Relief, not joy - one view of the Cup Final.

Last updated : 31 May 2009 By Number Eight
Having watched the Scottish Cup Final on television, I was relieved rather than joyous when the final whistle indicated that Rangers had won the Scottish Cup for the thirty-third time.

It was a woeful first-half performance from the league champions as they were easily outplayed by lesser opponents, but that`s the Walter way; sitting, waiting, hoping and just sometimes, praying.

In the second period, a Nacho Novo strike worthy of winning any final sealed the deal for Rangers, but the team soon lapsed back into the kind of football which has discerning supporters concerned for the future well-being of the club.

Sympathy is offered to Falkirk manager, John Hughes, but none at all to his club. Falkirk wanted 20,000 tickets for the end of season climax, and then couldn`t sell the 15,000 they were offered, eventually handing several thousand back and still failing to sell their over-generous allocation.

Empty seats were in abundance in the area reserved for Falkirk fans and the time has surely come to stop the nonsense of giving teams more tickets than they have supporters.

Strangely, the ecstasy of Tannadice has been tempered by witnessing the welcome acquisition of another trophy. Seeing Lee McCulloch labouring in a Rangers jersey and Christian Dailly at centre-forward for the last few minutes was a reminder that change is still required at Rangers, but it may not be forthcoming.

It`s impossible not to be happy for key players, especially Nacho Novo, and although there were few who performed at a decent level, Bougherra was worthy of the man of the match award.

The hallmark negativity of Walter`s approach has made Rangers difficult to beat, but hard to admire, and only the committed supporter can endure Rangers performing in this manner and be uplifted - as long as victory is achieved.

Despite this 111th major trophy-notch on Rangers belts after a successful day at Hampden, the manner and style of it has left a doubt about Rangers` Champions League aspirations as well as genuine concern that yet more footballing tedium is in store next term.

As Rangers supporters, we`re supposed to be hard to please and perhaps ungrateful when success is realised, but when a Scottish Cup Final against a team which has been misfiring all season is played as though they were Barcelona, there are justified grounds for being unsettled.

Rumours are rife about a new regime at the club, and if it happens, it`ll be interesting to see what kind of plans are in store for Scotland`s greatest and most successful club.

For those who are moving on from Rangers; good luck, thanks and goodbye. Hopefully, many will return to support the club in future, and long may they treasure the memories they have helped create with their contributions.

The season is changing and it`s time to enjoy a good old-fashioned summer with an abundance of sunshine, an overdose of Irn Bru and numerous trips to the Ayrshire coast - and with the League Flag flying where it belongs - over Ibrox Stadium.

The world may have a wobble in its spin just now, but in Scotland, with Rangers as league champions once again for a record 52nd time, it is barely noticed.

We`re top of the league.

What could be better than that?