Rangers go into tonight’s Champions League Third Round qualifying second leg in a fairly strong position, but Servette have two men back – their first-choice striker Enzo Crivelli, and Gael Ondoua, their Cameroon midfielder.
Could this change things?
Well, it depends if our manager is trying to throw Servette a dummy with his ‘attack attack attack’ promise, which is some of the most naïve management at this level if honest. If he’s trying to feign one here, it’s not so bad, because the most foolish management in a second leg away from home when furnished with the most slender lead is to throw caution to the wind.
The problem is Michael Beale doesn’t know how to defend – it’s not in his coaching manual, so his going cavalier in Switzerland isn’t so much a tactic as the only way he knows how to play.
The further problem is if he has the foolishness to start Connor Goldson, who not only isn’t up to it for ability, but he’s not up to it fitness-wise either. Yes, he actually did a better job than feared in the first leg, but Leon Balogun is just a different class of defender, and will be a lot better away from home as well.
And Michael Beale picking James Tavernier and Connor Goldson on our travels at this level in a match he apparently is willing to leave massive gaps at the back in is pure football madness.
Souttar and Balogun is a far better setup at the back, but the implication is that Goldson will just go straight back into the centre of defence and Balogun will be benched.
Or Beale is trying to throw us all a dummy with his usual verbal diarrhoea in the press, which if we do anything better than lose on the night tonight, will be entirely justified.
But we know from experience Beale doesn’t know how to sit back – he’s all flair football, which is fair enough when you have Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland to pick from, but not so much when your options are a little more modest.
So we’ll see what we get tonight. Hopefully he gets the selection right and we’re celebrating a playoff with, likely, PSV next week.