Rangers’ decision to sack Michael Beale on Sunday night was unfortunately necessary.

Results, and more importantly performances, have been a long way short of acceptable. The much-anticipated rebuild has fallen so far short of required standards. Just before the second international break of the season, Rangers have been extremely poor on the pitch.

For someone who backed the manager and his rebuild, it has been difficult to watch. My faith has proven to be completely misplaced and I’ll hold my hands up to that. I’ve always thrown my weight behind the club and what we do. I desperately want us to do well, I’ve had a season ticket for nearly 30 years and wear my heart on my sleeve. 

That aside, for the club to be in this position at this stage of the season is absolutely gut-wrenching. We’ve got a long way back in the league now and that’s completely unacceptable after seven matches. This side has shown us nothing in terms of performance - both individually and collectively.

Michael Beale got it wrong. Whilst there was an upturn last season the situation he inherited arguably couldn’t have got much worse and several decisions since the start of this season have made no sense, with pre-season proving an indication of what was to come.

The obvious shift to a narrow formation at the start of the season was followed up by a very clear plan to play with width, yet no summer recruitment arrived in that mould. Individuals such as Nico Raskin and Todd Cantwell ought to have been built around, not shifted about to accommodate others. Then there’s spending so much money on Danilo and failing to play him in his favoured position.

What about the big money shelled out on Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers? The former has talent but appears lost on the pitch, while the latter looks at present to be a huge waste of money. Those who follow my column regularly will know I had little knowledge about the potential of our summer targets while enthusiastic to see what they could bring - even if recent individual goalscoring records didn’t encourage it.

I suggested that on the basis of addressing needs, this was a nine out of ten summer but caveated that view with reality - only matches would dictate if that judgement was true. It looks completely misplaced now because those players haven’t delivered. Beale is ultimately responsible but the role of individuals in his sacking cannot be overlooked.

Whether we like it or not, there are huge question marks over the likes of James Tavernier who takes extra scrutiny as club captain. I don’t want to get into the ‘Should he be captain’ argument as it’s perhaps another discussion to be had, but I’ll simplify it and ask this: Is Tavernier playing well enough to be picked week in, week out?

The truth is, for me, he isn’t. The right-back looks miles off his usual levels bar a moment or two here or there. Tavernier has been too easily exposed this season and his flippant response when quizzed on his form in a post Old Firm press conference disappointed me. I just don’t see Richard Gough or Steven Davis offering up such an answer.

READ MORE: Michael Beale failed to deliver on his promises at Rangers - Joshua Barrie

But in terms of performances, I could point the finger at so many others. Ryan Jack, Connor Goldson, John Souttar, Raskin, Cantwell, Borna Barisic, or anyone else we care to mention. They’ve all been miles off their levels as well. In truth, the entire group has underperformed with the exception of Jack Butland, who has been a credit on the pitch and a leader off it.

That takes nothing away from the fact that Beale failed as Rangers manager. To my eyes, there was no identifiable style and nothing for us as a support to galvanise behind. Much-promised attacking football was replaced with a reactive style. The handbrake was never even touched, let alone released.

The players looked lost at times and devoid of ideas in others. For that, there is only one person who carries responsibility.

The thing is, there’s no time to mope around because this club does not stop. It’s vital we arrest the recent form and start to build some momentum. Rangers travel to Cyrpus and then Paisley on Thursday and Sunday with Steven Davis at the helm. I wish Steven and the interim team of Alex Rae, Steven Smith, Colin Stewart and Brian Gilmour nothing but the best.

As for who’s next? Having backed Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Michael Beale, I’ll sit this one out and avoid the ‘Stevie Clifford kiss of death’ backing. To my mind, there isn’t an obvious candidate anyway.

Make absolutely no mistake - the board have to get this one correct. They handed the keys to Beale who lost control and hindsight shows that move to be a mistake. A Director of Football or Sporting Director is arguably as much of a necessity as a manager. We need somebody with football knowledge at the executive level who can play a part in big decisions and safeguard the club’s interests long-term.

The pressure is on to deliver a manager capable of taking this club back where it belongs.

There remains a season to be salvaged as difficult as that sounds at this moment. There are two domestic cups that are imperative to deliver. There’s European competition that must be secured beyond Christmas. There’s a league campaign we must recover within because, despite the points difference, 31 games and three Old Firm matches are still to be played.

The board have acted and listened to the view of fans, but what they do next is even more important. Whoever comes in as manager must embrace the challenge and lead this club to where it belongs.

The squad needs to look themselves in the mirror and perhaps, I ought to be less trusting in the future. 

Rangers have to start behaving like the big club and that means no more mistakes.