‘Should’ and ‘if’ mean nothing in football. Ask Rangers and Bayern Munich

‘Should’ and ‘if’ mean nothing in football. Ask Rangers and Bayern Munich
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 08: Michael Beale, Head Coach of Rangers FC, reacts during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Rangers FC at Celtic Park on April 08, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

‘Should’ means nothing in football. So do ‘if’ and ‘but’. And the pinnacle two examples proving this involve Rangers, Bayern, and Man Utd.

November 1999, Rangers went to the-then home of the German giants at the Olympic Stadium in Munich needing only a draw to go to the last 16 of the Champions League.

Rangers DESTROYED Bayern in Germany that night, Rod Wallace battering the woodwork twice. Rangers pummelled their hosts but one late slip from Giovanni van Bronckhorst gifted Bayern a penalty and they won. 1-0.

All we’d needed was that point.

May 1999, same year. Bayern themselves had faced the Old Trafford side in the final, scoring and being comfortable to win the Champions League. Only two goals in late injury time defined the football term ‘smash and grab’, and while the 90 minutes had actually been quite even, it was two late goals that got the trophy to Manchester.

Rangers didn’t win that night in Munich, and Bayern didn’t win in Barcelona – and no amount if ‘if’ or ‘should’ changes that.

It’s just a loser’s way to try to justify a bad result, but it doesn’t give you progression, silverware or points.

Rangers fans have been doing it a lot in recent seasons, particularly this one. Yes, there’s a sizeable portion being extremely honest and realistic and simply accepting we’ve fallen short, but way too many come out with the same waffle that Nico Raskin did, that we’re ‘close’ or that ‘we nearly won’.

This is the talk of someone who loses.

It’s the defiance of not admitting you’re not good enough, and trying to spin it in a way to make 14 missed shots and one goal in opposition to 6 shots and 2 goals somehow ‘seem’ better.

Oh we had more of the ball, created more chances, had more shots… but we lost.

So those stats make us feel better.

No, the day we’re beating Celtic, regardless of how many shots, possession and any other meaningless stats is the day that matters.

You get good and become champions by winning, not by losing ‘by an inch’.

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