If there is one thing Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Rangers fans alike have been doing, it’s affording far too much respect to our UCL opponents.
Gio saying yesterday that we cannot compete with Ajax was just a pathetic comment to make, and fails to understand we’re not facing last season’s Ajax, we’re facing this season’s.
Gio talks about them spending £100M, as if that’s a reason to bend over for them, and his saying we’re not at the same level as them is just handwringing.
Look, we’re well aware Ibrox Noise informed you all the UCL is a massive hike up from the UEL, and it most certainly is. The standard in the group stage is about the same as the UEL final itself, that’s the upgrade in quality.
But it doesn’t mean Rangers have to capitulate and cowardly accept our fate like weaklings.
See, the biggest issue our management and fans have had is interpreting Liverpool and Ajax as world class, or more pertinently, as last season’s versions of themselves, when both were certainly very, very good indeed.
This season, however, that’s a memory, neither side is very good any more, and they’re in the UCL BECAUSE of their seasons last term – not because of how good they are this time. And this time neither is good, and are more at UEL levels.
Rangers, as led by Gio, however, have afforded far too much credit to these teams, far too much respect.
Heck, we even had an angry reader come on some weeks ago disgusted at the ‘lack of respect’ we were showing the world class Ajax and Liverpool sides, as if either side was actually half decent this term.
And Gio’s negative messages don’t help – Ajax and Liverpool have been weak in the UCL, extremely underwhelming – both have been lamped by Napoli, and have enjoyed a Rangers side unaware of how poor they both are. You only need to watch Liverpool’s domestic performances to see how far they’ve fallen. Ajax fare better in the league but only due to their flying start. At this level they’re nowhere.
But this harks back to our base point – after all this time, Rangers fans and our manager still seem to be under the impression we’re facing 21/22’s versions of both teams, unaware that this season’s one is miles behind them.
Us? We went backwards too, lost our best players, and probably didn’t come close to replacing them.
But for our manager to say we can’t compete with Ajax, when it becomes abundantly clear over the course of the past few months how poor they are along with Liverpool is a shocking message and not what the players should be told.
We can compete, and we’ll not stand for surrendering with a white flag before the match even starts.