James Tavernier was right about Rangers in the Champions League

James Tavernier was right about Rangers in the Champions League
Rangers' English defender and captain James Tavernier warms up with teammates ahead of the first round Group A UEFA Champions League football match between Ajax Amsterdam (NED) and Rangers (SCO) at The Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam on September 7, 2022. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Giovanni van Bronckhorst did not become a bad coach overnight. The Rangers manager, struggling at present a little to find the consistency he needs in performance, can look at those domestic results and proclaim a level of satisfaction that despite indifferent form, only five points have been dropped in the league, and all cup tournaments remain on.

Indeed, if you take away the horror show at Parkhead and the rather poor UCL return, Rangers have actually been far from bad.

Further indeed, Celtic have had at least two stinkers in the league, losing one and they scraped a win from the other. Rangers had two stinkers in the league and lost one, drawing the other.

It’s all that separates the two teams. For all the hype over Celtic and their supposedly infinitely better state, they remain just two points ahead in the league and are having a horror show in the UCL themselves, having scored the same number of goals, unless you count an OG.

Which is why we have to laugh at how Rangers are ‘having a crisis’ but everything is ‘fine at Parkhead’.

The two are pretty much identical right now. Sure, Celtic’s football is probably a bit better, but you don’t measure the quality of play by anything other than points, and on that barometer, little separates the teams.

What we’re getting at is either each team is rank rotten and suffering a crisis, or each team is actually doing ok, on the domestic front.

The reality is the shocker v Liverpool, which was a shocker, changed the complexion a lot – it dipped morale and made middling form feel a lot worse. It plunged Rangers and our fans, especially our fans, into an emotional crisis.

Not a football one, we were just being taught the expected lesson in the UCL, because domestic results remain on course.

But an emotional one, a crisis of the ‘oh my God we just lost 1-7’ variety, which on its own is diabolical but days later we realise didn’t really mean much beyond the score.

End of the day, the league is priority, and James Tavernier is right, we’re sorry, but he is – the UCL is just a bonus and nothing more. That’s one we don’t mind him admitting publicly, because we’ve been saying it for months.

As long as domestic results remain what we want, all is well.

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