Thursday night was about much more than the result, as good as it was. Thursday night was about being back at the European table, and proving we were deserving of our seat.
For the fans though, Thursday night meant even more than that. It was a small reward for everything we have endured since 2012. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the lead up to the game who was thinking back to all our troubles and all the downright awful nights we have suffered in the last six years.
The Rangers support in Villarreal was, as always, superb. The videos and pictures coming from Spain were a delight to behold and it was great to see the fans enjoying themselves. One of the big pluses of social media has being able to read people’s stories of traveling in Europe this season.
On Twitter, I read about boys who decided to head off on a whim after a quiet pint in the pub on the Saturday before. A guy telling his wife he was off to the game as she thought he was only going as far as Ibrox.
When we first went down to the Third Division I remember the hashtag #ThisIsFun. It wasn’t. It became very apparent, very quickly, that our time in the lower divisions was going to be something to endure rather than enjoy. However, this, right now...this is fun.
There is a genuine excitement and enjoyment to watching Steven Gerrard’s team. When every match is over I’m like a kid bouncing about in anticipation for the next. This has been reflected in the box office, tickets are like gold dust for every game. It has never been harder in my lifetime to secure a brief for Ibrox than right now.
The excitement continued on Friday night when we were finally able to purchase kits, I got the orange one by the way. Thankfully, I got mine with little hassle but I know many of you waited some time for that red refresh bar to disappear and let you in. Well done!
We are a team and a club on the up and it’s absolutely fantastic to be a part of it. As this goes up on Sunday morning, I’ll be preparing to make my way into town to meet my mates for a couple of pints before heading to the game, perfect. I have always been in love with Rangers, that can’t and hasn’t changed regardless of what happens, but it feels so good to be in love with going to the games again.
With all that positivity I need to end on a somewhat negative note. Thankfully it has very little to do with Rangers. I caught a glimpse on Twitter of Graham Spiers’ interview with our former substitute Steven Thompson.
In said interview, Thompson was stating he doesn’t miss football and doesn't even like it that much. Fair enough I suppose, but this did leave many to point out that he still takes a wage talking about football and at the taxpayers expense no less.
Thompson isn’t the first person to be involved in the football media and seem to hate absolutely everything about it. A couple of weeks ago, I did a six of the best episode with Ian Hogg where we got onto talking about the former football writer Ian Archer.
Archer was one of these people who seemed to hate everything about football and in particular football fans. It oozed out in his writings and if you go back and read his match reports now you get the general sense he would rather be anywhere else.
As someone currently studying for a Sports Journalism degree this is just something I don’t understand. If you make a living through reporting or talking about football you are in a very privileged position.
Not every player who has ever played football needs to love the game, there are thousands who have simply saw what they do as a job. However, if you continue to make a living from the game after your player career is over and you still find football tedious, it’s probably best to keep it to yourself.David Marshall (@marshalldave38)