Fans are being too harsh on Rangers’ results in the Champions League

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Fans are being too harsh on Rangers’ results in the Champions League
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Rangers player Alfredo Morelos reacts after receiving a yellow card during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Rangers FC and SSC Napoli at Ibrox Stadium on September 14, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

There’s no question fans are absolutely battering the team and management after yet another bad loss in the Champions League.

Even at Ibrox, Rangers managed very little threat on Meret’s goal and while there were some dangerous moments, overall the attack was toothless.

But of course, what fans are probably overlooking is our run to Seville glammed up our European record since returning to the SPL, a European record which, under Pedro Caixinha on our first match on the continent since being humiliated by Leipzig in a friendly during the Magic Hat days, only just got impressive in the last three years.

Steven Gerrard’s maiden season at the European helm was a big step up FROM Pedro’s debacle, but it still wasn’t incredible.

We beat a host of mediocre teams in qualifying (in an admittedly incredible string of draws and wins) but the group stage only yielded a single win, against the unfancied Rapid Vienna, at Ibrox.

Every other result, with Gerrard having spent a fair few quid (£12M) that summer, was a loss or draw. We exited Europe.

But fans were thrilled with making the group stage because it was progress. We’d made it back to a credible European competition, and that was good enough.

Of course, fans started melting when results weren’t great at that level, losses to Rapid and Spartak were seized upon as a disaster, and while the two draws with Villarreal were lauded, the side still found itself out of Europe at the end. And fans were outraged.

Today, we see ourselves in a similar boat – our long-awaited return to the UCL, which is a different planet to the UEL, and just like those first couple of seasons back in Europe, we’re coming up short.

It’s quite simply no disgrace.

We’re out of our depth in the UCL this season, but if Rangers patterns of the past four years are to go by, if we are to make it back to the group stage next season, there will be some progress.

Just like our second season in the UEL, we actually qualified for the next stage and even ended up in the last 16. The progress was there. But it initially stuttered in 2017 and 2018.

And that’s normal.

Fans should not be too hard on the team for these bad results – we have precedent for struggling on our return to European competitions for the first time in years, and this isn’t a walk in the park – this is the Champions League. This is the big time.

We may have a few years at this level before we’re back to producing a few wins here and there in the UCL.

Maybe go easy on the club till then.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I would personally rather not be involved in this competition if the learning curve is 3 -0 4-0 and possibly even worse drubbings .I dont see how that is good for our club and basically just turns us in to a laughing stock /whipping boys while totally demorilizing our team and fans at same time .
    Until we get more finances and I dont mean 30 40 million (peanuts in CL spending ) or play in a more competitive league ,we are far better suited to the EUL .
    I will settle for league and exciting nights in EUL sobering but true .Back to basics .

    • Agreed Stuart, until we are capable or willing to build a squad ti be able to compete in Champs Lge then Europa or Europa Con are better for us, because we are also missing out on lots of Co Efficient points just now that the countries below us in the Co Efficient table will be picking up and catching up on Scotland.

  2. I’m sorry but even though your observations about our progress is spot on , we have serious problems . We have no creative players in our squad . There is ŕea lissues with GVBs direction and his relationships with Ross Wilson and the board . There is also external ongoing with alleged share change , extra investment and the impacts . All of this will affect our quest for 56 . I fear the worst folks .

  3. No disrespect to many teams in the CL, but the group stage has regrettably more or less become a warm-up workout for Europe’s elite clubs (Bayern, Real, Barcelona, PSG, City, …) and the gap is widening. It’s great to see so-called minnows causing upsets from time to time and giants like Juventus pointless after two rounds, but the chance of correctly second-guessing the last 16 or 8 is fairly high. This is not going to change any time soon. There are a few teams from smaller leagues who cause upsets or surprises. Take, for instance, RB Salzburg, but they have an excellent global scouting network, buy promising young players and then sell them on at a profit. But they are the exception to the rule. So, no it’s not a great shame for teams like Rangers with limited financial means to even finish bottom of their group as long as they make up in effort for whatever they lack in quality. Personally, I’d rather see them compete in the EL with reasonable success than being drubbed, but I think we’d even struggle there this season. We seem to be (financially or not) unable to attract quality players, rely on many players that were already around when SG … or have punched above their weight or peaked some time ago. As for Gio, I think even Klopp or Guardiola would struggle in the CL/PL if they didn’t have the fund to bring in some their players available to them.

  4. Totally agree, delighted we made it back, and at the time of qualifying I happily said I’d take 0 points. Being back was the most important thing.
    After the draw, I’d hoped we would have picked up at least a few points at home. But after the Ajax game and performance it was evident we were well out of our depth. Probably our best performance this season last night, might’ve picked up a point if we finished with 11 men.

    But after laughing at them and their European exploits over the last decade, I actually cannot believe we could be facing Nil points and goals by the end of the group!!

  5. Just can’t see where we are going to get any points or even a goal in the champions league ! Big error in transfer window not strengthening after qualifying! We are so much weaker than last season ! And would struggle in Europa league to compete ! Losing 11 goals in last three games without reply is not acceptable no matter the opposition ! The defence is all over the place ! No communication no leadership no system in place ! And the midfield is non existing ! There is no quality no creativity there is nobody that can run and attack and push forward and create openings ! Forwards are getting starved of any sort of service ! I fear the worst is still to come

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