28 February 2013

McGowan's Roundup

by Andy McGowan | CRO Contributor

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote an article here at the CRO and it just so happens that it’s been a busy few weeks. Rather than discuss the ‘inappropriate singing’ at the weekend or provide another in-depth analysis on what Ally is or isn’t doing right, I thought I’d just share my views on a few of the talking points over the last week or so and leave the rest to those more qualified to discuss them.

Rangers’ performances and fan reaction  

In the first quarter of the season I wrote an article describing Rangers’ performances as being very Jekyll and Hyde. Sadly that phrase still seems to apply now, some four months later. Last week away to Clyde was, in my opinion, Rangers’ best league performance of the season. The passing was sharp and direct and with Andy Little leading the line we looked dangerous every time we got forward.

Fast-forward to Tuesday night however and we’ve seen two of our worst performances of the season. Berwick Rangers dominated large spells of the game, even at 3-1, and at times we looked incapable of dealing with them. Had the game finished 3-3 we could have had few complaints. Tuesday was just as abject but this time we didn’t get away with it.

Both performances were immensely substandard and the draw with Stirling Albion was possibly second in terms of bad results only to the 1-0 defeat at the same ground earlier in the season. There’s been so much written now about Rangers and Ally McCoist’s inability to get it right this season so I won’t bother adding to it. We’ve heard the same stuff over and over again from the media and bloggers – the same article in essence rehashed in a different style, all with the same end result: McCoist must do better. We all know that’s the case so I won’t try and sell you something you’ve already bought. However, these articles and blogs aren’t the only thing that’s become tiresome following a poor showing from Rangers.

The constant back and forth among fans after a bad performance is now as predictable as Ally playing a striker on the wing. On one side you have those who refuse to admit there’s a problem, ready with their prepared statements about being X number of points clear, and on the other side you have those who like to exaggerate the problems in their own minds to the point they want McCoist sacked every time we don’t play well.

There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to our manager. Fans pay a lot to follow their team and not just in monetary terms. We invest emotionally, we invest time and we invest energy. For that I think we are perfectly entitled to be angry and to criticise any player or member of staff who lets us down. 

But we do tend to go over the top. It’s easily done in the heat of the moment and I just wish some of our supporters would remember that when they are having a go at anyone who even questions McCoist. Try and find some middle ground and do away with Rangers fans constantly getting at each other’s throats. We seem to lose sight of the fact we all support the same club and all want McCoist and Rangers to be nothing but successful.

Rangers TV

The performance of RTV during the Stirling Albion vs Rangers match has been overshadowed sadly by the dreadful performance on the park. It was only the third time this season that UK residents have been able to watch one of our games live through Rangers TV and it certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of production value. 

We were treated to a decent build up pre-match with Lindsay Herron and Derek Johnstone. As always there was some good commentary from Tom Miller and his co-commentator on the night, Bobby Russell, was a breath of fresh air after listening to Craig Burley and his nonsensical points for 90 minutes which cease only to briefly and randomly talk about strawberries.

It was refreshing to watch a game where we don’t have to put up with one of the many ex-Celtic players who seem to be constantly covering our games in the past few years and to see a bit of positivity about the club during the match coverage rather than the same drivel we are treated too every time we appear on Sky or ESPN. 

Sadly the £5.99 felt a lot more expensive than it actually was given the terrible performance we were subjected to once the game started and I genuinely believe that all of us who paid to watch the match should be refunded out of the players’ wages. They let us and the RTV staff down badly, but no doubt they’ve already forgotten about it and are back to tweeting about trips to Nando’s.

The match itself shouldn’t take anything away from the good job Rangers TV are doing at the moment. The coverage has improved leaps and bounds since the technical problems of the first live stream and, after a fantastic job done on 'The Rising' a few weeks ago, RTV could be a big asset for the club in the future. We do however need to keep supporting it and if we do then the coverage will only improve and we will at last be rid of Craig Burley and his ilk.

Alex Thomson – Does he hate Rangers?

Bill McMurdo caught some unbelievable and uncalled for flack on forums and Twitter following his interview and articles on Alex Thomson for simply stating he doesn’t believe Tomo hates Rangers. I couldn’t quite understand the backlash: I certainly can see people disagreeing with him but the insults became pretty personal and the suggestions that Bill has some sort of agenda or is in this for some sort of personal gain are ridiculous.

Until the morning of the interview the CRO did with Alex it was looking like I would be interviewing Thomson because Bill simply wasn’t that interested. In the end, Bill took the interview which was for the best. As you can all hear in the audio he certainly grills Thomson and makes a good job of pushing him on the important questions we wanted answered.

Following the interview Bill spent a few days considering the journalist’s role in our story and came to the conclusion that Alex Thomson does not hate Rangers Football Club and, at the risk of being vilified on every forum there is, I fully agree with him albeit for different reasons entirely.

Alex Thomson is, in my opinion, a pompous, egotistical blogger who arrived to the Rangers story late and ill-informed. He alienated the mainstream media in Scotland and his only sources since then have been discredited bloggers such from the Rangers Tax Case and Phil Mac Giolla Bhain who, by Alex’s own admission, genuinely does hate Rangers. He took a hard-line stance on our use of EBTs and on the club in general. He painted us as the bad guys with his wealth of misinformation and, when it finally dawned on him that he was wrong, he simply wasn’t humble or honest enough to hold up his hands and admit it.

Alex therefore carried on, becoming increasingly aggressive towards the club and more determined to paint us as the bad guys. This was not because he hates us but because he’s simply too arrogant to admit he got it wrong and that the club and the fans are the victim in all of this. I believe he was entirely honest with us when he said he was like a dog with a bone but that doesn’t come because he wants the best for Rangers, as he claimed. It comes from the fact that he simply doesn’t want to have to admit he got it badly wrong.

A lot of people will disagree with my conclusion but I just don’t see it. What I see is a self-important blogger who took an edgy stance on the story to get noticed and, rather than being man enough to admit he got it wrong, has continued down the rabbit hole hoping that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

I think the one thing we can all agree on though is that the quicker we are rid of Alex Thomson’s reporting of Rangers, the better.