Welcome back to the Rangers Way as we finish off the 2021/2022 season, we had brought in a lot of money from player sales in the summer and had an unbeaten domestic season by January but could we go another season unbeaten in Scotland? Could we go one step further and reach the Champions League final? Let’s find out!
We sent a few young players out on loan to gain some regular first team football with the most notable being centre back Fabricio Segura to Feyenoord due to lack of first team opportunities here.
We did manage to bring in two players, I realised Tavernier is getting older and despite being able to deliver he can’t play every game now. I had been tracking Shin Dong-Joon and was delighted to be able to sign him for £750k possibly increasing to £850k.
Joining Dong-Joon would be Alejandro Pineda who we had agreed a pre contract with from Mexican side Cruz Azul. He’s a lovely winger with some great attributes and is classed as a wonderkid, for me he is the long term replacement for Thomas Lemar as his wages spiral out of control a wee bit.
We were drawn to face Arsenal in the last 16 stage and I was quite pleased with the draw, Arsenal had drifted to 5th place and the board actually sacked Wenger just before our first leg but were still a threat with Icardi and Lukaku especially.
We hit the woodwork twice and battered Arsenal but only came away with a 2-1 win, with conceding the away goal I didn’t think it was a great result as our performance probably deserved. Clough goal for the second was a nice team move though and you can see it below.
We then went to the Emirates and went 2-0 up after 65 minutes via goals from star striker Amr Alaa and James Tavernier and 4-1 on aggregate which meant we also had the away goal advantage. Arsenal needed to score 4 in 25 minutes, I relaxed and they pegged us back to 2-2 on the night but we saw it out to reach the quarter finals.
Next up was Manchester United, I hate them, utterly detest Mourinho with his 4-4-1-1 and his nack of getting the better of me. This would be our 7th and 8th games against them in the past 2 seasons..
We just didn’t turn up over the two legs and despite battering them the first 25 minutes in the first home leg, Lemar hit the post and Novotny scored a goal but was flagged for offside we then gave away a penalty and then collapsed. Bottled it.
In the away leg we had to go and try and turn this around but our job was made almost impossible when Barr was sent off for two bookings after just 43 minutes and then Shuaibu followed him after 79 minutes, we would lose 1-0 on both legs and not even Man Utd going on to win the whole thing would make up for the bottle job.
Really not happy with our end of season form from Inverness down if I’m honest, 4 draws in 7 games was just terrible and it was a difficult end to the season. There were still some good wins in the second half of the league season with 7-2 over Hibs at Ibrox and 5-1 away at Pittodrie being stunning wins but overall we should have done better.
A drop to 94 points this season, however our best goal scoring season with 104 goals, best goal difference of 79 but too many stupid points thrown away.
Oh we had another unbeaten league season by the way, standards at the club are very high and that is the second unbeaten league season in the past 3 seasons with just 1 loss in our last 128 games, that shows our dominance.
Remember how due to the co-efficient of Scotland improving we now had 3 Champions League sides for next season? Well Celtic had a terrible season under new manager Malky Mckay, yes they employed that disgrace.
They will go in to the Europa League instead and Dundee had a great season with 75 points and will go straight in to the group stages of the Champions League along with Rangers, Hearts will go in to the CL qualifiers.
We love the Scottish cup and winning it this season means we have won it 6 seasons in a row, reached the final 7 seasons in a row too. We just blew teams away throughout the competition scoring 22 goals in 5 games, Maroni and Clough scoring 4 times were big contributions and Lemar scoring the first in extra time against Aberdeen in the semis was vital.
We were not as good as we can be in the final but were just clinical with Maroni getting a brace, Mckay scoring in what could have been his last game and Gauld getting our first with a smart flick on at the near post.
Robby McCrorie however must get the plaudits, saving two penalties in 14 minutes in a cup final was sensational stuff, he’s really developed in to an excellent keeper.
An unbeaten domestic season securing another treble, that takes us to 4 trebles won in 6 seasons which is incredible. In Rangers history they have the most trebles in football at 7 and we’ve taken that to 11 in such a short space of time.
Our youth intake actually brought up two very interesting prospects, Phil Randell and Ross Aitken. Both could make it but they have a lot of time and development to go first and things don’t always go as expected.
Randell has very good physicals for his age of 15 and a couple of attributes such as 14 crossing, 11 technique, 19 teamwork and 14 workrate stand out in the other areas.
My scout says he has the potential to be a key member of the squad so we will keep an eye on how he develops.
Ross Aitken has some decent attributes for a striker, at just 16 some of his physicals like Randell are decent and 11 finishing, 11 off the ball and 12 heading are decent starting points however I rate Randell as the slightly better prospect. Developing our own is something I feel strongly about and we do give opportunities to those good enough.
John Shuaibu had an excellent season scoring 21 goals and assisting 11 goals in 49 starts and receiving a 7.57 avg rating, he has been attracting the interest of a lot of clubs but mainly Manchester City, Porto and Barca also had a little interest earlier but he is contracted for another 3 years to 2025.
Amr Alaa had a superb debut season scoring 36 goals, 7 assists and 7 man of the match awards. If it wasn’t for a 6 week layoff and resting him for domestic games being cautious for the Champions League games he would have hit 45+ I’m sure of. 18 finishing attribute, 17 acceleration and 15 first touch is unreal.
Lastly and for once Lemar is not in the top three despite another solid season where he scored 14 times and assisted 25 assists, Owen Miller however was fantastic for us giving us great defensive balance and he is my captain at just 21 years of age. He has been my captain since he was just 19 and as an academy graduate from the youth intake of our first season it’s special.
He achieved a 7.57 average rating and assisted on 6 occasions, perhaps pushing him to a wing back role could gain more assists but he is Mr Dependable and has dismissed Arsenal, Sevilla and Barcelona interest in him.
Sorry I forgot to take screenshots of them at the end of the campaign so the SS is from season 2022/2023 but at least you know the series continues for another season.
In other news..
We have moved back home to an expanded Ibrox which now holds 64,000 supporters at capacity, this should bring in added income and is a stadium befitting of our team, fans and our success. It also means we have the largest stadium overtaking Celtic.
We have improved our club co-efficient now moving from 16th to 12th so really pleasing to see such progress and how we’re competing despite the difference in financial situations and what we can spend and offer players.
We also made a profit for the year of £19.7 million, a slight concern is that we made £43 million profit in the transfer market so could have made a bit of a loss so something to focus on and sadly think Lemar may not be here for much longer but we’ll see.
An example, Manchester United have put us out of the Champions League two seasons in a row and their annual wage bill is £181 million, ours is £24.41 million.
That’s everything covered for the season 6 2021/2022 update, another unbeaten domestic campaign and solid progress in the Champions League, do you think we can get to the elusive Champions League final soon? Where would you improve us if you could?
Thank you for reading, it is really appreciated. If you also want to discuss anything you can ask me anything on my twitter which is below, join and speak on my slack channel “johnmcintosh-19” or in the comments section here, I’m very happy to receive some interaction on this series and please RT the promoted tweet, it really helps.
Twitter – @JohnMcIntosh19