If there’s one thing which struck us yesterday about the visit of Aberdeen, it was the curious flipping on head of the traditional paranoia Rangers fans have about the Dons. Because it was Rangers finally raising OUR game for the arrival of Aberdeen, whereas our opponents were crushed.
Indeed, Rangers supporters always claim Aberdeen raise their game for matches with the Famous, and while we know the Sheep despise Rangers more than any other club, even Celtic, we’re not sure the players give a hee haw about this and have lost many times comfortably at Ibrox, games raised or not.
And it was Rangers who finally raised our game, properly, with strong performances all round and good effort shown, even if Ibrox Noise stirred the hive with our contention that Ryan Kent had a better match than Fashion Sakala…
What we do wonder, seriously, is if that match has saved manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s job. Only twice this season up till then had the team actually put real graft into a match – PSV away, and St Mirren home. This had been such an active complaint from supporters, too many matches in which the effort was lacking, but yesterday no such complaints.
Has that tangible lift of workrate saved the boss’s job?
Something was definitely different yesterday, the team genuinely worked in a way all too rare this term, and when even James Sands is (rightly) being roundly praised by supporters you know they’re happy with what they saw.
The reality is if the team plays like that, in terms of effort, more often than not, they will push Celtic all the way this season. That a threadbare injury-hit Rangers was able turn up the volume like that shows that with a skeleton squad missing half the best players, we’re still far too strong for the rest of the league.
Aberdeen are the best of the rest these days and even with a stupid head start they scarcely deserved, we still blew them away.
It shows there is still life in this regime, that at the end of the day football is results and performance based.
Maybe Gio is back, at last.