Postecoglou’s Treble Charge leaves Beale on Borrowed Time CaughtOffside

Postecoglou’s Treble Charge leaves Beale on Borrowed Time CaughtOffside


Celtic’s 1-0 win in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday leaves Ange Postecoglou’s side on the verge of winning a record breaking eighth treble while at the same time ended the Rangers’ season and left Michael Beale under growing pressure as manager as he prepares for a massive summer rebuild job for a squad their supporters have lost all confidence in.

When the Rangers players walked towards their supporters after the final whistle the loud boos were telling. This for so many of these Rangers players, the veteran goalkeeper McGregor, the want-aways Kent and Morelos and many more, was the end of the road. Those two forwards were previously linked with big money transfers but instead both have run down their contracts and can walk out the door as free agents with Rangers getting nothing. Kent cost £7m from Liverpool and that is a record transfer for the club and money that they can’t really afford to lose.

Despite starting the season by qualifying for the Champions League and coming off the back of that great run to the Europa Cup Final last season, Giovanni Van Bronkhorst was replaced by Michael Beale, after overseeing the worst set of results by any side in the group stages of the Champion League and also falling nine points behind a consistent Celtic side. The Englishman came in and promised a revamp as opposed to a rebuild but as the gap grew from nine points to thirteen, his rhetoric quickly changed.

Beale came into Ibrox with ex-Southampton chief Ross Wilson as his Sporting Director as they sought to rejuvenate the team inherited from Van Bronkhorst. Now, two Cup exits to Celtic later, Beale has lost Wilson to Nottingham Forest and it looks as though he requires a complete overhaul, with the Rangers manager now saying that he might have to sign TEN players for next season on order to challenge Celtic.

There are a host of out of contract players, as already mentioned Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos are the most prominent, who will depart. And Jon McLaughin and Scott Wright are the first to emerge as candidates from the squad who have contracts beyond the summer looking to exit. Allan McGregor, Kieran Wright, Ryan Jack, Filip Helander, Scott Arfield and Steven Davis are also out of contract. The Rangers manager has said that he will require a raft of new signings and it will certainly be needed. Although, the outlays in the summer will see the Ibrox club play Champions League roulette as they will not have any large fees coming in this summer.

Morelos has apparently signed a pre-contract and his exit from Ibrox has been confirmed for some time. Meanwhile, ex-Liverpool winger Kent is attracting interest from newly-promoted Burnley. The pair would have once commanded decent transfer fees and will now leave for nothing. This is particularly jarring for Rangers supporters but represents a wider problem for Scottish football. Only Celtic have established a trading model built upon maximising the sale of players.

Beale has brought in Nico Raskin (Standard Liege) and Tod Cantwell (Norwich) to bolster his squad. Kieran McDowell (Norwich) and Jack Butland (Manchester United) are the next two names linked with a move to Ibrox. Whilst Celtic have identified and exploited talent in further afield transfer markets, Rangers will again visit the English Championship in a bid to attempt to wrestle supremacy from Ange Postecoglou’s Celts. The issue for Rangers is that they are currently exploring markets where high wages are the norm.

Rangers now face a race to get themselves ready for the test of European qualifiers while Celtic will travel to Japan and South Korea ahead of another Champions League Group Stage appearance.

Beale has lost three and drawn one of his four meetings with Celtic and that draw at Ibrox suited Celtic perfectly. There is still a dead rubber match next weekend for him to chase that first win over Celtic but if he fails to win that insignificant contest then the first game of next season will be very much a win or bust contest for the former QPR boss. In Glasgow you don’t survive long if you can’t beat your fierce rivals and Michael Beale now finds himself on borrowed time.


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