Rangers started brightly enough with an early goal from who else but red hot (with the boots to match!) striker Kris Boyd. Steven Whittaker’s deep cross into the box headed across goal by Kyle Lafferty with Boyd making no mistakes with his finish.
The SPL Champions were denied all three points as Hibs striker Anthony Stokes displayed some excellent ball control inside the Rangers penalty box for what has to be for me one of the goals of the season so far on 63 minutes.
The home side had many more chances during the match but all to no avail including a penalty claim late in the second half which resulted in Kris Boyd being booked for simulation. Substitute Nacho Novo thought he had won the match for the SPL Champions with an injury time goal but it he was ruled to a step offside.
It was goal number five of the season for Kris Boyd which sent him to the top of the scoring charts in the SPL. Surely Boyd must be offered a new contract?! Granted there are major money worries at the club at present but he blasted home 30 odd plus goals last season, with five goals already this season in the SPL he is guaranteed to give you 20 goals a season and that’s a conservative estimate going by his previous goal scoring feats.
A like for like replacement would cost a few pennies alright and pennies seem to be in short supply of late at Ibrox.
Speaking to a few season ticket holders on Saturday many thought that was the most entertaining match of the season so far regardless of the result. Entertainment is great but in true game show fashion points mean prizes! Hence the Boo’s from the Ibrox crowd at fulltime and with so many early seasons draws already it may well prove costly towards the end of the campaign.
The draw sees Rangers lose top spot in the SPL table as rivals Celtic beat Hamilton Accies 2 – 1 away at New Douglas Park to go top of league. There’s just a single point that separates the Old Frim with Hibs and Dundee Utd just three and four points of the pace respectively.
Question: Are the Old Firm getting poorer or are the rest of the SPL just getting better?
It’s something my counterpart and college Sean Graham and I have discussed a fair bit recently on both the Rangers and Celtic ESPN Soccernet Blogs.
As ever we invite your thoughts and opinions…
A few fanzines on sale at Ibrox Saturday were calling for Walter Smiths head after the clubs recent run of poor results, especially after the 4 – 1 defeat by Unirea Urziceni. With Smith admitting after Saturday’s match that the club was being run by the Bank I think this is definitely a knee jerk reaction to Rangers stuttering start to the season.
Granted some results and performances have been poor so far this season (especially in Europe) however the club and the fans must back Smith all the way; his experience of the Scottish game is no match for anybody and his record proves that.
Remember this is the man who in his second spell in the Ibrox hot seat has delivered a League Cup, two Scottish Cups, an SPL title and a UEFA Cup Final appearance. Not bad considering the limited resources on offer to him.
If Smith were to be pushed or otherwise, who would be his replacement? Quite frankly I can’t envisage Rangers attracting too many big name managers with the current financial implications at the club or indeed to the SPL itself. Top end managers cost top end money and they often want a decent budget in place for transfers and the likes.
Sadly Rangers are no longer big spenders.
Together with Lieutenant Ally McCoist I have every faith in them both steering Rangers towards domestic success and achieving credibility in Europe once again this season.
Things don’t seem all too pretty at the moment but remember
“Things Can Only Get Better”!
Have you been following Rangers at Ibrox this season or on television? What do you make of Rangers start to the season so far, what’s the remedy? What about Walter Smith’s tactics and team choices? The effects of the financial pressure at the club on both the management and playing staff? Should Walter and Ally be given a new contract? If not who would you like to see brought in as Manager?
Post your thoughts and opinions below.
Rangers’ next fixture is against Dundee at Dens Park in the quarter finals of the Co-operative Insurance Cup on Tuesday, 27 October 2009, kick off 19:45
Dated 26th October 2009.