IBROX -- Pedro Caixinha cut an imposing figure as he emerged in black from the tunnel into the glare of the afternoon sun. Ibrox responded with a customary roar, but a quick raised hand was all before he took up position on the touchline; arms folded, legs apart, he gazed over his new players like a general examining his troops.
Pedro Caixinha was unveiled as our new manager and spent his first few hours taking in the match and performance at the piggery. Hardly the glittering welcome we would have liked but then again he does have much history and experience dealing with and slaying Beasts! He would however witness a side who looked hungry and intent on showing their desire to impress the new manager. A desire that has been sadly lacking for much of the season.
On March 15th and 16th, the final stage of the court action commonly known as the 'big tax case' involving the Murray Group and Rangers Oldco will be heard at the Supreme Court. And rather than rely on inaccurate tweets from anti-Rangers bloggers, you can watch the proceedings live on the Court's own website.
After three defeats against Celtic this season already (and three games still to go in the repetitive structure of Scottish football), it's fair to say there's not many Rangers supporters looking forward to Sunday's derby.
Our friends at Art of Football create hand crafted designs try to emulate the beauty of those split second moments, the moments you never forget, as they look to capture the energy, passion and euphoria that erupts from that one magical kick of a football. They only produce a limited number of each design, so your T-shirts and prints, like any good piece of art, are exclusive and completely original.
I write this article three weeks since Mark Warburton, Davie Weir and Frank McParland left our club. A lot has been written already in the media but also on social media and fan boards. What I would like to do is take a different look at the 'Warburton era' and what positives our club can take from this given we are supposed to be days (or even hours) away from appointing his successor.
The Extraordinary General Meeting of 2015 was undoubtedly a turning point in Rangers history as Dave King, Douglas Park & Co wrestled control from the parasitic regime that had brought our club to its knees and turned our institution into no more than a glorified outlet for Sports Direct.
If they say a week is a long time in football, then how do they measure six months? The last time we travelled to Dundee for a game of football, the sun was shining in mid-August and despite a disappointing draw in the SPFL curtain-raiser the week before, Rangers fans remained in high spirits ahead of our first away match at Dens Park.
Valentine’s Day. A day traditionally set aside to celebrate romance since the 14th century. In modern terms, it’s basically an excuse for card, flower and confectionery companies to fleece the gullible but if people spend a few pounds and some extra time for the sake of their better half, perhaps we shouldn’t complain too much. I know my life wouldn’t be worth living if I didn’t…
In light of another spectacularly poor performance/result at Tynecastle and a disappointing draw at home to Ross County, I think it’s important to try and offer some historical context as we approach the fifth anniversary of a certain Craig Whyte doing the unthinkable. I will never forget fellow bluenoses texting me the breaking news that awful day while I watched my kids enjoy themselves in the Rouken Glen playpark. As such, the odd bad result (or even run of poor form) should be something we can cope with a bit better.
We welcome Ross County this weekend but first it’s only appropriate I touch on the capitulation at Tynecastle. Last night’s game versus Hearts was, for many, the last straw. Groundhog Day for the umpteenth time. I know some will say it’s the manner of the defeat and not the score but for me it’s both. Personally I missed the match due to being held hostage by the library. However by the looks of it, it seems many of the usual suspects are appearing to ineptly perform under some sort of duress?
If we learned one thing from the last time Hearts gubbed us, we shouldn't overreact to the odd bad performance. After all, surely the players and manager (sound-bites or not) would learn from these and ensure such lack of commitment and bad tactical decisions wouldn't be seen again? Unfortunately, this wasn't the case last night at Tynecastle and Mark Warburton's players' inability to beat better sides away from home is far from a one-off - in fact it now appears a given that we'll lose such games.
Rangers fans won't need reminded of the last time we visited Tynecastle. Almost exactly two months to the day, we put in arguably our worst performance of the season to go down 0-2 in Edinburgh. Although we had late opportunities to sneak a goal or two and had one controversially disallowed shortly after half-time, we simply didn't turn up for the vast majority of the game. Our midfield - in particular - was woeful whilst James Tavernier was posted missing for both goals.
