Rangers suffer shock European defeat

When Rangers were paired with Malmo in the Champions League qualifiers, new Rangers boss Ally McCoist declared himself satisfied with the draw. After the 1-0 defeat at Ibrox, MCoist may be wishing he had kept his mouth closed, especially as he appeared to have dismissed the opposition they had been drawn against. The reason for McCoist’s satisfaction was that they had avoided one of the distant European teams thereby removing the need for a lengthy travel. The fact that Malmo were well into their league season didn’t seem to register in the manager’s mind. Whether this was arrogance or misplaced confidence who knows but Rangers started dreadfully in the tie.

A lot of this was down to McCoist’s tactical line-up with many, including those on the park, unable to work out if the team were playing a 3-5-2, 4-5-1, 5-4-1 or some new hybrid formula that football tacticians hadn’t worked out. Rangers keeper Alan McGregor earned his side a point at the weekend and he kept his side in the game at times in the match on Tuesday night. Malmo grabbed the only goal of the game on 18 minutes when a number 7 with Larsson on the back bulleted the ball into the Rangers net and this may have caused a few flashbacks for Rangers fans.

Larsson rocks Ibrox again

After all, Henrik Larsson was a regular thorn in their side during his time at Celtic and the magnificent 7 was often the difference between the two sides. This fact tickled the Celtic fans who were not thinking of the co-efficient points but instead were taking the opportunity to have a laugh at their bitter rivals. The Celtic fans have already dubbed McCoist the fat Paul Le Guen, in reference to Ally being on the portly side and in the hope that his record will match up to the Frenchman’s disastrous record at Ibrox. The thing is though, Le Guen came to Ibrox with a managerial pedigree, Ally came to the Ibrox top post with a history of appearing on sporting quiz shows and trailing former boss Walter Smith around for a number of years.

Rangers fans don’t like Maurice Edu

The boos that rolled around Ibrox at full-time indicated the fans were not happy with the performance but it is still early days in the McCoist era. Another week’s worth of fitness should show in Sweden next week and there is absolutely no reason why Rangers cannot turn the tie around on the Wednesday night. Rangers still have a squad of very capable players and they should have performed much better. Many players came in for criticism from the Ibrox support, notably Maurice Edu who Rangers fans don’t appear to like at all but Steven Naismith missed a number of gilt edged chances which would have completely turned the tie around.

This defeat sees Rangers European record stand at just ONE win in 22 games, an unbelievable record although draws, away goals and penalty shoot-outs have seen the club progress on a number of occasions. If they fail to make it two wins in 23 games, Ally McCoist may find that some people at Ibrox will be looking for his removal from the manager’s chair.

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