26 February 2013

Heads in the sand, all that

by Shane Nicholson | CRO Executive Editor

Boy am I glad I stayed home today and got to see that.

Listen: new day, same story. I wrote about this after we lost at Stirling back in October. You could've wrote that story in August of 2011.

We are, simply put, fucking dire. Very few bright spots in this side and all from individual players. We can't defend high balls, can't defend crosses, can't defend on set pieces, can't execute set pieces at the other end, our "star" players have been anything but, guys on wages that most SFL3 players would kill for unwilling to show up for 90 minutes. Fuck, for nine minutes. Who am I kidding?

Winning streaks and goal tallies have glossed over the obvious: this side is treading water and has been since the first kick of the season. Anyone who was going to judge this year on whether or not we won the league was lying to themselves.

This was a golden opportunity, I'm convinced now absolutely pissed away, and the ones laying excuses at the feet of the coaching staff for them to pick up are doing no favors. It's not a matter of "Ally out" or whatever clever term you want to stick on people asking questions of abject performances piling up on one another. It's a matter of a professional side outplayed by semi-pros and amateurs week after week.

Do we even train? Can our players run for 90 minutes? Have we practiced a dead ball situation at Auchenhowie once this season? As one fan on Twitter put it, we'd be better off letting out our training ground to clubs that will actually use it.

It's dreadful. It's a wasted campaign in so many different ways. When we should be laying foundations for the next decade or longer we're busy getting a Nando's. Yeah, it's a joke, but it's closer to the truth than a lot of us would like to admit.

I could abide a slip here and there if there was progress on display, but there's not. We see the same half-assed attempts at "passing" football for 10-15 minutes followed by 60 yard diagonals and long punts from Alexander. Subs made in the 70th minute or later. No sense of wanting to make a change or even the ability to make a change from the staff at all.

It's a disappointment, and a point no longer worth belaboring. We've seen no signs of movement in a positive direction this entire season. It's clear we're here to play out the final months at a light jog of what may ultimately be a meaningless campaign if reconstruction is forced through.

But regardless of what the authorities ultimately decide, I'll look back on this season as a failure of the coaching staff and its leader. Sure, the trophy we win at the end of the year may be hollow, but it'll only match the progress (or lack thereof) Rangers made as a football team on the pitch.

I'm calling time: we have wasted the greatest opportunity a club of our stature could ever have to build a footballing mentality and ethos from the ground up. Back (eventually) to a boring yet "reformed" SPL, and more of the same tired performances from the lads in light blue.