Are Rangers Still Capable of Success This Season?
In England, many teams haven’t even started pre-season training and yet in Scotland, one club is already having to scramble to save its season, with Rangers finding themselves hitting a new low (even compared to events in recent years) after being defeated by a part-time outfit from Luxembourg: Progrès.
What Now for Rangers?
Obviously, playing against Progrès is not the full extent of Rangers’ season, but the embarrassment of the defeat means that they will now have to attempt to convince players to move to the club whilst looking like an outfit that isn’t a shadow of the team that shone during their glory days. Put simply: memories of evenings of Champions League excitement at Ibrox will have to remain just those, rather than realistic hopes and dreams for the near future.
Despite their abysmal start to the season, Rangers are still considered one of the favourites to clinch the Scottish Premier League trophy next season, with odds of 12/1 in the current Scottish football betting markets. This suggests that it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they can win the league, but the fact that Celtic are odds on before a ball has even been kicked domestically suggests that Rangers will have to pull off a pretty major shock if they are to end the season as champions.
Rangers stars like Bruno Alves are rightly being bullish about their hopes for a real fight for the title this year, especially after the ignominy of watching Celtic win the league unbeaten and securing the treble last season, but it is certainly primarily time for a degree of reflection when it comes to uncovering what might help Rangers climb back to the top of the game in Scotland, and onto the ladder again when it comes to Europe.
What Would Success Look Like?
With the chance of winning the league a less than likely proposition, even in the minds of die-hard Rangers fans, perhaps real success would come in the form of glory in the Scottish FA Cup or the Scottish League Cup. Neither of these would be the same as winning the league, but adding a serious trophy to the Rangers trophy cabinet would help to improve the calibre of player opting to join a club focusing more on buying quantity than quality.
Even this level of success won’t be easy and it probably won’t come cheap either, with Rangers likely to need to assess how much money they can spend in order to ensure they have a strong enough first 11, let alone a strong enough squad to properly compete with the likes of Celtic and Aberdeen.
If Rangers fail to achieve anything like this sort of relative success this year, then Scottish football as a whole will continue to suffer from a total lack of competition, a lack of interest in the traditional big draw of Scottish football (the battle between the Old Firm), and a decline in revenue, all of which would continue to leave Rangers further away from being the club they once were.