Before last night's match Pedro Caixinha called defeat 'unthinkable'. Before our first match preview of the season we said 'failure is not an option' and after the draw was made we said we must go through with 'no excuses'. Well, the unthinkable has happened and there is no excuse.
Last night's result was in awful in so many ways. First of all, the manager again showed he was unable to react to the way an opposition side set up against him (see Celtic last season). Secondly, it once again showed our incumbent players do not have the winning mentality or mental strength to play for Rangers. Thirdly it showed the manager's new signings to be little improvement on what we had already.
The last conclusion from that list is perhaps unfair as new players do need time to settle. However, until we change the way we play to accommodate their supposed strengths then we won't move forward. Alfredo Morelos is a goalscorer but didn't get a sniff as we didn't get the ball in behind to offer him chances. Daniel Candeias is a pacey winger but our overly defensive midfield were unable to offer quick possession to get him going on the flank. Dalcio seems to have no idea of where he's supposed to be playing and is no better than Fraser Aird, never mind Barrie McKay whom we're letting leave for a pittance. Herrera lumbered on as a late sub in attack and looked every inch the lump of wood when nothing else is working. Is that seriously the best Caixinha can offer?
Meanwhile, out of our existing players, our one talented 'quarterback' (?) was easily marked out of the game and his lack of fitness and pace exposed far too often. Add in our over-reliance on Kenny Miller then there's no balance to our team and certainly no pace nor creativity to exploit any opposition who care to sit deep. The least said about our protective holding players who don't, erm, protect and a defence that panic or disappear at set-pieces then it's easy to see how we can concede goals against any quality of team. We're weak, lack aggression and have no physical presence. Haste ye here, Bruno!
OK, the above simplistic discussion perhaps lacks a bit of balance but we did say no excuses. Yes, more new players have still to arrive or play and until they do then it's perhaps unfair to write off our season a month before our first league game. However, the signs of a struggling manager are there: players banished to the reserves, good players moved on, average players brought in, silly 'culture' arguments made for unimportant issues and, most of all, poor results time after time.
Sack him is the call and it's hard to argue. Unfortunately, can we really fold our hand just a few months after he was appointed and a few million pounds invested in his vision? Worse can we trust a board to make the appointment (no matter the positive work of recent times) given they gambled with a Portuguese unknown after the Warburton experiment also failed prematurely? Who takes responsibility for these appointments? What is Mark Allen's thoughts on last night and our transfer activity so far?
All things equal we're between a rock and a hard place. And I certainly don't envy the board this morning. However, we can't sit on the fence here and difficult decisions must be made and explained. I'm also very interested in what our fans think so please take the time to answer the two questions below.
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