I have a very distinct memory of lunchtime in my primary school. Not that the food was that great, but on certain days, it would be burgers… and who doesn’t like a burger? (sorry vegans/vegetarians). Myself and a few others would try and eat it as fast as possible in order to go back up for more… so it was sad times when the call ‘No Seconds!!’ came hurtling through the airwaves.
Well, I want my seconds this Saturday! No I'm not going back to school, but I am glad to be back to seeing a Rangers team that is capable of winning.
It has been a trying time as a Rangers fan over the last few years, whether you are looking on or off the pitch, endurance has been a trait fans have had to have in abundance.
Off the pitch more recently, things have calmed. Some might say a little too quiet and the new board should be updating us on a more regular basis, and whilst I don’t disagree with that, im sure they have their hands full in the most likely startling mess that has been left by the previous board.
On the pitch, results previous to the Hibs score last week, things were certainly not calm. Kenny McDowell being replaced was a surprise to no one, he evidently was just going through the motions and was bereft of a fighting spirit.
So in came McCall to try and steer our dangerously running aground ship towards the clear. Two draws from his opening two games and we had the sinking feeling that this season was to be another one stuck in the depths in the SV Championship.
But then came the Hibs game. I must admit when I saw the line up I was not expecting much from the team, but was pleasantly surprised. Of course there is still much improvement needed and are by no means in a position to think we’re going to blow through the play-offs without a slip.
However, it was a team that, for the most part played like a team, had a bit of belief about itself with a smattering of urgency. This is what we’ve been crying out for, this is exactly what was needed and it could not have come at a better time. Well, it would have been nice if it happened a few months earlier, but thats neither here nor there now.
It couldn’t have come at a better time, because it was against Hibs, who we are most likely to meet should we get through the early play off stages, and winning this game could plant that seed of doubt in their players' that we need in order to see that we are in the top flight next season.
McCall got right on his third try, further improvement should be sought rather than more of the same, because it made for a nervy game sitting at 1-0 and sealing it with a controversial goal.
Last time out against Cowdenbeath, it was a draw in a run of draws. This result was made just that little bit worse as the week before they were comprehensively beaten 10-0 by Hearts. A couple of nights ago they lost at home to Falkirk but im not going to take their previous result into consideration.
The only games that matter are Rangers’ games, and Cowdenbeath are coming to us. This time, its at Ibrox, a home game after an away win against our promotion rivals. It would be easy to think that a win is a given under normal circumstances, but this isn’t normal circumstances.
These players need to start earning their keep for the wage that they earn, Lee Wallace had his best performance in I don’t know how long against Hibs, what probably helped spurred him on was the newspaper stories last weekend, which he scoffed at when gesturing his loyalty towards the fans post-match. Before that game, there was so much about the team that we didn’t like that it was hard to pick a first eleven. After the game, at least for me, turns out there still was a player in these guys after all, they were hiding it well.
With our defense looking slightly less bomb-scary the last time out, weakness in the strikeforce would be my main worry for the remainder of the season. What I have enjoyed in the past few games is Tom Walsh coming in to the side. Not just coming in, but standing out more often than not, forward movement has greatly improved with him in the side and I hope he and maybe another couple of younger players get more action on the park before this season is out. Murdoch I thought started well but has slightly blended in to the team in that he doesn’t stand out anymore.
I am hearing more and more about some of our younger players who have not had a chance previously and may be on the cusp of first team starts, which is encouraging. With a good chunk of our players out of contract in the summer and a most likely canny budget, now would be the time to see what these younger players are made of, it has worked out well for Walsh so far.
Whatever the team, whether it be youngsters, experienced players, the important thing will be working as a team, rather than the dysfunctional family they have been. It doesn’t matter what type of football we play, McCalls uninspiring formation last weekend can be the same again for the rest of the season if it gets us the wins we need.
This team showed earlier in the season that they are capable of winning matches, and that little spark came back last weekend. That spark needs to burn brighter, because if it doesn’t, im sure the heated wrath of the fans in Ibrox will soon light a fire under them.
C'mon Rangers, gimme my burger... I dont want to go to McDonalds.
‘Mon. The. GERS!!
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