It has been almost a year since I wrote a Gersnet profile on Barrie McKay – he’s such a special and interesting player but right now feels a good time to have an update with reported interest in him from RB Leipzig and several English Premier League sides.
After writing half a match preview I decided to toss it and start again. Why? Well I found myself falling into the negativity trap that the press have been bombarding us with since December the 31st. Unfortunately with Scottish football being put on hold for three weeks the media needed to dig deep to fill their papers and what is easier than to fill it with drivel over the Rangers.
A belated Happy New Year to you all. I wish to start by saying how immensely proud I am of our support. First of all in the efforts for our Joey Garner Xmas Number 1 campaign, which was a barrow load of fun. And for the way in which our support conducted themselves in Germany. 8000 Bears in freezing conditions travelling to back the team. Incredible!
As another year comes to an end, not many people will be sad to see the back of 2016. The election of Trump, the isolationism of Brexit, the increase of far right politics, poverty, famine and the daily fear of terrorism remain a blight on the modern world. From the deaths of Bowie and Prince to Wilder and Wood to Ali and Cruyff, it seemed no aspect of public life was left untouched as the bad news flowed right from the off last January. Surely 2017 will be better?
When kick-off arrives on Saturday, Santa will have departed from the North Pole and will be in mid-flight, speedily heading for his busiest night of the year. Having just checked the weather forecast, it looks like being a bumpy ride. He will have mild conditions but wind and rain await, so let’s hope the reindeer are in “Top Gun” flying mode as they hurtle through the night sky delivering parcels to children everywhere in the world!
Little sign of goodwill to all men this footballing Christmas, as the minor sideshow of the game on the pitch is relegated to the sidelines and attention focuses on whether Malky Mackay, heavy-set purveyor of sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and racism, is a suitable man to be appointed Scottish football’s Performance Director.
I’ve read a number of articles over the last 12 months about how Donald Trump’s mastery of Twitter has played a huge part in securing firstly the Republican nomination and then the presidency of the United States. The Washington Post described Trump as the “master troll” and his use of Twitter clearly allowed him to garner as many column inches is it does followers. The ability to speak, or at least tweet, directly to the soon to be most powerful man in the world is one of astonishing things that we now take for granted. Up to this point politicians for most of my life have been otherworldly beings. Seen and heard only through the media successful politicians mastered sound-bites, oratory, a wholesome look and the ability to smile on demand. Social media is changing that.
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.
Partick Thistle, the only show in town for that small, peculiar band of West End luvvies, right-on student types, and minor celebrities whose childhood bedrooms had their fair share of red, white and blue. And the destination for the Rangers on Saturday as we make the shortest trip of the league season to Firhill.
Across social media recently and on Gersnet earlier today some questions have been raised as to why the board never invited fan groups to put up funds in October to cover any financial shortfall. This ultimately was funded by the board.
Rewind to 27th November 2015 and Rangers chairman Dave King has just received rapturous applause following his address to shareholders at the club’s Annual General Meeting. Our institution, we were told, was “irreversibly on our way back” and that nothing would stop us from collectively reaching our ambition to return to the top of Scottish football once again.
On the first of May 2008, Nacho Novo scored one of the most memorable goals I have ever seen. It was a moment in my life I will never forget. I had watched wee Nacho score many a goal however, this was extra special. I watched it with my late partner, Jean, and it was the kick that took us to the UEFA Cup final in Manchester. I remember being on my knees and then royally screaming in delight as the wee man scored that penalty that took us to the final.
I can remember vividly the episode of Scotsport from the opening day of the 1988/89 season. It covered Rangers’ first fixture of the domestic campaign against Hamilton at the old Douglas Park. Rangers won 2-0, with goals from Mark Walters and Ally McCoist, I believe. But it is was not the game that made me remember this episode of Scotsport – it was something far more important.
With the relative tedium of another international break spoiling our fix of all things Rangers, what better way to take our mind off a poor result at Ross County with a look back at one of our club's greatest servants. To that end, last week at Ibrox, players of the past and present came together to mark the launch of ‘Sandy’ – the official biography of Rangers great Sandy Jardine - written by RangersTV commentator Tom Miller with a foreword from Ally McCoist.