Rangers’ title defense hopes lies in tatters after Sunday’s derby defeat and hurting bears on the Hotline reckon it’s time some big names at Ibrox paid the price.
The ’55’ celebrations are a distant memory now and for some key members of that squad it’s P45 time, according to callers.
Kevin KeanInchinnan said: “In truth Rangers need a root and branch reset like Celtic’s last year, that squad is largely done. Rangers need to snatch Leeds’ hand off if they offer £11 million for Ryan Kent. And it’s the end of the show now for Allan McGregor, Steven Davis, Cedric Itten, Scott Wright, Jack Simpson, Nnamdi Ofoborh and possibly Kemar Roofe and Niko Katic.”
Andrew Lamb, Fraserburgh, agreed, saying: “I wonder if we’re all being a bit too hard on Gio van Bronckhorst. He inherited Gerrard’s side, most of whom now need moved on and a cup win against Celtic will go a long way to softening the loss of their league title.”
Arrin Geddes, Irvine, added: “Rangers’ big players didn’t produce any real quality on Sunday and you could see similarities with Celtic’s wantaway stars from last season. Can Rangers afford a complete rebuild the way Ange has managed? Rangers recruitment in the last two windows would suggest not.”
and Bill Park, Bathgate, said: “If remaining at Rangers, Gio van Bronckhorst will have to clear out a lot of the non-achievers that Steven Gerrard left him with. He also needs to bring on to his staff ex-players like Barry Ferguson and Kevin Thomson, who have a passion for the club, something lacking at present with some members of staff at Ibrox.”
Robert Livingstone, Palm Beach, reckons there’s one solution already in the building. He said: “With Alfredo Morelos out long term and without a regular backup goalscorer, Roofe is certainly not the answer, maybe it’s time to bring in 18-year-old Tony Weston who has been scoring goals in big numbers for the reserves. I may well be the answer.”
On the game itself, Dean Ridgers, Barrassie, said: “Rangers fans only wanted to talk about Celtic’s performances in Europe this season, typical deflection. All season we have been listening to them waffling on about how they were going to get the £40m bounty for winning the league but the realization they are going backwards while Celtic are charging on must be hurting big time.”
Liam Birney emailed: “Well done Celtic for proving they are the best team by far in Scotland and to the Hotline contributes who said we were one trick ponies. We showed resilience and skill, the mark of champions. The excuses have already started. Funny that can happen when you don’t get your usual penalty!”
The derby was soured by missile throwing from sections of the home support and James KennedyKilsyth said: “Maybe it would have been a better idea if the supporters who were throwing the coins at Jota had passed a bunnet round and given the proceeds to their club who are now odds on to lose out on the automatic place in the Champions League group stage. To make matters worse their most valuable asset Morelos is at this moment in time unsellable. They must be worried sick.”
John Caw emailed: “Once again the idiots stop themselves at Ibrox. They are so thick they can’t see that any player can be seriously hurt or die from broken glass. I am afraid the powers that be will have to consider either closing Ibrox or taking points from Rangers.
“It’s sad but for a minority the decent fans who enjoy football should be made to suffer, but something must be done.”
Finally, John Scott, Grassmoor, had a message for Record Sport columnist Ryan Stevenson who urged Hearts to bury Hibs’ season in the derby double header.
John said: “My my. Hibs certainly live inside Ryan Stevenson’s head. The thing about Hearts is they always judge success against their neighbors. Hibs however look towards Rangers and Celtic as a benchmark for success.
“Ryan needs to acknowledge that and push his favorites to close the 20-point gap behind Rangers. That’s where the real bragging rights are.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.