We see another Rangers site claiming today that Morocco’s win over Spain proves Giovanni van Bronckhorst was in the wrong money when it comes to the UCL, and you know what? They are absolutely right.
While it is difficult to measure club football at any level with the World Cup, nevertheless the unsuspecting Moroccans, in the quarter-finals, indeed showed hard work, a spirit of team and a bit of luck can be more important assets than supposed quality when applied correctly. .
Of course, the claim has a caveat – Spain absolutely sucks these days. Indeed, their football itself actually looks, uncannily, like Rangers under Gio this season – heavy, slow side passes and excessive but ineffective dominance.
It’s no wonder it only took a little bit of energy to keep them from scoring, although it’s also worth remembering that Morocco used the low block a lot, and there was no no way out for a Spain that no longer has any creativity or high-level quality.
But then Ajax also absolutely sucked in the UCL, and still outclassed Rangers with ease, twice.
Why? Because Giovanni’s tactics were the curse, not Ryan Kent’s value. You see, the value of the Rangers squad, before the UCL, was actually impressive. True, Aribo, Bassey and Patterson were gone, but Morelos, Kamara, Barisic, Kent, Tavernier and a few others made the team worth between £80m and £100m. Granted, we had lost £50m of its value in those three sales, but it was still worth infinitely more than we had spent on it.
And yet those awful ‘Spanish’ tactics from the boss killed any UCL adventure in stone, and that was long before Connor Goldson’s injury at Ibrox led to Liverpool’s new debacle.
So when he used that excuse after Ajax, he actually handed in his resignation that day. The real reason Gio said that was to say “I quit”. He knew his game was already over and he wanted to move on, but had to force the club to fire him instead.
There was no reason Rangers couldn’t have been competitive – heck, we got to the UEL final against some really good sides, and while we couldn’t match Ajax, Napoli and Liverpool for our wallets, we could at least do it for work rate.
Just like Morocco last night. But unlike Morocco, we had no spirit, no tactics, no desire, and from the players to the manager, there was no guts this season.
We hope that changes with Michael Beale.