·21 September 2023
·21 September 2023
So many Rangers fans made an overblown claim that PSV were an outstanding side and would be a problem for a lot of teams in the Champions League – regulars to Ibrox Noise will know we told you the opposite, that they were a very poor team and they would struggle.
Well, that came to pass as an Arsenal in second gear at the Emirates blew Peter Bosz’ side away with room to spare managing an embarrassing 18 shots with 8 on target. At this level that’s just superiority beyond words. By comparison Sevilla and Lens managed 10 and 12 respectively in their 1-1 draw.
Make no mistake, PSV are absolutely well short of the Champions League, and they are likely to get lamped at this level.
We’ve even heard a few tenuous claims about them being 28 games unbeaten. Yes, but not at Champions League level – it’s all at Eredivisie and Europa level – the Champions League is a completely different ball game and it separates teams like PSV from teams like Arsenal.
Feyenoord, incidentally, are a superior team to PSV in every way, and even 6 players off their best XI they beat Celtic with room to spare. They were ready for this level, PSV aren’t.
Now, we hear you cry, what does this have to do with Rangers? Or more tellingly, what does this tell you about Rangers?
It shows a few things – firstly that we would have been abysmally crushed in the Champions League this season even worse than last, and it was all about getting the prize money for group participation. Celtic will get lamped this season at that level, they’re comically out of their depth, and PSV will be bad too.
But Rangers were deeply underpowered to compete at Europe’s top table and all of our fans know it.
Secondly, that we’ve gone backwards under Michael Beale.
Gio’s inferior Rangers (inferior to the Sevilla one anyway) still overcame THIS PSV and made it to the group stage. They did it with a big performance in Eindhoven against a PSV about the same level as they currently are. A couple of personnel changes at the Philips Stadion true, but they lost the best player they had in Xavi Simons, and while Lang and Bakayoko are decent, they’re miles off Champions League quality. And Gio’s team put that fractionally superior version to the sword.
And so now we sit back in the Europa League, but unlike Stevie and Gio, we have no hope under this manager and this feeble squad. And that was without the injuries decimating us even further.
The number of our fans who suggested PSV were far superior… weren’t completely wrong. It’s not that they got better, it’s that we deteriorated so badly.
All we can say is PSV’s opening humbling in the UCL (the worst loss on match day one, incidentally, aside Antwerp’s gubbing off Barca) shows us why we’re kind of glad we’re not going through that again.
Pity about the money though.