'He has nothing left to offer Rangers': Critics round on Giovanni van Bronckhorst as ex-Celtic forward slams Dutchman's tenure

Former Celtic and Scotland forward Kris Commons believes that Giovanni van Bronckhorst is “finished” at Rangers but has not been sacked by the Ibrox hierarchy because of finances.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst is coming under intense pressure.
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst is coming under intense pressure.

The club fell seven points behind leaders and defending champions Celtic in the cinch Premiership title race following Sunday’s 2-1 defeat by St Johnstone. Van Bronckhorst had already come under scrutiny after poor performances and a horrendous Champions League campaign in which Rangers lost all of their matches, but the defeat in Perth has now intensified the pressure on the Dutchman.

“Time’s up for Giovanni van Bronckhorst,” said Commons, who played for Celtic between 2011 and 2017. “He is finished at Rangers. Truth be told, he's been finished for quite some time now. Probably from the moment he gave such a negative interview on the back of a 4-0 Champions League defeat in Amsterdam in early September.

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“Rangers had also been thrashed 4-0 against Celtic just a few days prior to that game against Ajax. That's when things really started to unravel. The writing was on the wall.

“Van Bronckhorst claimed Rangers couldn't compete in the Champions League. It wasn't a one-off or a throwaway comment. His public utterances became increasingly negative and defeatist. There's no fight or leadership in this team. Too many players are going through the motions. There's no sense of identity or direction and that stems from the very top of the club.”

Continuing in his Daily Mail column, Commons wrote: “I wrote in these pages last week that a 4-1 home win over Aberdeen only papered over the cracks. One result wasn't going to solve all the problems. I said that if Rangers lost heavily to Ajax at Ibrox in their final Champions League game, the whole thing could come crashing back down like a pack of cards. Well, not only did that happen, Rangers have compounded matters a few days later by losing against St Johnstone in Perth.

“When a manager is fighting to save his job, there comes a point when the situation simply becomes irretrievable, the damage irreparable. That juncture has now arrived for Van Bronckhorst. He has nothing left to offer Rangers. The club are wasting their time if they allow him to continue.

“Perhaps the only thing stopping Rangers from pulling the trigger is because they can't afford to sack him and pay up his contract. But there's no doubt he's now a busted flush at Ibrox. In the space of six months, he's gone from legend to lame duck.

“A European final represented the chance to claim iconic status. Now most fans would gladly drive him to the airport. They can't wait to see the back of him and I honestly can't blame them. This Rangers team are dreadful to watch.

“I said recently that I'd rather watch paint dry than watch van Bronckhorst's side. Nothing I've seen since then has changed my mind. There is no style or identity whatsoever. That's a poor indictment of van Bronckhorst's coaching methods. This was a fantastic footballer who played for Arsenal and Barcelona, but you don't see a trace of any of those teams in his Rangers side.”