Much has been made and written over the last few months about this Rangers squad, and their lack of mental toughness.
I understand many fans are split on this topic, but understand this. The road to success must go through failure, and I very much believe our past failures could be our keys to victory in the future.
Success in football, like any other business and/or walk of life is often thought to be decided by doing the small things right, take care of the small things and the big things take care of themselves, the famous saying goes. I don’t doubt that this plays a very important role in the roadmap to victory, but something that is all too easily overlooked in my humble opinion is the ability to learn from failure.
The majority of supporters who feel this collection of players are weak, use the results in big matches as a yardstick for measuring how capable they believe the squad is of ultimately bringing success to Rangers. This, however, is where I differ my view, this could very well prove to be one of our greatest strengths, as a group we will have gained painful but invaluable lessons from our previous experiences.
Even when you have a squad of players brimming with talent, success is not always a guarantee, nor is it always within a manager’s control, the job of a football manager is to put his team in the best position to win, then it’s up to the players once they cross that white line.
Many detractors have pointed out that in big matches at Celtic, Aberdeen, and Hibernian in the past, this team would fail to show up, or go into hiding at the first sign of adversity, I fully acknowledge past results have been unacceptable. However going into the matches (with Celtic mainly) we were already at a huge disadvantage, due to the lack of resources and the talent pool to choose from.
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It is my view that is a squad learning how to win, and all the demands that go with a club like ours, let’s be honest for some of these sides to become victorious in these encounters with Celtic,we required an off day by our opponents, coupled with highly raised performance levels in our team. Along with a capable manager, merely to increase the probability of success.
I fully understand why a section of our support feel the progress is not where it should be at this stage, and I must agree our recruitment and talent to call upon should be of a higher level, than currently is, but this is a squad of individuals made up of lower league clubs, where standards are lower.
The past few weeks have shown me that they are learning from past defeats, and learning how to win games, even at the expense of free-flowing attacking football, Pittodrie and Easter Road are perfect examples of this new found mental strength.
Bruno Alves, and Kenny Miller, aside and this is a group either collectively, or individually that could count their medal haul on one hand, we have been forced into buying players that are not the finished article, the complete reverse in our transfer strategy from the past, down in large part to current circumstances. Neither has there been a backbone of senior players to show the new players the Rangers way, and standards expected of them.
I see a squad that is learning from past failures, with that in mind I fully expect the club’s superb recent run of form continues, and the real acid test will without a doubt take place at the month’s end, with an Old Firm clash. On current form, I would not bet against us.
All the lessons we have learned along the way will lead us to victory.