We need to put a little bit of context into Rangers’ result in Switzerland – in this article we detail just how rotten our opponent actually was, and how poor Rangers’ first half in Geneva and second half in Glasgow actually was.
There are two ways to look at this – that the team isn’t gelling yet, 8 matches into this season (inc friendlies), and yet still found a way to get past our Swiss opponent despite our performance being patchy at best.
Or that they were a dreadful opponent and we really need to step up much better v PSV if we’re to have even an ounce of hope next week?
Bit of both, really.
Rangers are not quite there yet – the attack remains poor, with a real lack of understanding and cohesion, and yet all of them have scored – Sima, Danilo, Lammers and Dessers are all off the mark.
But the midfield is excellent. Michael Beale, for all his faults, and he has a few, has made the best Rangers midfield since Walter Smith. Obviously the bar isn’t super high but this midfield is better than 55’s. Cifuentes, Raskin and Cantwell together is absolutely outstanding, and Ryan Jack, when he’s in some form, is great depth.
Which leaves defence, that nightmare at the back – Beale’s weakness is and will always be the same one every Rangers manager has had since James Tavernier signed – selecting him, and later, Connor Goldson.
We could have Maldini and Baresi on the left and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will always undermine everything on the other side. Even if one of them then waddles up the other end to repair his own damage by scoring.
So it’s a strange mish-mash of brilliance, and farce. And a badly misfiring attack.
Overall Michael Beale has made a strange mix of a Rangers team – a forward line with no cohesion, a mesmerising midfield, and half of a great defence, when he chooses to select it.
The problem here is too many weaknesses, too many holes to plug, and a team of the calibre of PSV or Celtic will be able to find them.
Thanks to Jack Butland, Servette finding them didn’t help them too much.
But PSV and the other lot will be a different prospect entirely.