Ex-Rangers duo respond to claim Giovanni van Bronckhorst 'in trouble' if he fails to beat Aberdeen

The position of Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst is under scrutiny after back-to-back 4-0 defeats to Celtic and Ajax.

Having qualified for the Champions League group stages with a momentous play-off win over PSV Eindhoven, on the back of a historic run to the Europa League final last season, it appeared the Dutchman's stock was high.

However, those achievements are being quickly forgetten following two heavy and damaging defeats that have left Rangers five points adrift in the early stages of the title race, and embarrassed in Europe.

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The manner of the losses have been most alarming, and left BBC Sport journalist Tom English to suggest that van Bronckhorst will be "in trouble" if he fails to beat Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Saturday.

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Responding to the claim on Sportsound, former Rangers striker Mark Hateley said: "That's a big question at this stage of the season, especially when you're saying the board don't have money to spend. Can they afford to sack him? That's the next question. Or do they just let this play out?"

Another former Ibrox striker, Steven Thompson, now a sports presenter with the BBC, believes it would be "premature" to call time on Van Bronckhorst's reign so early into the season.

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"You've got to take things into perspective. The performance on Saturday was extraordinarily disappointing from Rangers, being blown away by their biggest rivals. But we saw that last season as well in the game at Parkhead.

"Do you feel as though Rangers should be competing toe-to-toe with Ajax - one of the biggest clubs in European football with the history they have - in their first time back in the Champions League after a long time out?

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Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst on the touchline during the 4-0 defeat to Ajax. (Photo by MAURICE VAN STEEN/AFP via Getty Images)

"It's a wake up call is what it is. On the back of their success in Europe last season and winning the Scottish Cup, alright the league was a disappontment, but it would be a wee bit premature in my book [to sack the manager]."

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Thompson believes the scrutiny should be focused on the recruitment department at Rangers, led by sporting director Ross Wilson, after a summer window that appears to have left the squad light in quality in certain areas.

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"The biggest thing you've got to look back to is the recruitment," he said. "What surprised me is when van Bronckhorst said himself he was happy with the squad he has moving forward. He's not had a pop at any stage for not getting more players in.

"But when you look at recruitment, you've got [Ridvan] Yilmaz sitting on the bench when he was brought in for nights like this, but clearly there is something there they don't fancy.

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"You could pick apart various areas within the Rangers squad and say, this should have been addressed. I definitely feel as though there should be another striker at the club. There are big question marks over recruitment for this Rangers squad."

Hateley agreed, adding: "This is a weaker squad now than last season but it's expected to compete in the Champions League.

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"The question from the supporters will be, why haven't we invested from a place of strength?

"Why haven't we kept [Calvin] Bassey and [Joe] Aribo and built on that? If they had a bit more investment in the summer they could have held onto two really top players and built on that."

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