totally disappointed with performance of the whole Rangers team , the same thing as the last match. Left side of the defence is a shamble and if it’s not sorted out soon, we will be in big trouble. Celtic fan’s must be laughing their heads of with the way we are playing at the moment . Give yourselves a big slap on the jaw , and start playing for the shirt , and Apologize to the fans for not even trying last night 👎 I have nothing else to say , but would you please get your act together soon 🤡🤡 Shankill Ray

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