As I write this, I’m sitting on a train on my way to work struggling to come up with anything. Fans of that lot are trying to wind me up with Dembele’s tweet, somehow more joyful at that than actually qualifying for the Champions League. Rangers fans have spent all week debating the merits of our manager. Reactions to a loan signing from Manchester City have been equally partite.
And it feels like all of this has been discussed before. A slow start in terms of league results has all but killed any positivity for most.
I spend a disproportionate amount of my time debating this sort of stuff. I’d imagine there’s many who see me as dogmatic to the point of delusion due to a refusal to be negative about our team or manager. It’s a fair criticism in many ways, but it’s not as if I’m always positive. There’s been plenty of strops and negativity from me, but as the years have passed all too quickly, I’ve become prone to asking “what’s the point?”.
For that question, I’ve yet to hear a good answer. In what way does shouting abuse at your own team or complaining on Twitter about performances support the club? If I could see the utility behind it, I’d be more than happy to join in. It’s absolutely true that all clubs have that sort of criticism coming from their fans. In that case, it can’t be justified as some sort of demand for a better standard. It certainly can’t be deemed constructive the vast majority of the time. There’s little doubt in my mind that these things don’t improve how our squad performs. With that in mind, I just try not to go down that road anymore.
The emotion of a football supporter should never be completely dimmed, though. There’s an element to the game I’m missing out on now. I just prefer that emotion to be used positively, because that’s the best memories we have. Even when things are rubbish on the park, you can enjoy games when the humour kicks in. Ask Rangers fans about the Banter Years (they may not be done yet!) as an example of that.
The negative stuff is akin to a child taking the huff when things don’t go their way. There’s so much to celebrate about Rangers, their history and their place in Scottish society, but we seem intent on focusing on other things. Again, if I thought those things benefitted Rangers in any way, I could understand it all better.
So we look forward to the weekend, another chance to try and get our season going. We’ve made a slow start, and if we want to make it just that rather than a poor one, we have to win on Sunday as an absolute minimum. There’s been plenty of seasons in the past where we’ve been in worse positions in terms of league points and turned it around. The issue is that other teams have started a bit more quickly, and many worry about our manager and squad. Aside from Celtic, all the other teams are going to drop points to each other. The Hamilton win against Hibs wasn’t as big a surprise as it seemed on paper.
I’m largely rambling here. Much like the team’s performance on Saturday, I lack a bit of inspiration. And also like that, this has all been seen before. If you feel I’m wrong to quell the anger or negativity I can often feel and try to be more positive, let me know why. I’m always open to a debate of that type!