As regulars will have seen, Ibrox Noise is a bit more reflective today, less angry about Tuesday and offering something akin to reason rather than rage.
And if there’s one thing we’ve deeply, deeply forgotten, it’s that Rangers are a literal ‘newbie’ to the Champions League.
Sure, we competed in it many times in the past, but that 12 years have elapsed since our last entry to UEFA’s premier competition is a complete lifetime, and our club is effectively in it for the first time in its present format.
The last time we were in this tournament, the only thing that was the same was the four pot and eight group system – since then, the world has changed in unimaginable ways, and European football has done likewise.
Only 18 years ago, Monaco and Porto were the finalists, in a pairing no one would have seen coming, but the last time in the UCL a non-elite team were in the final, while an argument could be made for Tottenham in 2019… was indeed Jose’s year almost two decades ago.
Since then it’s exclusively Real, Barca, Atleti, Juventus, PSG, City and Liverpool – the absolute cream of European football.
Rangers are jumping into this new world, a world in which the elite are even further ahead of the rest, effectively for the first time, and we’re being unsurprisingly taken to pieces.
As Ibrox Noise’s Kevin said, the results have actually improved – from being torn to shreds by Ajax, we’ve lost by one less goal each match since then, and Liverpool were certainly not impressive in midweek.
And then you have Brian Laudrup accurately pointing out that Rangers aren’t even at the ‘starting point’ for UCL. And frankly Celtic are only a minuscule amount ahead.
Our point being that what we said all along is true – Rangers just needed to get to the group stage, and beyond that anything achieved was a complete bonus.
We’ve had 12 years away from this competition, and what we will gain this season is invaluable experience, because when you get thrown into the deep end for the first time in an age, only the very, very best would float.
Did we really think we’d stroll this competition?