The Scottish Professional Football League’s Scottish Premiership often has representation in Europe’s top competition, the UEFA Champions League. And there is only one team good enough to take the lead and that team is Brendan Rogers’s Celtic Football Club of Glasgow, who poked the red and blue bear that was Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain midweek and got pumped in predictable fashion, 7-1, in the shade of Le Parc des Princes.
Celtic’s inevitable resignation to the Europa League (barring a shocking setback against Anderlecht on Match Day 6) pales in comparison to the lack of form from their eternal rivals from Ibrox Stadium, Rangers Football Club. Pedro Caixinha never really got into his role as manager and was sacked midseason to be replaced in the interim by Graeme Murty. Since then, very little has changed in terms of the club’s form. Through 14 matches, Rangers sport a 7-3-4 record and at 24 points, they are out of European qualification contention.
“The priority is to appoint a new manager as quickly as possible, but the board will take as much time as is necessary to secure the right person capable of representing Rangers and providing the brand of football supporters rightly expect,” the club said in a statement.
The 229-day reign for Caixinha is the shortest in Rangers’s long history and it has been marked with setbacks. The Gers lost to Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg in the aforementioned Europa League’s qualifiers and they lost to Premiership rivals Motherwell in the Scottish League Cup semifinals.
“The big surprise is not that Pedro Caixinha has lost his job as Rangers manager,” said BBC Scotland’s Tom English. “The remarkable thing is that he ever got it in the first place. His track record did not support such an appointment. The only thing that Caixinha seemed adept at was talking a good game rather than delivering one.
“Over the course of his brief reign the headlines he created were more about the bombast of his words rather than the performance of his side. Eventually, the board that took such an unnecessary gamble in giving him the job, admitted that there was no future with him in charge.
“Those men who recommended his appointment to the board are director Graeme Park, managing director Stewart Robinson and director of football administration Andrew Dickson. Having assessed their now ex-manager, a period of self-reflection is in order. This has been a desperate mess from start to finish.”
The possibility of Rangers failing to come up in the clutch in the Scottish Cup must also be a high cause of concern. Rangers are away to Highland League side Fraserburgh in the fourth round to take place in January of next year, and if their string of poor results tells The Broch anything, it’s that Rangers, the once-dominating rival to Celtic, are a very beatable side. The only thing that could complete this nightmare on Ibrox…is a relegation to the Championship.