Is it easier to play with ten players than eleven when one is having a really bad day? The strength of the team is in its unity - the sum of the whole being bigger than the sum of its parts – a successful team is one organic autonomous machine. Everyone knows their task and the team is set up to carry out that task. An appreciation of this thought clarified in my mind whilst watching Barisic cup his head in his hands and sit back on the grass during one of our all-too-familiar tonkings. Another goal conceded just seconds after a big hole appeared in our defence and totally undermined everyone’s performance up until that point, as any footballing philosophy and structure proceeded to collapse around us.

This unity of performance and unity of purpose is important in the squad and in all areas of the club. It’s clear something changed when Gerrard left. It had to. Maybe 55 was that unifying mission or maybe Gerrard was. The force of nature and his departure following 55 allowed the club to breathe out, perhaps relax and let the belly hang over the belt a little too much as those high standards dropped and settled on to the narrower shoulders of those running the club. We were told the director of football would ensure continuity of footballing philosophy and all footballing matters should personnel change. That didn’t quite happen. There’s been an air of uninspiring instability from the top down for the past couple of years. Sure, there has been a few manic highs but overall we lacked visible drive and leadership and this (evidently) led to lower standards or lower ambitions rubbing off onto the players.

The past season is perhaps best personified by the numbers, demeanour and waistline of some our players. Morelos turned up bloated and immobile after a five month injury and has never looked anywhere near fit to me since. As a father and husband, I can sympathise, as someone who’s not a highly-paid professional footballer for my club I most certainly cannot. The fitness and relentless dynamism that had been a trademark of Gerrard's team had clung-on until last summer and then vanished quicker than a slice of Columbian birthday cake. What does it say about the club that Morelos was allowed to get himself into that condition? Who at the club was looking out for such a high-value, well-paid asset? It was grossly unprofessional from Morelos but also a sign of neglect from the club. And what signal did it send to other players?

A valid excuse for such a poor season may be our injury list, which is as obscene as it has been unfortunate or highly unusual. The loses of Goldson, Lawrence and Hagi derailed momentum at crucial moments. Those may be bad luck but bigger picture has to be question marks over the medical team and recruitment. We have a staggeringly long list of first team players that contributed very little this season. And not all through injury. I understand not letting people go for free or relatively small fees but where has the latent value been from Helander, Roofe, Kamara, Kent, Morelos and many more this season? This has been wasted wages, wasted squad places and it’s ultimately wasted an entire season for us. £80m quid down the drain with nothing to show for it. My goodwill ran out a long time ago and after that so did any empathy for many players – I don’t think I’ll ever get over Roofe taking another month off after falling over at Hampden. That has been our season.

This comes down to culture and management of that culture. It is the responsibility of the custodians to set standards and ensure everybody is on board and fully supported to achieve those standards. Does anyone regularly talk to these players and understand where their heads were at? We may have been close to matching that lot financially but that assumes we’re firing on all cylinders. Q: What chance of matching them whilst getting perhaps 60% of our resources on the pitch? A: What we have witnessed this season. Mismanaged to the point of embarrassment both at home and in the Champions League. It’s just as well both Wilson and Robertson are gone because this is the fruits of their labour. What does it say about the running of the club that it takes months of fans protests to point out the bloody obvious? This was the second season in a row we have vocal and hostile protests against them. From the outside it just looked like an old boys club of middle management guys happy in their comfort zones - comfort zones nowhere near Rangers standard. Certainly not the boardroom of an elite football club. Both of the recently departed may have fulfilled a role up to a point but that wasn’t all that we needed, and an empty trophy cabinet shows that it wasn’t really enough. There has to be someone at the club that saw this and could’ve changed it?

Check out our Podcast

This Friday night we'll preview Sunday's game with Aberdeen live on YouTube, as well as discussing this article and all the week's latest news. Don't miss it and remember you can take part via the chat facility!

