Rangers were hoping to sizzle in the frying pan of Spain.
But in the end their Europa League Final dream was burned in the firepit of the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
A penalty shootout defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt where blockbuster January signing Aaron Ramsey was the fall guy has left the Hotline frazzled.
Alan McGaw, Alloa, said: “To say I’m disappointed at Rangers losing in a cruel way of penalties is an understatement but I’m proud of them to think where we were 10 years ago. Yes it’s been some journey and Rangers did Scotland proud. Well done also to the fans who behaved brilliantly.”
Jimmy MacGlasgow added: “Rangers put Scottish football back on the map, they made a gallant effort in the Europa League final and made all us proud of our team and club. Every Rangers player can hold their head high for they have done what others can only dream of. The blue sea of Ibrox salutes you one and all.”
Gary Stevenson, Newtonhill, said: “Thank you Rangers. What a journey. You have got all of Europe talking about Scottish Football. I loved every minute. From what the Celtic supporters have been saying it looks as though they are going to win the Champions League next year. We wish them luck and hope they can avoid Bodo/Glimt.”
and Joe GrahamGarrowhill said: “So unfortunate for Rangers to lose out on penalties. You can never blame anyone who misses with the pressure that goes with it. However, Ramsey should never have been on the park. He has done nothing for Rangers since coming from Juventus on loan. He can go back now with his head bowed. Rangers did us proud. They will continue now to win the Scottish Cup on Saturday. They are the best team in Scotland.”
Scott GowersEdinburgh, took issue with Ramsey’s spot kick miss when he said: “Rangers failing to have the penalty retaken was dire, the keeper on replay evidence was well off his line. Well done Rangers for getting so far.”
I’m pretty sure TV replays showed Kevin Trapp had one foot firmly on the line when the kick was taken Scott.
Moving on and David BryceTron said: “Commiserations to Rangers. Penalties are a lottery. They will kick themselves because Frankfurt were there for the taking. This however puts an end to the dreck stated by Kenny Miller and Kevin Thomson that a Gers win would surpass that of the Lisbon Lions. The Lions stand alone as the best team Scotland has ever produced by a mile.”
Arrin Geddes, Irvine, agreed: “I think we can stop the ridiculous comparisons with the Lions now, they won five trophies in one season. Kevin Thomson can get upset all he wants but the time for talking is when the trophy is on display,”
Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs, said: “Rangers were the stronger team but lady luck deserted them when Ryan Kent must have thought he was going to score the winner. The Rangers’ board will now come under sharp scrutiny for gambling on Ramsey, whose hopes of resurrecting his career collapsed in tatters with his vital penalty miss, an albatross he will now have to wear at the close of his career.
And so the tone of the calls began to turn as Ramsey, Ryan Kent and even Van Bronckhorst came under fire.
Paul McArdleGourock said: “Rangers fans: ‘Shane Duffy is the biggest banter signing in the history of Scottish Football’. Aaron Ramsey: ‘Hold my crutches’.”
Barrymore Barlow, Dunbartonshire, said: “GVB blundered with that line-up. It’s the final but that team was like a second leg set-up holding onto an aggregate lead. Ramsey clearly was not a signing he embraced – especially if Davis and Sands come on before him. This squad is spent and a lot of work is required.”
Tim Gibbons emailed: “After his underwhelming impact at Rangers so far, how apt that Aaron Ramsey should be the one to end up with egg on his face in the frying pan of Europe. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
Kenny Wilson, Moffat, said: “I thought Frankfurt were the better team on the pitch and far better off the pitch, you would have thought Rangers fans were doing a sponsored silence. But what a miss from Kent – he should be scoring that all day.”
The Hotline’s regular Celtic contributor Gordon Ashley, Ayr, had sympathy for the Ibrox side, well a little.
He said: “Let’s face it Rangers were unlucky and Kent blew it for them. But they will take one thing from that run, the first team to blow three Champions League chances in one season. Playing in the Champions League and winning trophies isn’t for everyone.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.