In an interview in his homeland, Giovanni van Bronckhorst reiterated the realities of life at Ibrox, matched with his own individual ambition.
There is a typical Dutch trait which is very direct in terms of communication and manner. To those unfamiliar, it can come across as abruptness or arrogance, but it’s more a case of telling it as it is (regardless of the situation) rather than saying something else for the sake of it.
We are the champions.
Taken out of context, this could be a tabloid splash about the Rangers boss getting ahead of himself or taking things for granted but that isn’t the case here at all.
In an interview with De Telegraaf, Gio spoke of his satisfaction of the early days of his time in charge at Rangers as well as the immediate challenges ahead this season:
“We are the champions of Scotland. This is Rangers, only first place counts for this club. We have to have that appearance of flair and spirit in every game and I expect that. No, I demand that from my players.”
“I’m the manager, I had to show what I want from day one.”
“I have to show the players that, that’s very important. For me, it was nice to see that they have opened up to something new. Of course, it helps that you win matches with the way I play. When that is successful, then confidence in the team grows.”
‘Keeping the Zero’ has been the mantra from GvB since taking over from Steven Gerrard and with that transfer of power and a tweak of tactics, Rangers are no longer a soft touch in defence with the eradication of the problem which had plagued the early part of the season. Added to a freshness in attack, underpinned by natural width, Gio’s Gers are now more formidable, fresh, sharp and hungry once again.
The streak of pragmatism that runs through the team now is a relection of Van Bronckhorst and the Dutch outlook – more of the same in terms of that approach and the form shown before the turn of the year will see the Scottish Premiership crown retained at Ibrox in a few months time.