In a season of change and turbulence, it’s been a week of chaos at Rangers. The defeat in the semi-final wasn’t a surprise in itself, but the abject display brought plenty of deserved criticism. Player suspensions, various rumours and some serious questions will all have disrupted the preparation for the game. It was to their credit that the players done well and won with relative comfort. Here are the main talking points from the match and surrounding issues.
THE UNION BEARS
The Union Bears, a fans group who aim to improve the atmosphere at Ibrox in the main, had a silent protest for this match. They also displayed banners around kick-off and at the start of the second half which more than summed up the feeling among the support right now. No one was missed as they criticised the board, the manager and the players for recent travails. This was not a move made in a reactionary sense or without just cause. Some may disagree with the actions, some even with the sentiment, but no one could reasonably argue that there was no justification for the protest. It would seem that the club have taken note, with some sources suggesting the board were saddened that it had come to this. Hopefully, this is the last time the Union Bears feel they’ll have to do something like this.
THE SECOND GOAL CELEBRATION
After scoring the second goal, Candeias ran towards the bench to celebrate. You could see him calling on the players who were there to join him in a show of unity. However, he seemed to bypass Graeme Murty, and didn’t really involve any of the management team while doing so. It’s easy to read into that as some sort of suggestion of issues between the players and manager. An interview which Murty held with one of the mainstream media was rather insular, focused very much on how he was feeling rather than an overall team view. I’m inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to both of these though. I believe Candeias was having a go at those questioning the unity in the squad with his celebration. He’s the sort of player who clearly works hard for the team. As for Murty, a pressure situation like this, especially one with such low security, can see anyone struggle to handle it. We’ve seen far more experienced managers have bigger issues many times in the past.
Let’s be honest here. Alfredo Morelos is one hell of a huffy child at times. He obviously hates not playing, missing chances or anything like that. His attitude and body language on Sunday looked very poor, and a lot of the crowd are annoyed by him.
What I will say is that some of this has been cried out for in recent times. Many fans will say they want a striker who is selfish and driven, and that’s what we see in Morelos. If he was truly affected by the moods, he wouldn’t have scored as many goals, or contributed as much as he has overall. His demeanor isn’t reflective of his attitude, one which may be a little self-centred but will see him work hard to improve. It’s unknown if he’ll stay beyond the summer. If the right manager comes in and can work out those rough edges, Morelos will thrive.
Is there anything you’d like to discuss from the match on Sunday? Tweet us @abouttherangers and we’ll be happy to discuss!