“Downing tools” – why Rangers players really chucked it under Gio

“Downing tools” – why Rangers players really chucked it under Gio
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 09: Giovanni van Bronckhorst, manager of Rangers during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Heart of Midlothian at on November 09, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

For all Rangers fans are blaming Ross Wilson’s signing performance, the board’s behaviour and conduct, and Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s tactics, a major breakdown at Ibrox seems to be the following simple equation:

Rangers players didn’t like the manager.

On the event of Giovanni’s firing, only two players have ever wished him well; Antonio Colak, who thrived for long spells under him, and Ianis Hagi, who hardly played for him.

Not a peep from captain James Tavernier, Glen Kamara or any of the other charges on social media towards Gio, wishing him well and saying goodbye.

Now, why is this?

If Niko Katic’s testimony was anything to go by, Gio was not a ‘people person’ – the big Croat, hugely popular with the fans, explained that the-then new manager ignored him, gave him absolutely no communication, told him only that he wasn’t interested in him, and his management staff then simply neglected him.

He asked what he could do to improve, to be what the manager wanted, and was completely stonewalled.

On asking for a personal meeting with van Bronckhorst, the boss told him he just didn’t like his style, and told him to find another club. There was no sentiment, no decency, no class – just a blunt and cold rebuke.

And then there’s the infamous horseshoe. Basically GVB was criticised by fans and the media in Holland during his Feyenoord days for utterly rotten tactics at the rear, where the left back and right back would swing the ball back and forth in defence, with a huge emphasis on wide play, hence the shape of a horseshoe. We saw a lot of this at Rangers.

It seems the players there weren’t thrilled with this either.

While Gio is a good Rangers man, there are many things he could and should have done better as Rangers manager – his man-management it seems was diabolical, and he lacked the charisma and personal touch to make players feel wanted or important. He was also deeply stubborn and wouldn’t admit things weren’t working.

While the players definitely downed tools, there’s growing evidence he eventually ruined the workplace and provoked them to do so, a workplace he’d built so well last season. A workplace the employees no longer enjoyed plying their trade in.

Why he went this path we don’t know, but Giovanni appears to have wrecked all of the goodwill the club and players had for him, and by the end, only two of them actually waved him off with any affection.

Even if the board didn’t support him and Ross Wilson signed rubbish, there’s no escaping the lack of warmth the players have bid his exit with – their reactions usually tell the truth of how players feel on a human level about the manager.

In the end, they didn’t like him and weren’t playing for him. And we all move on.

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  1. This explanationseems to easy , too fittingly comfortable for the Board and Wilson IN . It’s clear that the GVB tactics this season have been very poor , both domestically and of course in CL but the injury list, the piss poor transfers and lack of proper funding is sticking out as the key reason. As for those who chose to stop giving for us there a lots so it all can’t be GVBs making.

  2. Right so players downed tools but it’s the fans they let down not only the manager if that’s the case get rid of them what happened to playing for the Jersey

  3. “in the end” the players are all paid £thousands per week playing or not and those players are a disgrace taking money under false pretence,
    players lied about their injuries and fitness and couldn’t care less if the team won or lost and therein they are an outright disgrace to the Jersey, team, club and supporters.
    What if those players don’t like Beale, his attitude, training or tactics will the do exactly the same again? those players should all be removed immediately from the club with their their wages docked for the weeks months of faking injuries or not playing to the standard they are capable of.

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