Ibrox Noise last night commented on the fact Ajax absolutely destroyed 5th-placed Heerenveen 5-0 following their demolition of Rangers midweek.
That result of course put Gio under pressure, and fans have been slaughtering the players for the apparent lack of effort on the pitch, with more than a degree of merit.
However better teams than Rangers will go to Amsterdam and lose this season, and we’ll be interested in how Napoli and Liverpool fare out there themselves.
But it was the fact that a top Dutch team got utter ruined there that piqued our interest, and the responses were very telling:
Most fans argued about the lack of effort, that we didn’t run half as much as Ajax did, didn’t pass, didn’t show the same gumption.
You know why?
It wasn’t laziness or apathy – it was fear.
It was very telling the only two players who didn’t look outright scared were Tillman and Colak. And what sets them apart? They’re the only two players in the entire Rangers squad, Hagi, McGregor, Helander, and Davis aside, to have experience at this elite level.
And it told.
From Goldson’s fresh air swipe inside the first two minutes, to the disjointed movement of most of the players, the performance wasn’t Rangers being lazy, it was Rangers players out of their depth and they knew it quickly. The only one without experience but who could hold his head high was Barisic.
Now, how does this get fixed?
Well, critically every single player who featured midweek now has UCL experience. Not great experience, but they have it now.
And they must use that v Napoli to completely up their game.
Rabbit in headlights is what we saw in Amsterdam, a lack of confidence and an abundance of fear. Players who forgot the gameplan inside seconds through pure intimidation.
Ajax of course have plenty experience at this level the past 10 years and certainly exploited that.
Rangers have a chance to put it right on match day two.
Even if we don’t win v the Italians, the psychology of the players needs to improve massively.
Least the fans deserve.