Is there still plenty of work to be done at Rangers?
Over the summer’s transfer window, Pedro Caixinha spent over £8 million bringing 11 new players to Rangers – practically revamping the whole squad and bringing in an entire new team.
But even after the massive spending, it was clear to see after last weekend’s Old Frim match against rival team Celtic that Caixinha’s men still have a long way to go to be where they want to be.
For the past six months that he’s been in post, there is question around if Caixinha is the right man for the job after the club saw an embarrassing European result, their first loss to Aberdeen at Ibrox in 25 years, and a humiliating 5-1 thrashing at home by Celtic.
Where fans are waiting for Rangers’ ‘big result’ after a team overhaul, they are instead being forced to come up with excuses as to why they’re still not getting things right.
Rangers some-what provided a challenge to Celtic in the first half of the season’s first Old Firm match, but that mainly came from their goalkeeper keeping the ball out of the net, without much help from defence.
Celtic’s first goal in their 2-0 win stemmed from the fact that none of the Rangers players stepped up to take responsibility in trying to stop them from getting through. Most stood and watched as Tom Rogic – who wasn’t about to waste time waiting on their rivals to react – flicked the ball into the back of the net.
For much of the second half of the game, Celtic coasted through with their head only half in the game with the other half on tonight’s Champions League match against Belgian champions Anderlecht.
It was barely after the hour-mark when Celtic were in their comfort zone – they were simply too strong against the Gers. They dictated the tempo of the game, they showed confidence, and they stepped up the pace.
On a whole, Celtic don’t need to be playing at their best to beat Rangers – which is not at all where Rangers want to, or aim to, be.
But whether or not the Rangers board have enough confidence in Caixinha to give him more money to spend on the club is an entirely different matter.
It’s not just Caixinha’s tactics on the pitch that are letting Rangers down – it’s his attitude off the pitch as well.
His recent public outcries have done nothing to convince people that he is top manager material. On the day of the Old Firm match, Caixinha spoke out and said that he is keeping an “account list” of a refereeing decisions that go for and against his men, to see if they balance out over the course of the season. He also suggested that Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is playing mind games, but insists they don’t affect him.
But it didn’t stop there – he continued his outcries after the game. In an attempt to deflect attention from Rangers’ performance on the night, he dragged out his run-in with Celtic captain Scott Brown.
It was almost as if he was trying to get Rangers fans on his side by using the rivalry between the two sets of fans with his run in with Brown.
But, really, is that any way to get your team's fans on your side?
That’s not to say Rangers don’t have some quality players – they do. Defender Ross McCrorie had his first league start on the night played incredibly well in his Old Firm debut, as well as Josh Windass, who Caixinha has already claimed to be included in long term plans for Rangers.
But there is still plenty of work to be done at the club.