Rangers today produced the biggest current problem with Michael Beale’s reign, and which ultimately a comfortable victory, clinically demonstrated the difference between Rangers this season and their city rivals Celtic.
When looking at the score of 3-1, one is easily forgiven for thinking it was a fairly routine victory, and it certainly was for the first half.
The problem emerged when the second half began, and Rangers appeared to still be in the dressing room. Fans were absolutely crushed to see the team not going for it in the second half, not killing off Kille, who were utterly terrible, incidentally.
Indeed, the home side conceded a horrible goal, a combination of dire defending and yet more abysmal goalkeeping from increasingly-struggling Allan McGregor, which left a final score being just 3-1, when it should have been easily double that score.
And this is it in a nutshell – Rangers have an attitude problem – it’s as if Beale has spoken to them in the dressing room and suggested the work is done, so relax in the second half. The ruthlessness that would have Celtic win 6-0 simply isn’t there, because our players take the foot off the gas.
The difference between Rangers and Celtic in the final might have been vastly down to Beale’s selection, but it’s a collective apathy in the whole squad which stops them being champions.
Out for the second half there was a noticeable relenting of pace, of pressing, of pushing on, of major chances – players got lazy, slow, careless – Ryan Kent had a bit of a poor match by his standards, and was guilty of what appeared to be a lack of concentration.
Celtic never stop, never give up, never seek to sit on what they have and play out the match – they keep on hammering at it. It’s why their goal difference is miles ahead of Rangers’ and it’s why they’re 9 points ahead.
Obviously the full picture is a bit more detailed than this, there are more factors, but Rangers’ rather weak attitude is a big problem for sure, and for as long as the conviction and cutting edge lags behind Celtic’s, so will the points.