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It is not often that we have to play a game in the league away and at home against one team within 10 days but that has been scheduled to happen when Hearts come to Ibrox on Saturday. Let me take the bull by the horns and say against Hearts at Tynecastle we were atrocious. We looked a million miles away from the team that played under Mark Warburton, the man with the magic hat, last season. In fact it looked more like the wicked witch of the east had bewitched us into the wizard of Oz and turned us into the characters of that film. The Scarecrow who didn't have a brain. The athletic ability of the Tin Man and a Lion who had lost his heart and feared his shadow under the Tynecastle floodlights. At this point I had trouble with my story line as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion had to follow the yellow brick road to see the Wizard in the Emerald city to get back their lost powers. Funnily enough the Emerald city was a city of lies ruled by a man who thrived on lies and power. Well no likeness in Scottish football there then.
It's been an indifferent start to the season. Despite being 2nd, results have been average and performances have certainly not been up to the standard we've come to expect. We seem to go through a check-list of blame, the latest of which is that it's the formation that's wrong: it's broken, it doesn't work, the players don't fit in the system... it's just wrong; Change it. The one formation bandied about is the 4-4-2. This is understandable: it's comfortable, it's traditional; most sides of yesteryear played it, and of course Rangers have played it in the past to great success. But times have changed. Is it still an option? And is it the answer to our current woes?
On a warm, Caribbean evening back in 1996 two of the most important figures of the 20th century met for the first time. Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader who died last week, and Muhammad Ali, arguably the greatest ever boxer, who died earlier this year. Both were hated and revered, worshipped and reviled by different people at different times during their lives.
After the results of the last 2 weeks I have written a letter to the SFA asking for a rule change: I have asked them if a football match can begin with the clock on 95 minutes and count down to nil. Hopefully that will cut out much of the stress of being a Rangers supporter. When we score in the 93rd minute it will mean an early goal for a change. The Rangers team seem to have found a way to keep the supporters biting their fingernails to the last kick of the ball. Conspiracy hunters could be thinking that the club have adopted new policies to keep the so-called 'Subway Loyal' supporters fixed to their seats to the end of the game. We have won 3 games in injury time this season against Motherwell, Dundee and Partick and if you count our defeats against Celtic in the League Cup and Aberdeen in the League that is 5 games that have been decided in the dying seconds of the game.
Let’s be honest from the outset. In the same way Rangers deserved to beat Celtic earlier in the competition, Hibernian dominated us in Saturday’s Scottish Cup final. For the majority of the game they were a yard quicker, they worked incredibly hard and, unlike the previous five games this season, were the better team by a fair distance. Ergo, as I cautioned in my match preview on Friday, there was no shock here in an exciting final that mirrored the free-scoring games between the clubs already this season. In the same way we were emotional in April, generations of Hibs fans must be beyond delighted and, after almost 115 years of disappointment, no-one can deny them in their moment of glory.
- 10 December 2016
- Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
- [SPFL] KO 3pm - Live on RangersTV
Ibrox Stadium is a football stadium located on the south side of the River Clyde, on Edmiston Drive in the Ibrox district of Glasgow. It is the home ground of Scottish Premier League club Rangers and has an all-seated capacity of 51,082. Ibrox is presently the third largest football stadium in Scotland and tenth largest stadium in the United Kingdom. You can view a full gallery of stadium images below this article.
Two tragic events in Rangers history will remain defining moments for every Rangers supporter. They stand as a guage of football's real importance while reminding every football fan of just how safety and organisation are a huge necessity at our stadia.