Man of the match. The player who excited the fans most, the one who you went home discussing just how well they played. They might be someone who is regularly good, or a surprising performance from a relatively solid player. It might have been your goalkeeper winning you points with an inspired display, or the striker banging in goals yet again. Regardless, it’s given to someone that entertained you and done what you dreamed of growing up.
So with that in mind, I can quite clearly state that not one Rangers player deserves that sort of consideration from Sunday. If you had to choose the player who performed best, it would be Greg Docherty. It’s a damning by faint praise to say he was the best of the Rangers players in that match though. No one provided anything other than frustration and anger to the fans. We know that in the moment, or even when just considering games like this, we can be somewhat unrealistic and irrational. We know it’s a bit daft to call for players to go right through others in challenges or such like. What isn’t unrealistic or overly demanding is an expectation of effort. I rarely criticise players for that as I think it’s very difficult to judge fairly. On Sunday, it was clear our players chucked it very early on.
I like to believe the fans are a 12th man in a game. Players and managers tell us often enough about the influence noise from the stands can have. As such, my man of the match for Rangers in this game is the support. Over the course of the season, and the last 7 years in truth, the backing has been amazing for something that doesn’t entirely feel deserving at the moment. I’m more than aware of some of the progress that’s been made, but most of that has been off the field. On it, we’re an inconsistent team at best. The fact we’ve taken 9 points from Aberdeen but currently sit joint-second with them is the clearest indication of that.
Whether you were at the match or not, stayed until the end or not, sang your voice away or not, you deserved better than the team gave you. We might be able to argue away criticism of the board when you look at certain things, but the most important aspect for fans is the team and the results. There, we’ve been let down. I know that it’s going to take time to get back to where we were. To be so far away from giving anything even passable in such a big match is unforgivable.
Rangers fans should be proud of what they’ve gave the club of late. They should be proud of the number of blue balloons on show for Koa James Michael Brock, a young man who won’t even see his first birthday never mind his first Rangers match. We’ll support the team even through these frustrating times, but it’s more than justified to ask just what we’re getting in return.
If you have any comments on the above, tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts.