Well, that was a depressing Saturday, eh?
Normally, we’d avoid the off-field stuff in the after-match articles. However, Saturday was a direct result of a lot of what’s going on at Rangers right now.
The biggest issue on Saturday was a lack of confidence and leadership. By confidence, I don’t entirely mean the sort that’s brought around by a few good or bad results. It’s more the confidence in teammates and management. That can come through results, but it also tends to require a bit of stability. Right now, our players don’t see Murty as the main man, the guy they need to play for. It’s expected that another manager will come in, and as such the players are in a bit of a strange place. They’ll have the professional pride to put in the effort, but wonder if what they’re working on is a waste of time as the next guy may change it completely, or not even want them around.
I’ve argued earlier that the decision on the next manager is bigger than this season. As such, if the club needs more time, then so be it. I guess, though, that if poor results are going to happen, you’d expect them most during this period. There’s been some who wanted Murty to be given the job permanently. I’d imagine Saturday will have changed the views of many. The leadership from the touchline was lacking, and the substitutions were poor. The players certainly let themselves down, but Murty didn’t do well.
One of the bigger issues with Murty is that at the moment, he doesn’t have a managerial identity. If you look at his spell last season, he used similar tactics and warm ups to Warburton. This time around, he’s copying Caixinha’s approach. It’s not the worst approach if all you’re trying to do is keep things similar, but instil more confidence. What it doesn’t do, though, is make the players see him as someone they can be confident in, or deserving of respect. I completely appreciate what Murty has done for the club, but right now I have no idea what his preferred style or philosophy is.
There have to be serious questions asked about the mentality of this squad. Yet again, the attempt to win a third consecutive game failed. This shouldn’t have been a team struggling in this way. The previous two matches had been strong performances. And yet they looked like they didn’t believe they could win. When Hamilton got the first goal, there was no major reaction. Alfredo Morelos in particular looked downbeat throughout. As fans, we may need to shelve the frustrations at the results and managerial chase, and just try to push the team and club through this. Not an easy thing to do of course, but it’s possibly all we can really contribute. The team clearly prefers playing away from home than at Ibrox, and that should never be the case.
Obviously, we hope that Saturday was a complete freak result, and that we’ll have the new manager in place very soon. It’s difficult to argue for the first, and the latter seems to be a bit away. The frustrations shown by the players on Saturday are ten-fold among the support. Maybe we just need to remember that it could all be a lot worse. If the club gets the big decisions right, games like Saturday will quickly be forgotten.
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