As the summer transfer window prepares to slam shut, there is heightened expectation on Rangers to bulk out a squad with more creativity in the coming days.
Rangers have been accused by the support of being too pedestrian with the club’s leading attacking threats going through a barren spell and Gio seemingly unable to call on suitable replacements.
When Ryan Kent isn’t on it and Alfredo Morelos isn’t playing, it’s been a similar story for the last four seasons, even if this time around the damage has been somewhat contained by Antonio Colak.
There are several players in the squad who have been given ample opportunity to have a greater impact in the final third whilst there are others who do not appear fancied by the coaching staff.
Nerves are jangling at Ibrox of course even at this early stage with doubts surrounding the squad’s approach to breaking weaker teams down.
It’s not just about dropping points to Hibs; it’s about how we are playing at the moment.
Too much respect is given to the opposition, there are too many players refusing to take creative responsibility to break teams down, it’s been ten games since we scored in the first 30 minutes.
But it’s not just in the final third that there are questions being raised as a reported £11m worth of signings are yet to make an impact on the team despite the substantial outlay this summer.
Expectations rising ahead at Rangers as window prepares to shut
Ex-Liverpool defender Ben Davies will cost up to £4m and has featured sparingly as he regains fitness with this coming at an inopportune time for the club.
James Sands is not a left-sided centre-back but has deputised there to the best of his ability as the club rue absences to Davies, John Souttar and Filip Helander.
This has left the club woefully unprepared at centre-back at a pivotal moment in the season with the Champions League on the line and some even calling for the return of Leon Balogun.
The fact that Rangers appear to be avoiding press conferences as of late means a genuine update surrounding Davies, Helander, Souttar and even Kemar Roofe is proving impossible.
These four players command high wages and their absences are contributing to an unsettling feeling amongst the support.
Then there is £5m Turkish left-back Ridvan Yilmaz, who started the 2-0 win over Kilmarnock but hasn’t been seen since.
Borna Barisic appears to be working his way back to form and to his credit has impressed recently but once again Yilmaz represents a substantial outlay for someone who is not playing a part at a pivotal moment of the season.
There’s a feeling the young Turkish international needs to settle but Rangers appear to have an affinity with signing players who take their time to bed into life at Ibrox.
All the while the club’s support are still bemoaning issues in the team that have long-existed even before van Bronckhorst came into the club.
Rabbi Matondo – a £2m summer signing from Schalke 04 – is yet to fully settle with Scott Wright consistently underwhelming fans in that right-wing position. It’s like déjà vu.
Antonio Colak – who has four goals in his first few weeks at Ibrox – Tom Lawrence – now with three goals in three games – and Malik Tillman – who has been impressive but inconsistent – are the summer success stories to date.
The jury remains out on Ben Davies, Ridvan Yilmaz, John Souttar, and Rabbi Matondo.
It’s true Rangers fans need to give players more time but this is becoming something of a violin player’s dream as fans see pedestrian performances without leadership or creativity.
Half of us are snoring by the time the combination of Goldson to Sands, Sands to Barisic, Barisic back to Sands, Sands to Goldson, Goldson to Tavernier has been repeated for the 10th time.
Heading into the final week of the window there’s an expectation that Rangers sign greater threats – particularly from out wide and the middle of the park – who can come into the side and have an impact immediately, offering greater impetus, desire and ruthlessness in the final third.
If we don’t add the appropriate quality who can have an impact on the team straight away, amid a challenging run of fixtures there’s every chance we’ll regret it by the time the World Cup break rolls around.