‘Defeatist attitude’ - Ex-Celtic star questions Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s comments after Ajax defeat

The Dutchman set alarm bells ringing after stating his side will struggle to compete in the Champions League.

Former Celtic star Kris Commons believes Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s post-match comments following Rangers’ chastening 4-0 defeat to Ajax will have set alarm bells ringing at Ibrox.

The Light Blues failed to provide a reaction to their 4-0 thrashing by rivals Celtic in their Champions League Group A opener in Amsterdam last week.

For the second successive match, the Gers found themselves 3-0 down at half-time as they struggled to pose the Eredivisie champions any problems of their own at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Steven Bergwijn of Ajax runs with the ball past Jon McLaughlin of Rangers to scores his team fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League group A match between AFC Ajax and Rangers

Van Bronckhorst admitted afterwards his players will struggle to compete at this level in Europe due to budget sizes as he highlighted the squad value of their three respective group stage opponents; Liverpool (£794m), Napoli (£401m) and Ajax (£228m).

Commons was left shocked by the Dutchman’s remarks and reckons if results don’t improve dramatically then fans will urge the board to take action against Van Bronckhorst.

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Writing in his Daily Mail column, Commons said: “The alarm bells are beginning to ring for Rangers. Two pitiful 4-0 defeats in a matter of days have posed serious questions of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s future as manager.

“But, even beyond the results against Celtic and Ajax, it was his comments after the Champions League defeat in Amsterdam which will have angered fans most of all.

“Supporters won’t be impressed to hear their manager claiming that the team can’t compete at that level. It’s nothing more than a convenient excuse.

“I didn’t hear much talk of budgets and financial gaps from Dinamo Zagreb when they beat a Chelsea side who spent over £250million in the summer.

“It showed a defeatist attitude from Van Bronckhorst to use the excuse of money. A well-coached and well-motivated team can always compete.

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“Also alarming was how much the match in Amsterdam was just a continuation from what happened at Celtic Park. There was no reaction whatsover from the Rangers players.

“If Rangers can’t cut it at this level, as Van Bronckhorst claims, then God help the fans who have just forked out £180 for the three-match package at Ibrox.

“It speaks of a manager who doesn’t believe in his players. Even if this squad aren’t equipped for the Champions League, the boss shouldn’t be saying that in public.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst has been criticised for comments made in the aftermath of the 4-0 defeat to Ajax. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“He should be focusing his efforts on a solid and settled starting XI. There’s still too much uncertainty around this Rangers team.

“There’s no clear idea of what they’re trying to do and that’s in stark contract to what’s going on at Celtic. Postecoglou and Celtic are streets ahead at the moment.

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“If Van Bronckhorst doesn’t buck up his ideas, he’ll soon find patience is wearing thin among the Rangers supporters.”

Rangers return to Champions League action on Wednesday night when they face Napoli at Ibrox in a game which has been pushed back 24 hours due to policing and logisitcal issues following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.