So, yet another loss in what was a big game. Where do we go from here? And just how much should we be angered by yet another performance from a referee which allowed the opposing team to pretty much kick us off the park?
There’s going to be plenty said in the next few days. For many fans, the time for Caixinha is up. Personally, I’m still undecided, and I can see arguments either way. The only frustration I have is with those who just a week ago were enthused by the progress, and are now calling for major changes. I believe that’s too reactionary either way.
Yesterday, I feel that the players were more to blame than the manager. Certainly, Motherwell caught some luck with the avoidance of red cards in the first half as well. However, we missed too many chances, and we let our game fall apart after the first goal, and it wasn’t good enough. It was telling that Caixinha pretty much criticised the players, not something he’s done too often, after the game, and barely mentioned the influence of the referee. He could have taken that excuse and ran with it, but he’s fully aware the players let themselves down.
We’re still going to have inconsistent performances with this squad. Sadly, too many of them have come in the games the fans see as most important. Whilst there were questions asked in the last couple of league games, which made them “big” matches, this was the biggest match of the season so far. Caixinha picked the team most fans agreed he should, but his substitutions didn’t work this time around. He’ll take the majority of the criticism.
During the week, we released clips of goals from training. The two players highlighted, Pena and Windass, were the ones who had the most frustrating performances. Windass in particular missed three great chances to score at 0-0. The game was one where the first goal was key, and those misses were far too damaging. The overall mentality of the squad is clearly something we can question. In the higher profile matches, we haven’t done enough. I don’t doubt the effort or work rate of this squad at all. However, they let the nature of the game drag them down yesterday, and that’s frustrating.
There’s no Rangers fan blaming the referee for the result yesterday. He does deserve serious criticism though, and he’s not the first we’ve had this season who does so. Motherwell decided to make the game physical and slowed things down with fouls. Some of those fouls deserved far punishment than they received. They were lucky not to receive a couple of red cards when the game was at 0-0. Alves and Moult should also have been sent off for a late confrontation. No doubt, the referee will be demoted for a game then back in with pretty much no consequences at all.
Obviously, there’s a lot more that could be said. I think a lot of reactions are heightened by the disappointment and emotional nature of the game yesterday. As such, I’d prefer to give myself time before I make any sort of real judgements on the various discussion points. This week, we have Kilmarnock then Hearts very quickly, with little time to reflect on anything in between. The players will be angry, the manager determined, but all of that needs to be focused in the right way.
What’s your thoughts overall? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk and we’ll be happy to discuss.