Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Can Mark Warburton change?

If we go back to the start of the ‘Month of Death’ last year when Rangers had two clashes with Hearts and one with Aberdeen in conjunction with a trip to McDiarmid Park and hosting our Green and White chums from across the city, expectations were pretty low for results.

Few expected much from December, given the form we went into the month in, and when Robbie Neilson’s Hearts tore us to pieces at the start of the run, most of us feared the worst.

But then something dramatic happened – in the space of a few days Mark Warburton decided to rip up his 4-3-3 and try a 4-1-4-1 against Aberdeen with Tavernier in midfield along with the surprise selection of Miller alongside him.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Why Rangers are not for a novice

Article by Richard Fillingham

In 1986 Rangers took a huge gamble with Graeme Souness to manage a Rangers side that was second best to Celtic. Souness was a current Scottish international and earned his wages in Italy playing with Sampdoria. He was told that he would have a very healthy transfer budget at his disposal and that he was wanted as the new player-manager to bring the ‘Gers back to where they belonged – No 1 in Scotland – and boy did he deliver! But such a first-time success at a club the magnitude of Rangers is rare; Ally struggled, and Warburton too is finding SPL Rangers a whole new animal compared to the Championship.

For the good of Rangers in the short and long term,

I hope Mark Warburton enjoys possibly his last months at a major British club. He simply doesn’t currently have it as a top manager for any of the big boys. Perhaps a mid-table English Championship team would be his best shot to see if he could eventually become a better manager with some more experience under his belt.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

76 minutes - 0 shots. Just not good enough

While on the face of it a win is usually a positive, on this occasion overcoming a stubborn and often superior Motherwell side at Ibrox reaped few compliments, with most fans and headlines focusing on the fact it took evergreen Kenny Miller to bail his team out once again. The 37-year old is one of the few who has held his own at this level, and time and time again the ex-Scottish international has stepped up where others could not.

But this cannot and should not conceal that for 76+ minutes of this match, the home side had not managed a single shot on target against visitors fourth bottom of the table. The Mark Warburton School of Football Philosophy simply does not work, and the longer this aimless tiki tika rubbish goes on, the more fans will have to endure scraped wins, draws and even losses.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Should Rangers sell Barrie McKay?

Alas, it was inevitable. After his scorching display in Germany, and stellar breakthrough season last campaign, Barrie McKay has finally attracted the interest of the vultures. Following a number of weeks ago confirming on this site that Stilyan Petrov’s Aston Villa were interested, our German energy drink chums have stolen a march with the reported £6M sum that Bundesliga high-flyers RB Leipzig are ready to put on the table for McKay’s services.

Let us not beat about the bush, it is a lot of cash, and given Rangers’ financially barren spell as things stand at the moment it is finance Dave King and friends will find very hard to reject, but from a football point of view it is terrible news – McKay is clearly Mark Warburton’s big success. He gave him a chance when McKay’s last three Ibrox managers would not, and he managed his form dip earlier this season impeccably. This site has run out of patience with the Hat and been extremely harsh on him, but credit where it is due – Barrie McKay is Warbs’ major success story.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The one big Rangers success this season?

Article written by Richard Fillingham
With all the problems the Rangers fans have been forced to endure in the last 5 years, the one indisputable fact is Rangers fans have been nothing short of MAGNIFICENT!

1.    The new world record crowds for any 3rd division matches played anywhere in Europe or in the rest of the world.

2.    They continued to show up in their thousands after gaining promotion into League One, under the management of the awful, hard to fathom out tactics of (in my opinion) the worst Rangers manager of all time – Rangers legend - Ally McCoist.

3.    When Rangers were finally promoted to the Scottish Championship league the crowds were even more incredible. Unfortunately, Hearts were deservedly promoted and Rangers lost out in the play-off with a fired up and much more talented Motherwell side. 

4.    Despite the embarrassment of not winning the Championship at our first attempt, the fans continued to stick by their team and support their new manager.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Is Warburton planning for the future?


This week Walter Smith claimed that Rangers needed to “take a gamble” in the transfer market and risk going into debt to catch up with Celtic at the summit of the Scottish Premiership. But with Old Firm rivals sitting pretty 20 points clear at the top of the table and 1/1000 favourites to lift the title, Mark Warburton was wise to say that the Gers would not be reckless this January. The current manager has taken the right stance here, but is he looking towards next season when Rangers should be challenging Celtic for first place?

A lot of Rangers fans are getting pretty fed up with Warbs. Not only did he make some terrible signings in the summer that have all since been failures, he doesn’t seem to be looking at the current situation and making plans for the future either. Instead, he has acquired a few loan players including Emerson Hyndman and Jon Toral, in what can only be construed as an effort to keep the side ticking over. Rangers are 8/15 with Betway to clinch the second spot this season anyway. Shouldn’t the hierarchy be looking to sign players that could make an impact in the years ahead?

It seems Smith and Warburton have completely opposing stances on the current situation. Although many fans will be pleased with the instant rise to the upper echelons of the league after only just being promoted, Smith knows that Rangers supporters won’t be content with second best for long. This season the title is out of reach, and Rangers have been bested by Celtic all the way. But in the next campaign, the Light Blues will be expected to challenge until the bitter end.


Warburton’s decision in the summer to buy players that can only be described as “past it” confused and upset a lot of fans. Joey Barton, an average midfielder at best, was the marquee signing. The 34-year-old made 6 appearances for the club before being ousted and has to go down as one of the worst acquisitions in Rangers’ history. Philippe Senderos, considered by some as up there amongst the poorest Arsenal players of the Premier League era, has only made 2 appearances for the Ibrox club this term after a dire start to the campaign. Jordan Rossiter was earmarked for his strong potential, but he has only been afforded 3 starts in the league. Fans don’t want careless business like this again, but they also don’t want Warburton to shy away from signing players in January.

Although Celtic have a much larger transfer budget than Rangers, their spending was a lot more astute. Rossiter cost Rangers £250,000 and has barely been used. In comparison, Moussa Dembele was signed to Celtic Park for £500,000, which in footballing terms isn’t a great deal more. The 20-year-old has scored 9 goals and made 4 assists (see video below) this season, and has attracted interest from top clubs in Europe. Under contract with Celtic until 2020, the young striker is sure to be sold for an enormous markup in the future.

These are the kind of additions that Rangers should be aiming to bring on board, and Warburton said: “My personal opinion is that, from where this club has been, it important that it builds strong, solid financial foundations.” This is a fair point after the last few years of turmoil, but it doesn’t really explain the decision to sign loan players this month.

If Warburton doesn’t make some clever moves soon that are designed to benefit Rangers in the long term, the calls for his dismissal will get louder. This season second place will have to do, but come August, Rangers need to have a side assembled that is capable of toppling their old enemies.