Ibrox Loss To Aberdeen Summed Up Rangers Season

Players lacking spirit, tactical confusion and fans left extremely disappointed. That doesn’t just sum up Rangers’ performance against Aberdeen last night but it also sums up most of their campaign this year.

The game showed everyone that Aberdeen are without doubt Scotland’s second best side this season. They’ve been consistently better than everyone outside of Celtic. That’s why they’re nine points ahead of Gers in the Scottish Premiership and have made it to the final of both domestic cup competitions this term.

Many a pundit and a fan have been quick to point fingers at new Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha with the accusation that the Portuguese manager is out of his depth.

I’m not absolutely sure we can rush to judgement just yet.

Without doubt Pedro has made mistakes.

His comments regarding Aberdeen and Derek McInnes seriously backfired. Maybe he thought he was putting pressure on the Dons side when discussing the end of cycles and the like but in  truth all he did was add fire to the Aberdeen star’s bellies.

You only make certain, let’s even say bold, statements when you have the actions or squad to back up your comments. Caixinha doesn’t have that at Rangers. They were out bossed at home and looked second rate for much of the game.

So for me, I’d stick to discussing my own team if I were Pedro and concentrating on getting the most out of his players.

Another big mistake Caixinha has made in his short time at Ibrox has been his tactics when he’s faced Brendan Rodgers and his Celtic team.

At Hampden they had no desire or urgency and at Ibrox they tried to take the Hoops on. Both games ended badly for the ‘Light Blues’.

Someone has to tell Mr Caixinha that getting a result against their city rivals is the only objective. Obviously that’s going to be hard when the gulf between the two sides is so cavernous. But interim coach Graeme Murty realised that you have to spoil the game and turn it into a bit of a battle.

If you can’t beat them then at least fight for a draw. No one in the stands at Ibrox wants to see their team lose heavily because they’re trying to play pretty football.

But one thing that we have to remember is that the current Gers manager is having to use players that he inherited from Mark Warburton’s regime.

Quite a few of those footballers have underperformed or are simply not up to the task. Rangers fans will tell you that some of those players don’t deserve to wear the shirt.

Rangers have a fragile spine and everyone and their aunty could of told you that a year ago. Alan Stubbs was kind enough to ram the point home when Hibs defeated Rangers in the 2016 Scottish Cup final.

The only people that didn’t seem to see the main failings in the team were Warburton and his supposed talent spotter Frank McParland. Their transfer business last summer, in hindsight, was woeful to say the least.

So Caixinha needs to bring in new faces, and they need to be better than those currently plying their footballing trade in Govan.

If newspapers are to be believed then it seems as though the coach is targeting the right areas, he like everyone else realises the spine needs to be improved. So he’s looking at batting midfielders and strong centre-halves.

The side needs passion, strength and height and Pedro seems to be going for those type of players.

Chairman Dave King has stated that the club’s season ticket sales will go towards new signings:

“All of our season ticket money will be invested in the squad as we work towards taking our club back to the top,”

That could see as much as £11m plowed into this year’s recruitment drive. That would have to be spent wisely. I’m still concerned that with no proper scouting network in place, it could see Pedro overstretched during the off-season.

I’d also like to point out that the forty-six year old gaffer has had to deal with plenty of defensive injuries to his pool. The Gers defence was weak before these injuries but missing first-teamers has stalled any real progress.

Ultimately I don’t think we should be judging Pedro Caixinha after just two months in the Gers hotseat. He’s had to come in with the club at a low ebb and clean up a mess not of his own doing.

Yes I can understand some of the criticism and yes the Portuguese manager has made some big mistakes but ultimately he needs time to bring in his own players and a preseason to get the squad gelled and working on a system that they’ll use more often than not.

Will he be a success at Ibrox?

I have no idea! It might all depend on his goals and if he can learn from these early mistakes.

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