03 July 2013

The long and winding road...

by Shane Nicholson | Executive Editor

I get a lot of emails, messages, tweets, etc. from members of the Rangers community and abroad. Mostly abroad. They can't help themselves.

One underlying current, or at least one persistent message, is that of me trying to advance an agenda, typically one that is "anti-Rangers" in some fashion or another. Whether I'm critiquing tactics or team selection or signings, whatever the case, if I do levy a criticism it will surely be met by some sort of implication that I am trying perpetrate an anti-Rangers agenda in one fashion or another.

And I guess that's fair enough since it's invited. The whole point of the CRO and what we do–or at least what I tell the lads to do–is to facilitate a discussion. Stirring the pot's not always the worst thing to do, especially when you have empirical data to carry on the spoon you're stirring it with. I may dive head first into some rants but there's typically a pretty sane argument behind them.

So yes, I am concerned about the development of our squad. No, I don't like some of our signings. Absolutely I think we should have reservations that there is seemingly no scouting department in place whatsoever. And yeah, I've got big problems when I try to picture where we're going to be when we hit the top flight, whenever that is.

But right now, more than anything, I just want to watch some football. I want to see if this squad can entertain us in the way it should. I want to see Rangers in the late rounds of cups again, competing for silverware, as is our place. I want us to romp this league with a class and precision that we as fans deserve. I want to see Rangers be Rangers for 90 minutes week-in and week-out.

I just want to enjoy this season coming up, from the first whistle to the last. I need to. Sanity and all that.

Does that mean I'll stop being analytic and critical? Naw, I'm kind of a dick like that. But I'm here for this ride regardless so I may as well enjoy the views while I can.

I'm excited to see what's on offer on the pitch and what else beyond the new kits the Club has to offer. I'm hoping that in-house media channels will improve as I think signs have shown they will; that is my connection to the Club week-to-week after all. And I'm hoping that this campaign is the first of many my boy can remember watching with his old man.

Really, I'm just hoping to enjoy every bit of this season far more than the last. I deserve it. We all deserve.

The long and winding road of football fanaticism has always led back to one place: the Blue Sea of Ibrox, even if my view is only through that of a television. And this year I'm going to embrace it like I have for every single one past, because what the hell? It's Rangers. It's a new campaign. Let's get after it.

But please, don't come telling me about my agenda if I'm still a bit on edge some of the time.