Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Rangers v Dundee Preview

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One of the new theories of personality is that it is a fluid entity. The days of strictly adhering to Eysenck, Allport and even Freud theorising over dimensions and trait theory being solidified within subjects are being challenged. We adapt and change our personality to evolve within the environment that we face. This environment changes frequently on a daily basis from family to work to friends and even those we like and dislike. Therefore, our personality is required to be a fluid entity as we act out our roles within society’s daily requirements.

I don’t know about anyone else but with all the emotion that we have been feeling these last six years and more recently, I have forgotten who I am anyway? The journey we have been on has had more twist and turns and more ups and down that any amount of personalities can adapt to. As a support, we have been continually adapting to a new environment with various expectations and social constraints placed upon us. We only have to look at the highlighting of unsavoury incidents involving a few foolish supporters, versus the widespread lack of acknowledgement of sectarian abuse directed at our players from numerous sources, for evidence of the challenges we face. At the recent Ibrox old firm encounter there was again a child at the front of collateral damage as flash bomb devices were thrown down onto our fans. Our supporters have not only faced challenges on the park but off it too from a society that has many questions to answer? It is to their eternal credit our supporters evolve with the challenges we face and I’m sure we will continue to do so, both on and off the park.

It seems disrespectful to continue further without mentioning the sad passing of Ray Wilkins in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest last weekend. At 61 he was still involved in the media and there has been universal sadness at the loss of such a fantastic footballer and genuinely friendly human being. I remember sitting in the front row of what is now the rear of the Sandy Jardine stand when Butch scored “that goal” in the 1988 5-1 old firm demolition job. It’s as clear as yesterday as I was 13 years old and as the ball was cleared I remember thinking “don’t hit it” as I expected it to go high into the Broomloan Stand. However, Wilkins had other ideas and the rest is now history to be fondly remembered forever. I’m sure after playing for many other clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan there will be countless fans around the world sad at his passing. He will always be a Ranger and may he rest peacefully wherever he is.

On to matters on the pitch and we host Neil McCann’s Dundee at Ibrox this Saturday with a 3pm kick off. Our recent performances have been mainly awful. We played well for parts of the old firm game but I felt the turning point was their second goal. It seems that since then the side have lost much of their confidence and self-belief. The performance versus Kilmarnock was abysmal and the first half versus Motherwell was the icing on the cake after the lengthy inner city tour we had on the bus down to Motherwell. Alves and Martin are causing a collective hysteria among the support as they are not suited together in such a critical position. However, we are lost for options although hopefully we may have Ross McCrorie available this week? Even if not 100% fit I would have him in beside one of Martin/Alves (toss a coin).

In midfield, Graham Dorrans was a mystery inclusion last week as I would have thought Jason Holt may have been better for that particular game. Then again perhaps Murty has the semi in mind and wants to give him game time. Our midfield is lightweight and this is compounded by the lack of contribution from Josh Windass. Murty has for the most part played a 4-2-3-1 thus shaping his team round Windass. He has had a very poor return for the faith he has shown in him so he may drop out this week. I guess it’s unfair to pick out each player individually as with the exception of Docherty none of them have shown any desire or commitment over the last few weeks. This game on Saturday would be the ideal time to show some steel and regain some momentum before the semi-final the following Sunday.

Being unsure of McCrorie’s fitness is a problem but should he be fit I would start with Wes-John-Alves-McCrorie-Tav, A two of Docherty and Dorrans with a three of Candeias-Cummings-Murphy and Morelos up front. I feel dropping Windass and replacing him with Cummings to play off the left is justified. He done this to great effect in the Falkirk match. Its unthinkable that we could lose again at Ibrox with such an important match the following Sunday. We have one point in nine over the last three games and now dropped to third with the real possibility of dropping again to fourth should we not improve. Having said all that I’m hopeful that the side will use the following week's Hampden occasion as motivation to spur them on and gain a victory. Predicting a score is always difficult but a 2-0 would be ideal for everyone’s blood pressure.

Many of the side have not called upon their own various personalities and have been too happy to accept their fate. They all have fantastic ability but need to believe again that they can express themselves freely and continue to evolve as a team. I’m hoping Saturday gets us in a good place to form the challenge of the forthcoming Sunday. If the team could follow the lead of the support then we would be half way there.

C’mon eh bears!

Possible team (4-2-3-1):

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