I guess I should grudgingly note that Rangers have made it to the UEFA Cup final. Though as I’ve said before it’s a miracle how such a bad team – yes, they are a bad team despite their achievements so far this season – have made it so far.
Their performance in the game last night was pitiful. They looked tired, the majority of their passes went astray and there was not a single Rangers player who stood out – apart from Daniel Cousin and that’s only because of the moment of utter stupidity which saw him red-carded and excluded from appearing in the final. It also took something like 85 minutes for Rangers to force an actual save from the Fiorentina keeper. What is more, the Fiorentina coach, Cesare Prandelli, is right to blast Rangers for failing to play football. But then you have to concede that Walter Smith is tactically astute enough to realise the his side cannot play football and that the only way for them to succeed is to play a spoiling defensive game that chokes the midfield and prevents their opponents playing. Walter Smith and Ally McCoist (who also deserves credit) have used this approach time and time again in the SPL this season as well as in domestic cups and Europe leading to about four penalty shoot-outs which Rangers have so far won – but how much longer can they ride that lucky horse?
Anyhoo, it is good to see a Scottish team make it to another European final and it does at least imply that we are able to compete at that level. However, this Rangers side is not a glowing advert for any kind of football and do not deserve to be in that final based on their performance. I guess that from a Scottish point of view it would be good if they won the UEFA Cup but I actually hope that they are demolished by Zenit St. Petersburg who despatched Bayern Munich by 5 goals to 1 in the other semi-final.