Rangers crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday evening following a 1-0 defeat away at Rapid Vienna, and the result has served to underline some clear issues for Steven Gerrard.
There were signs of promise throughout Rangers’ European campaign which suggested they had a huge opportunity to qualify, but the optimism which characterised much of the group stage vanished with one kick of a football when Dejan Ljubicic scored the knockout blow in the 84th minute last night.
Rangers were well in the game but they lacked a cutting edge in the final-third, with little by way of goal scoring opportunities to report from a blunt evening going forward.
The distinct lack of firepower was clear for all to see, and former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae was eager to make that point on Good Morning Scotland (via BBC).
“Rangers are well organised and quite well structured, but ultimately they are lacking quality from middle to front. They need to get reinforcements in that area.”
Rae’s admission certainly rings true for a Rangers side who have struggled for consistency in the final-third all season.
Some supporters may point the finger at Gerrard for that but, when you compare the quality of his options compared to plenty of other Europa League standard sides, it’s fair to say that Rae has a point.
Beyond Morelos there is a clear lack of quality at centre-forward and they cannot continue to rely on the Colombian to spearhead the attack without a serious challenger to his place in the starting XI.
Lasanna Coulibaly has slumped into a dismal run of form, Glenn Middleton cannot be relied upon at just 18-years-of-age and, in the absence of Ryan Kent and Daniel Candeias, Rangers are seriously lacking a spark in midfield.
Whether Gerrard will have funds available to sign new players in January remains to be seen, but Rangers seem destined to drift away in the title race if they fail to inject an extra layer of flair into the squad in January.
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