While I have regularly mentioned my desire for a free-flowing game there are some people out there that believe this is unrealistic and overly ambitious. Although I strongly disagree with them I would also like to point out that we are currently struggling to get the most basic aspects of our game right despite being well into the season and clear of the mayhem in the summer.
The first main issue, and perhaps one of the most concerning, is the fitness levels of the Rangers players. Let’s not forget that we train full-time at the best facilities and employ a sports scientist while our opponents hold down day-jobs and train a couple of times a week on top of that. There is no doubt that we should be absolutely steamrollering over the top of teams come the last twenty minutes of matches but sadly that simply hasn’t been the case. In fact, in many of our recent matches, it has been the part-timers who have been going strong towards the end while we laboured and toiled. It’s frankly unforgivable.
The next point of contention is the fact that we are unable to execute the simplest of tasks. Basic things like taking set-pieces are regularly made to look very difficult and it appears that we have no designated players to take corners and free-kicks. On top of that we have been leaking goals all season from set-plays and there seems to have been little or nothing done to address the problem despite the obvious damage it is doing to our results.
Considerable question marks now hang over our coaching staff and our training regime at Auchenhowie. There is a growing belief out there that our training just simply isn’t hard or challenging enough and that our coaching would appear to be substandard. The players too have come in for criticism for their lifestyles and fondness of things such as Nando’s and nightclubs. Without access to what goes on at training it is hard to accurately comment however it is clear that whatever is currently going on quite simply isn’t producing the desired results. That’s pretty much beyond contention.
Perhaps the biggest question though is about our manager, Ally McCoist. I feel obliged to highlight how much of a legend the man is and just how much he has done for our club. It’s almost a necessity when discussing the man’s managerial capabilities for some reason. Speaking of which there is undoubtedly an increasing number of fans who are struggling to defend Ally in the face of frequent criticism of his performance in his role. As much as it pains me to say it, I really don’t think he is up to the job.
The major positive when discussing his managerial CV seems to be the amassing of a considerable lead at the beginning of last season which saw Rangers sit fifteen points clear at the top of the table with Celtic having a couple of games in hand. There is however a lengthy list of negatives such as the way in which we surrendered that lead, our cup exits to Falkirk and Dundee United and let’s not forget being knocked out of both European competitions at the start of the season. It’s pretty grim reading unfortunately. And that of course is before we consider the many failings within this campaign.
The latest dire performance and result should certainly be enough to concern Charles Green and his investors. The fact that there were more empty seats in the crowd than normal on Saturday should certainly raise a few eyebrows and with season ticket renewals to be issued in the not too distant future, that is not a good sign. Given that we are already running at a loss the last thing we need is a drop in revenue via ticket sales.