With a must-win match on the horizon, it has to be said Giovanni’s Rangers XI v Livi screamed of a manager who didn’t know what he was doing, or had a refusal to change any of it.
Sticking with the drastically-underperforming Ryan Kent rather than the sprightly Scott Wright whose energy was potent on Wednesday, or the returning Kemar Roofe indeed, spoke volumes for the stubbornness of Gio and his refusal to change things when they need changed.
A dropping here and there isn’t enough, Gio refuses to actually bench players for significant periods except the easy targets like James Sands, who has far from been one of the worst performers this season. Indeed, once he got that red card v Napoli, he was out, despite in places having been a major part of why we actually got to the Champions League at all.
And then there’s the repeated nonsense of selecting John Lundstram and Steven Davis, in a combination the manager clearly knows doesn’t work. Against Livi it led to a non-existent midfield, one which got bypassed in favour of the wings, as Davis managed an unimpressive 29 touches. He did manage a last-man tackle but that’s not his job, and he departed at half time having been ineffectual. Not his fault, Gio KNOWS these two cannot play together and just pits them together anyway.
Jon McLaughlin in goal v Dundee, anyone?
We do like Gio, genuinely, he’s a good Rangers man, but it’s clear he’s deeply stubborn, and unwilling to change things – because doing so is admitting what he’s doing has been incorrect. Arrogant? Maybe.
We know the summer business was poor, and we’ll get to that, but the reality is while the board is rotten, and the squad terrible, there are clear things the manager can do to improve Rangers’ lot even if just for long enough to get us to the window.
But he refuses. He keeps on with Lunny and Davo, sticks by Tavernier, drops Sands, and refuses to use Colak and Morelos until it appears his job is on the line.
He’s a nice guy, but his football isn’t working, his tactics non-existent, and the fact James Tavernier actually ended up in CM in this match rather sums up so many of the issues under Gio now. Livi are no great shakes but like Dundee, they could, and maybe should have beaten this non-functioning Rangers team.
If you keep on playing Ryan Kent, you sadly dig your own grave.