26 October 2012

Levels of Expectation


by Scott Ferguson | CRO Guest Contributor

Last Saturday as many of you were heading off to Ibrox to take in the return of the Original Glasgow Derby – or at least keeping up with the happenings via other means (cough) - I was unhappily making my way to work.

I took solace however in the knowledge that upon my return home and on the stroke of midnight thanks to my Rangers TV subscription I would be able to watch the entire match in full ‘as live’ presented by the fantastic Tom Miller.

By the by, for £5ish a month this is a terrific service and I thoroughly recommend anyone who has not already subscribed to do so!

Anyway, I digress.

Whenever possible if I am unable go to the match or to watch/listen to it as it happens I try to avoid the result at all costs. This usually means a complete boycott of Facebook, Twitter, TV, Radio and, most of all, Celtic fans.

However, this past Saturday (with about 30 mins left til midnight) I skimmed through my unread emails believing them to be safe from any spoilers… I was only half right.

After reading one email from someone who shall remain nameless (You know who you are!) I was unfortunately presented with an opinion of the game.

Without actually revealing the result he described the team’s performance as “dispiriting.”

Forever the pessimist I took this as meaning that at best Rangers had perhaps only managed a draw, or worse still had actually lost the game.

No longer looking forward to watching the game I almost did a quick Google search for the result, but thankfully I managed to resist and at the stroke of midnight (and with a feeling of dread) I tuned into Rangers TV to watch the game.

When Rangers scored their first goal I barely celebrated as the feeling of impending doom still lingered.

With Big Jig giving us the lead I had at least decided that the result would be a draw and I sat slouched waiting for the equalizer.

Rangers were certainly not playing well and in the final quarter of the game we were indeed poor and were ‘under the cosh’ for long periods.

With every Queen’s Park attack, cross or corner the voice inside my head repeated, This must be it – and then something else happened.

We scored again.

For a second I was completely stunned.

Then the final whistle came and I was downright confused. But, I was also bloody elated! I couldn’t help but feel that there was some sort of lesson to be learned from this: Do levels of expectation ruin a game of football?

We as Rangers fans have historically been spoilt with success to the point that we simply demand it. Even after everything it is clear that our high levels of expectation have not changed.

If we were to look at the situation objectively just what level should our expectations be?

It is difficult as after all there is no real precedent for our situation.

So here is the question:

A football club has been thrown down four leagues, it loses 20-30 players, it has had three owners in just over the space of a year (two of whom both nearly kill it entirely).

The manager has had to rebuild the squad not once but twice in little over a year (on limited funds) – on the second occasion he has only a four week period to do so – and not only did he have to prepare a squad for the coming season but somehow without knowing what league they will be playing in the following year (pending possible league reconstruction) and after having to accept an illegal transfer ban he knows the team he puts together has to see him through the next two seasons.

Oh, and also he has no preseason to prepare this team.

How long should it take before his team are playing fantastic free flowing football and are sweeping aside every team put in front of him, regardless of the level?

Would the answer be 13?

If it is then ignore me and Ally should pack up his desk and head off home.

We aren’t finding consistency at the moment and we aren’t playing free flowing football.

But…

Within these 13 games we destroyed the (at the time) side at the top of the SPL, and we also defeated a team two divisions above twice in the space of a week, and we sit at the top of our current division.

Should we not be satisfied?

Should our levels of expectation really exceed this?

Are we really that spoiled?

I can’t help but think that by simply having our high levels of expectation that even we can be guilty of forgetting the background of our situation. Perhaps the players are guilty of this too, subconsciously they expect that simply by turning up the 3 points are theirs

Levels of expectation: Perhaps we all need to lower them just a little.

At least until the players on the park give us the right the raise them again.

Scott checks in at the CRO and with our friends The Rangers Standard from time-to-time. He can be found on twitter at @st2oh