Preseason is over. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t pretty, but it also wasn’t what we measure Rangers on.
Did it inspire confidence? Probably not, but Michael Beale wins nothing in preseason, nor did any past Rangers manager, and now we urge a reset button.
What Michael Beale and his fledgling Rangers new build is judged on is what happens at Killie next week, then what happens at Ibrox when either Genk or Servette (probably the Belgians) grace us with their presence the following midweek.
Michael Beale has spent £14.5M so far, sold Antonio Colak and one or two others and released a bunch of players – this is his vision, his plan, and what went in preseason now becomes consigned to history.
Competitive action is what Beale’s Rangers are to be measured on – sure, some morale-boosting summer wins would have been nice for optimistic context, but Beale will have learned infinitely more from these losses and draws than he would have from a bunch of victories.
He knows his defence is dire, he knows his midfield isn’t firing, and he knows his attack is still a bit disjointed. And that’s from last season, not preseason.
He has the seven days left now to cultivate a winning Rangers and make the fans forget the difficult close season.
This is where Michael Beale truly earns his wage, and shows us he’s the man to lead us forward, or isn’t.
Rangers either rise to the competitive football on the upcoming schedule, or they crash and burn.
We are not going to offer false optimism, nor grumpy negativity, but realism – we hope for our club, fans, and manager’s sake that he knows exactly what he is doing and will deliver what we want from here on in.
He’s had a blank cheque and a summer of playing real-life Football Manager 2023.
Next weekend is when Michael Beale and his Rangers revolution starts to be judged.
Let’s hope the judgement is positive.