Steven Gerrard’s side saw their last realistic chance of silverware slip through their fingers on Tuesday as they were beaten 2-0 by the Dons in the Scottish Cup.
And Provan believes it’s game over for Gers this term: “The Aberdeen boss had waited a long time for payback,” he wrote in his Scottish Sun column. “But 15 months after Dave King effectively labelled him a bottle merchant, Del had the final say by putting Rangers’ season to bed.
“A year and a bit on, nobody at Ibrox doubts the bottle of McInnes or his team after Aberdeen’s third win over Rangers in Glasgow this season. If McInnes sees that as vindication of his decision to stay in the north east, he’s keeping it to himself. When he must have been tempted to have his say on Rangers’ put-down, he kept his dignity instead. Right now, punters should be asking questions of King and his board.”
Provan is certainly correct that Aberdeen’s victory on Tuesday was the final nail in the coffin of Gerrard’s first season in Glasgow. The club have backed the Liverpool legend to the hilt this term but it’s simply not worked out in the way everyone hoped. Rangers have made undoubted progress this campaign but ultimately a club of this size is judged by silverware, and there’s not going to be any arriving at Ibrox this time round – McInnes saw to that. He has done a phenomenal job at Aberdeen and they are now closer to Rangers in the Scottish Premiership than Gers are to Celtic at the top of the tree. A Scottish Cup triumph would have been a nice way for Gerrard to end his debut season on a high but it obviously wasn’t mean to be. He must turn his attention to the next campaign now and figure out a way to bridge the gap to his team’s fierce local rivals.