Arthur Numan labelled Rangers Premier Sports Cup semi-final loss to Hibernian as “unacceptable” and reckons new boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst should sell any players who have lost the desire to win more silverware.
The Dutchman, a former team-mate of the new Light Blues manager during their time at Ibrox, reckons the way the current crop of players were dismantled during the first-half at Hampden was alarming.
Martin Boyle’s hat-trick after 38 minutes saw the capital outfit breeze into a 3-0 lead before Scott Arfield handed the Gers a lifeline, but they failed to make any further inroads as the Easter Road men booked a final appearance against Celtic.
Treble-winner legend Numan was left dismayed after hearing Connor Goldson’s post-match interview and believes van Bronckhorst should take action if any first-team stars are no longer committed to the cause.
Writing in his 5Stars column, the former left-back said: “To lose a semi-final in that way was unacceptable. I can’t believe the manner of the defeat.
“I was then even more surprised by Connor Goldson’s comments in his TV interview at full-time.
“For a Rangers player to say the game was over at half-time when the team are 3-1 down was an astonishing admission.
“To also say the team has lost a bit of hunger was equally alarming. How can you have lost a bit of hunger when you have won only one trophy in three seasons?
“I get that the trophy was one of the most important in the club’s history and Steven Gerrard and the players will always be remembered for it, but you need to go and win again. And again. And again.
“Rangers is about winning silverware regularly. If you don’t have the hunger or desire to do that, then you should be asked to leave or be sold on.
“All it needed from our players was to get a goal at any stage during the second half and then we would have had Hibs on the ropes. We could have easily got an equaliser.
“Remember, we were playing a Hibs team who hadn’t played since last month and last won a game on September 26. It wasn’t Bayern or Chelsea we were playing.
“Giovanni must now get to work and he will be looking for much more on Thursday night at home to Sparta Prague. Then it’s Livingston on Sunday.
“A massive improvement is needed — and Giovanni will make a difference, but he can’t do it all on his own. The players must stand up and be counted.”
Numan was delighted to see his old international team-mate Van Bronckhorst appointed as Steven Gerrard’s successor and insists he is the ideal person to build on last season’s Premiership title success.
He added: “I’m delighted Giovanni is the new man in charge of Rangers. He has the club in his heart and is a winner. He’ll get it right and succeed. I’m positive about that.
“He is a former teammate and we have always stayed friends. I spoke to him on Sunday morning, just a few hours before kick-off against Hibs at Hampden.
“He was excited and optimistic about the future. He must have been dejected by 6pm on Sunday, as we all were.”