Something has definitely been overlooked in Rangers’ group in the Champions League, something which gives the Famous a small chance, slim though it is, of making the Europa League after all.
Fans are obviously playing our chances down of doing anything now, and that’s totally understandable, but some of them may have overlooked the fact our rival for the UEL slot, Ajax, have only conceded four less goals in this tournament than we have, and there’s only five teams actually worse than Ajax in the UCL:
Plzen, Copenhagen, Haifa and of course, Rangers and Celtic.
Ajax, in every sense, was by far the worst pot 1 team, and if Rangers had had more courage in Amsterdam we could easily have picked up a point or more. Which means, do not completely discount the possibility of Rangers finishing third – we are the only win Ajax picked up in this group so far, and we expect an angry Liverpool to respond to their latest league farce by travelling to Holland and picking up some points against one of the few sides in the UCL worse than themselves.
But it still requires two major miracles. Rangers need, somehow, to draw or more tonight – the cauldron in Naples will be slim pickings and the chances of getting that draw is miniscule.
The second miracle is to win v Ajax by 5-0. And both sides will be playing for that third place.
Let’s face it, neither of these things are happening, but it’s more of a reflection of how bad Ajax and Liverpool actually are, Ajax especially, that shows if Rangers had been more streetwise and less fearful in Holland, things could have been very different.
What we’re getting at is while Rangers are out of our depth, only one team in our group has been significantly superior to us – Liverpool and Ajax have been far from it. Both are experienced UCL sides but Ajax have been dogmeat in the UCL this season and Liverpool not far off that. It’s just a damning indictment of our tactics, player attitudes and management that shows why we’re even worse.
What might have been had our team and manager believed in itself a bit more.