It's Make or Break Time

Last updated : 06 December 2002 By Bearwood Bear


Not since Advocaat's last OF match have I approached a home game against the Green Gollums with so little confidence.

Rangers have an unbeaten domestic record stretching from July until December, face a side managed by a guy who has never walked away against McLeish with a victory and we have scored more goals than anyone else. So why the worry?

Well, first up we were able to comfort ourselves by saying the real reason Sellik had looked so good in the SPL was that we'd never managed to put them under sustained pressure. Once we did that (I and others thought) they'd crack up and be exposed as hoofers, divers and thugs carried on one set of capable Swedish shoulders.

The sad truth is they've stayed the pace and matched us win for win. OK, they're still hoofers, divers and thugs but they're both resilient and determined - qualities we would do well to emulate.

Secondly, I honestly think our record flatters us. I know that seems daft, but I believe we've rarely faced such a poor standard of opposition as we have this season and all too rarely do Rangers look like killing off opponents in the same way the Yahoos do.

We're also absolutely reliant on Barry Ferguson to boss a game and on the rare occasion he's not done that - Prague, for instance - we look utterly devoid of drive and creative ideas.

OK, Mikel Arteta had a great start to the season but has (understandably) faded recently due to injury and the sooner we can get him back to full fitness, if only to take some of the weight off Baz, the happier I'll be.

Ricksen has vastly improved his game this season but even so, Nando is never going to be the guy who will grab a game by the scruff and lead by example and I can't see this changing on Saturday.

My view is that a Rangers victory on Saturday depends on 3 things: we need the Dutch trio of Numan, Ricksen and De Boer to deliver something like their best form on the day, we need the Amoruso/Moore partnership to be sharp and we need either Mols or Arveladze - I don't care which - to punch above their weight in front of goal.

Two out of three ought to see at least a draw but IMO we need the accumulator. Losing at home and going 4 points behind even with nearly 6 months to go makes an already hard task very much harder. This game is a truly pivotal moment, perhaps more so for both Managers than for anyone else. Good luck 'Gers and let's show Martin the road South.