3 minute read
21/11/2021 | 08:35pm
Giovanni van Bronckhorst doesn’t officially start his new role as the manager of Rangers at Ibrox until Monday but the Gers have already filled the Dutchman with pure rage.
The former Rangers man watched on from the stands and was left with his head in his hands on plenty of occasions as a number of gasps came from his mouth too.
You can hardly blame him either as the club’s post-Steven Gerrard era began in the worst possible way.
Armed with the likes of Jermain Defoe, David McCallum, Brian Gilmour, and goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart in the dug-out, they watched on as the Glaswegian side were tormented by Hibernian in the Scottish League Cup semi-final.
This was the perfect opportunity for the Gers to make a huge statement to their new manager but they were carved open at will as they lost 3-1.
Is Balogun good enough for Rangers?
Rather than being handed some healthy selection dilemmas, van Bronckhorst will now be reeling with who to axe from the side.
There were plenty of culprits in the defeat on Sunday as Ryan Kent looked a shadow of his former self and Alfredo Morelos put in an anonymous showing.
However, unsurprisingly, it was the defence who deserved the most grief from supporters at full-time. Connor Goldson missed an absolute sitter late on in the clash, firing over the bar from just a matter of yards out.
Yet, it was his colleague at centre-half, Leon Balogun who was arguably even worse. His passing was rash and he looked wildly uncomfortable in being asked to play out from the back.
BBC Scotland’s chief writer, Tom English, said during the game: “Martin Boyle and Kevin Nisbet have just been toying with Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun. Balogun is having a shocker. On that form he would struggle to get a game for the local pub team. He has been absolutely ripped apart and Goldson is not much better. He’s gone from this incredible leader they had last season to looking very vulnerable.”
Those sentiments were summed up by plenty at full-time, with Glasgow Times writer James Cairney writing the following about Balogun: “Often panicked in the face of pressure, hoofing the ball into the stands or aimlessly up the park.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Record’s Gordon Parks noted this about the £14k-per-week defender’s display: “Turned far too easily by Nisbet at Hibs second goal. Headed an effort just wide of target before the interval. Ropey and indecisive, vulnerable to anything played in behind him.”
On that evidence, it would be surprising if the 33-year-old was in van Bronckhorst’s first official line-up in Europe in midweek.
His first performance for the new head coach won’t have gone well with him at all. It was an incredibly shoddy showing, one that leaves him as the first villain from Rangers’ new era.