Surely the time has come for Ally McCoist to be replaced as Rangers manager?
The thing is, given the way Rangers have been playing for the past couple of years, there is absolutely no guarantee that they'll win any given match. Yes, they will win most matches, but on any given day they might draw, or lose. What that means is that there is no reason to be confident that they could gain promotion via the play-offs - these require them to win at least two one-off matches, which still remains the most likely outcome but can't be one they're comfortable with.
That means that they need to win the Championship. Second place just isn't enough.
And the truth is that Rangers should be able to win the Championship, despite the presence of Hearts and Hibs in the division this season. The thing is, Hibernian have had huge problems on the field for the past several years, while Hearts' financial woes are scarcely less bad than those at Rangers - just not as well documented. Further, given Rangers' comparitively massive squad, certainly the size of the wage bill, and the nominal quality of the players that are available, they really should be able to win this one.
And yet they continue to stutter, losing to both Hearts and Hibs but also, worse, dropping points to the supposed 'lesser' teams, while Hearts rack up the points week after week, even when away to more difficult sides. (Though, sadly, Falkirk just haven't been doing too well this season either. I had hoped they would be in the mix, though it seems Queen of the South and Raith Rovers are putting in better challenges for the remaining play-off spots.)
I suppose things might change next week. If Rangers can go to Hearts and get a win, that reduces the gap back down to 3 points, which isn't insurmountable. But given the relative play of the two sides this season, the reverse seems more likely, widening the gap to 9 points, which probably is.
(Cynically, since the surest way to ensure a win is to sack the manager the week before...)
Of course, whenever talking about replacing the manager, an obvious question must be raised: who can you get who is better? Well, right now there is one name that springs instantly to mind, a manager who is currently out of a job, but who has spent the last several years getting exceptional results from a team with minimal resources, and even as he lost his better players every season due to financial pressures. Better still, he's another manager with clear Rangers-minded credentials.