Clement can buy himself time at Rangers with win over Aberdeen

16 December 2023 12:00
Glasgow club play with freedom in Europe but must withstand domestic pressure to complete victory in League Cup finalAnxiety over a meeting with Aberdeen just days after a superb European result rather sums up the modern status of Rangers. Thursday’s 3-2 win against Real Betis in Seville was sufficient not only for Philippe Clement’s side to qualify for the knockout stage of the Europa League but do so as group winners. The list of clubs Rangers outperformed to achieve that feat means high praise is justified. Rangers had never before defeated Spanish opposition in their own nation. This competition has regularly witnessed the best of Rangers. What their city rivals, Celtic, would give for swimming so comfortably in a bigger pond. Rangers have the bonus of being spared further Europa League action until March.The quirk is that Rangers have found European solace while regularly toiling at home. Their domestic trophy haul – two – in relation to spend over the past decade constitutes an embarrassment. Sunday’s League Cup final clash is therefore hugely significant; not only for Clement, who could claim silverware just two months after his appointment, but in respect of whether or not this team can handle pressure. In Europe, Rangers play with a level of gay abandon that suggests they relish being free from Scottish expectancy. The League Cup was last housed at Ibrox before the financial implosion of 2012. The intervening years have witnessed wilting, with Rangers players routinely paralysed when on the verge of achieving something tangible. Continue full article

Source: TheGuardian