By George Overhill

27th Sep, 2023 | 12:40pm

Rangers slammed over 'worst 90-plus minutes of my life' as pundit issues 'very strange' Michael Beale verdict

Rangers have been accused by Gordon Dalziel of giving him the “worst 90-plus minutes” of his life thanks to their poor style of play this season.

The former Ibrox and Raith Rovers striker said on Clyde 1 Superscoreboard on 26 September that it is “very strange” that fans are unhappy with Michael Beale when the manager is winning games but criticised the football as “absolutely not” enjoyable when tickets are expensive, with the 2-0 result at St Johnstone on 16 September singled out.

The Gers face Livingston in the Viaplay Cup quarter final at Ibrox on Wednesday night with the Light Blues boss thought to need a win to keep his job.

Dalziel said (30m 50s): “It’s an interesting one because as a manager first and foremost you’ve got to win football games, and Michael Beale’s winning football games just now. He’s got a great opportunity in this cup with Celtic not being in it, his next one’s at home to Livingston so he’s expected to go through in that.

“But I think the problem with most of the fans is they’re turned off by the football, they’re not enjoying it. Football is an expensive hobby now to go along and pay a lot of money, and times are hard.

“I’m not saying you can go there week-in and week-out and be entertained by three or four or five, but I’ve watched Rangers this season and have I enjoyed watching their style of play? Absolutely not.

“I thought against St Johnstone it was the worst 90-plus minutes of my life to sit and watch it. I thought against Motherwell, I’ll give them credit, because I thought they should have went back down the M8 with something.

“[But] it’s very strange that a manager’s winning games and people are still [upset].”

Asked and answered

Fans would clearly rather be winning than losing, and while Beale scrapes together a run of victories he surely insulates himself from imminent danger, but some wins can almost feel as bad as a loss.

There is something to be said for simply getting results in the early part of the season, however scrappy they may be, especially when you have half a new squad and a growing injury crisis to deal with.

Had Beale done so from the off then he wouldn’t be in the spotlight now, but losing to Kilmarnock on the opening day immediately put him in a hole.

To follow that up with the dual sins of an embarrassing failure to reach the Champions League group stage thanks to a 5-1 thrashing at PSV Eindhoven, followed by yet another loss to Celtic, was always going to put him under major pressure.

John Bennett wasn’t ready to move that early in the season, and perhaps rightly so, but it has surely reduced Beale’s leeway down to zero now.

On paper he should be able to go on a run of success through to the end of the year, and has been backed to lift the League Cup, but even if he fulfils that requirement it is really going to be the next Old Firm derby on 30 December that provides the biggest indication for the future should he make it that far.

In other Rangers news, the club can’t afford to let an unhappy player leave with a first-team star tipped to make Premier League move.