The Ibrox hierarchy are under severe pressure from supporters as the club’s season – Champions League qualification aside – struggles to get off the ground.
There’s a genuine sentiment that those within the club have neglected improving the squad since the title-winning season and now Rangers are regressing rather than progressing.
For many supporters, this was summed up by the fact that Giovanni van Bronckhorst didn’t play any of the players recruited this summer in what is being viewed as a smarting indictment of our lack of quality investment.
Rangers had plenty of fight in the eventual 3-0 defeat to Napoli but were undone by a clumsy second yellow card for defensive midfielder James Sands, once again employed at centre-back.
Anyone who has been watching Rangers over the last few weeks knew that such a moment for the USA international was coming and it just so happened to be on the biggest stage of all.
The decision to stick with Sands has proven costly and van Bronckhorst was pressed on the absence of more natural centre-backs in the squad, including £4m summer signing from Liverpool Ben Davies, who has barely kicked a ball since joining the club.
Van Bronckhorst also looked to youngster Leon King – a natural central defender – when Sands was sent packing.
Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst snaps back after Napoli defeat
“Why do I have to talk about Ben Davies?” snapped van Bronckhorst [Rangers].
“Because he’s been injured. He’s just back in training. I put players in who I think are ready to play and that’s why I put Leon in first.
“He’s developing really well and played really well in the second half against Ajax and that’s why I put him in and Ben didn’t start.”
The Rangers boss wasn’t let off the hook there either, as yet more questions came regarding the recruitment and the decision not to start any of the summer signings.
Whilst sporting director Ross Wilson is man in charge of recruitment, van Bronckhorst insisted he was happy with club’s summer business, yet here claims he chose the best XI for the match with Napoli.
“I always pick the team that I think will win the game,” said van Bronckhorst.
“I’m not going to pick the team based on selecting three new signings and eight who have been here for ten years. It doesn’t work like that.
“I have two eyes. I can see how the performances are. I can see how they train. Eventually, I don’t look at new signings or players who have been here for many years, it’s just the best eleven for the game today and I think the starting eleven played really well.”
Rangers fans are hurting and the club’s defensive management need to start getting it right and quick, but they’re not the only ones in the club’s crosshairs.
Wilson, Robertson and the rest of the board are under plenty of pressure as well and stand accused of negligence and incompetence when it comes to the playing squad.
Meanwhile, Rangers fans are being praised for their display and rendition of the national anthem following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.