Your Rangers honeymoon is well and truly over Michael, now get to work

Your Rangers honeymoon is well and truly over Michael, now get to work
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 15: Rangers Manager Michael Beale looks on ahead of the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Hibernian FC at on December 15, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Every Rangers fan to a man, boy and dog is still riding the high of such a staggering turnaround, even more stunning than anything our city rivals have produced in recent times, and was the kind of result that is capable of turning a season around.

But there are massive implications for this one, and Ibrox Noise takes you through some things we learned in the most telling victory we can remember.

1: Michael Beale’s cockiness is done. He’s been overconfident and guilty of far too many crowdpleasing soundbites, but the crestfallen face he had at 75 minutes in this one was a far cry from the arrogance he’s been spewing up till now. He’s been a big blowhard, we’re not going to call it anything else, and now it’s time for him to shut up and get on with making our team better, not making himself look cooler in the press with jazzy comments.

2: Too many of Rangers’ players simply aren’t up to it any more or yet. Either through heart or ability, there are a number of our players who fall considerably short of the quality or heart or both that are needed. James Tavernier, Fashion Sakala, James Sands, Adam Devine, Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack, Alfredo Morelos, Scott Wright, and one or two others either aren’t there yet (Devine, Jack, Goldson?) or lack heart (Kamara and Morelos) or pure quality (Sakala, Wright). That the only pass marks tonight were to McGregor (regardless of the abuse he’s still taking), Kent, and three subs in Lundstram, Davies and the hero in Arfield, with honourable mention to Tillman, shows how below the level Rangers currently are. Whether it’s heart, ability, fitness, mentality we do not know, but we’re still falling short.

3: Was it the manager after all? So many Rangers fans are looking at the players yet more, and finding fault with them after the second difficult match in a row. There was a lack of quality, and while Scotty made the post-match claim that we were in control (not true at all mate) the players are looking more and more guilty of letting our club down. So few are actually honouring the shirt these days.

4: We want to say that’s 6 points we barely deserved and didn’t have before Hibs, but equally we’re not good enough to keep getting away with get out of jail cards every match. It’s certainly not boring, and it’s a winning mentality, but the reality is Scotty did it alone.

5: The defence remains absolutely, utterly, chronically and diabolically poor – Goldson and Sands were the men in the middle at Pittodrie, and they barely fared much better than any previous inept pairing we’ve suffered in recent times. Add to that a complete poverty of quality now at both fullback flanks and Rangers DEEPLY need bodies back and new signings next month.

6: Alfredo Morelos and Glen Kamara’s Rangers races are completely run, and Beale can now kindly drop the nonsense about building his team around Kamara. Kamara has shown little to no interest the last two matches, even if some Rangers fans were gushing over his mediocre display v Hibs. Morelos? He’s wanted out for years.

7: Aberdeen raise their match v Rangers? Not in October they didn’t when we tonked them. At Pittodrie? It’s not so much they raised their match, it’s that Rangers were much inferior to Celtic – we only managed 14 attempts at goal in the whole match, and only 8 were on target. Celtic managed far more (33, yes really), despite the Dons sitting in the whole match and low blocking. Maybe the Sheep raise their match a bit, but Rangers are domestically some distance below where we should be.

8: Ryan Kent is getting a bit of his mojo back, and it’s good to see it. He may take a few displays to get fans back onside, but he’s not given up on himself.

9: John Lundstram, Scotty Arfield and Ben Davies are three of our alphas now, and we need them starting more often than not. Arfield is a warrior, so is Lunny, and Davies is far better than any defender we currently have fit, including Goldson. Both of them together will improve the other.

10: Despite how negative this article feels and looks, it IS still 6 points of 6 by hook or by crook, and we probably wouldn’t have won them under Gio. We remain in the title race, just, and a little favour from Livi would be very handy.

There is so much for Michael Beale to assess. This was the performance of a loss with the buzz of a win. But he isn’t going to get it as easy as he probably thought he would. He reckoned he’d waltz in, ‘take his handbrake off’ and we’d stroll to wins. Honeymoon is over. Get to work.

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