We’re seeing another Rangers site make a claim today that Morocco’s win over Spain proves Giovanni van Bronckhorst was wrong about money when it came to the UCL, and you know what? They’re absolutely correct.
While it’s hard to measure up club football on any level with World Cup, nevertheless the unfancied Moroccans, in the quarter finals, have indeed demonstrated hard work, team spirit, and a little spot of luck can be greater assets than supposed quality when applied correctly.
Of course, the claim has a caveat – Spain are absolutely rubbish these days. Indeed, their football itself actually resembles, uncannily, Rangers under Gio this season – ponderous slow sideways passing and excessive but ineffectual dominance.
It’s no wonder it only took a bit of energy to stop them scoring, albeit it must also remember Morocco very much used the low block, and there was no way through for a Spain which no longer has any creativity or top level quality.
But then, Ajax were absolutely garbage in the UCL as well, and still outclassed Rangers with ease, twice.
Why? Because Giovanni’s tactics were the curse, not the value of Ryan Kent. See, Rangers’ squad value, prior to the UCL, was actually impressive. Admittedly Aribo, Bassey and Patterson had gone, but Morelos, Kamara, Barisic, Kent, Tavernier, and a few others made the squad worth around £80M-£100M. True, we’d lost £50M of its value in those three sales, but it was still worth infinitey more than we’d spent on it.
And yet those horrible ‘Spanish’ tactics from the boss killed any adventure in the UCL stone dead, and it was well before Connor Goldson’s injury at Ibrox led to the further Liverpool debacle.
So when he used that excuse after Ajax, he was effectively tendering his resignation that day. Gio’s real reason for saying that was to say ‘I quit’. He knew his game was already up, and he wanted to move on, but had to force the club to sack him instead.
There was no reason Rangers couldn’t have been competitive – heck, we got to the UEL final against some very fine teams, and even if we couldn’t match Ajax, Napoli and Liverpool for our wallets, we could at least do so for work rate.
Just like Morocco last night. But unlike Morocco, we had no spirit, no tactics, no desire, and from the players through to the manager, there were no guts this season.
We hope this changes with Michael Beale.