Visit our Youtube channel

Stewart Robertson. Safe to say I wasn’t a fan and maybe he done exactly what he was told to? But then that’s a failing of his bosses that they thought that was all that was required. Thinking you could step back and just quietly exist was never going to be enough for Rangers, not beyond the short term or recovery anyway. Thinking that being a nice guy would win favours in the world of Scottish football was always a long shot and a strategy which gained nothing from the other chairmen when it came to the crunch. We had eight years of this and not much to show for it. Unfair? I’m upset because it looked avoidable. It was on his watch that standards were allowed to drop and accountability vanished. We had many missteps and many open goals passed up. He fought the fans more than he fought for the club. How was this allowed to continue for so long?

Ross Wilson. The proof is in the pudding, right? We have all the seen the team sheets which eerily match those from four or five years previous. We all watched transfer window after transfer window pass underwhelmingly and or players never reach the first team. Players brought in with a history of injury or to cover positions which weren’t top priorities. We have went from a position of relative strength and stability and incapable makeweights with our season ended in April in under two years. An emotionally charged Europa League campaign papered over cracks. Leipzig and Seville were unforgettable but worth one out of six honours? Two out of nine? Two out of twelve etc? It was falling apart internally and it’s up to those in charge to recognise it and fix it. That clearly never happened. If the bulk of the fans start to notice it and have to point it out then its already too late. Our occasionally capable but terminally fragile players had fitness and confidence gradually leached out of them to the point where we are left with once key players ghosts of their former selves and carrying a residual transfer value as light and unacceptable as their trophy haul. With 20/20 hindsight Wilson made a right arse of it and he was allowed to, wasn’t he? If these two are to be scapegoats for supporters unreasonable expectations and hurt then so be it.

Sentimentality should be reserved for silverware and players only once they hang up their boots. The club has to come first. The club winning has to come first. Good performances should be recognised and encouraged but winning has to be underlying unifying principle, everywhere. We cannot allow the club to be ran by those lacking ambition or talent or content with second places.

And so a flurry of necessary changes commence on and off the park. So far, by the 4th of May, Douglas Park steps aside and John Bennett assumes the Chairman role. Robertson leaves as MD and James Bisgrove steps up to CEO. Football Administration Director Andrew Dickson and Academy Director Craig Mulholland both leave. That is a lot of senior figures moving out and with them many years of experience. From a continuity point of view it is less than optimal; however, it also feels overdue. Being honest, there are more changes possible. Time will tell.

James Bisgrove. Let’s hope his presence, ambition and work ethic out-strips Robertson's. I'm sure he'll understand that successful modern football clubs are ran with unrelenting professionalism in every area of influence and that everything must be tuned and maximised until we’re back on top. Bisgroves’ early arrangements to have regular communications with supporters are heartening and hopefully indicates that the club see us as a huge asset and resource to work with and move forward with together, and not an inconvenient herd to be bled dry and ignored. The relationship between club and support has been unhealthy and unhelpful of late and it needs work. We could benefit from recognising our strength and best assets and moving away from bad habits that harm us. Pro-active, engaging, empowering initiatives have been notably lacking and we need to stop being so easy to catch-out or so fast to trip ourselves up.

Let’s hope John Bennett provides clear and concise leadership. That he throws our weight around a bit to get what we want/need, at the expense of others for a change.

And Michael Beale, he came in at a difficult time and tried in vain to get a tune out of this cursed season. He wasn't far away but we know that close is the same as nothing at Rangers. The signs are that he won’t hold back and that we’ll see wholesale changes. Let’s hope he keeps only the right players and brings in the many with the quality that we desperately need. The mess he inherited wasn’t his doing but his career and reputation rests on getting this right. All we can do is back him. 

Discuss this article

Enjoyed this satire? Disagree entirely? Found a spelling mistake? Whatever your opinion, it's welcome on our popular and friendly message-board.

Visit the Gersnet Forum