Thursday, 14 June 2018

Is this Steven Gerrard's favoured XI?



It’s time. It’s time to get genuinely excited for Rangers’ prospects next season. Naturally the arrival of Steven Gerrard as boss sure whet the appetite in the first place, but with a flurry of two impressive signings in the space of a day, Glasgow Rangers finally have something akin to a spine, and a shape.

At the beginning of last season, defence, outwith the on-paper brilliant signing of Bruno Alves, was an unknown Portuguese guy (Fabio Cardoso) from a Portuguese mob we’d never heard of (Vitoria de Setubal), a Raith Rovers reject (David Bates), and a divisive and inconsistent ex-Ranger (Danny Wilson).

This was only compounded by the utter calamity that was Russell Martin in January, and by this point we already gleaned that Bruno Alves was a flop (at least under those circumstances) as well.

Now, we’re not hypocrites – we didn’t know of Connor Goldson and we sure as sh*t didn’t know Nikola Katic either, but there is something undeniably reassuring about these being Steven Gerrard signings – that a legend of the game has either scouted these defenders or given the green light to pursuing them.

Gerrard knows more about football than you, me, us, and frankly the vast majority of our support, so we kowtow to his judgement when it’s a player we’ve not heard of or aren’t sure about.

Therefore, with the two defenders we now have, we can truly begin to draw up a feasible XI.

In goal, Allan McGregor.

Presently, a back four of James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Nikola Katic and Declan John.

Midfield of Daniel Candeias, Jordan Rossiter, Ross McCrorie and Scott Arfield while up front needs work but for now could be Murphy or Ejaria behind Alfredo Morelos.

That leaves reserves of Murphy/Ejaria, Windass, Jack, Dorrans, Docherty and quite a few more.

The groundwork is clearly taking shape but the curate’s egg is finding out if the likes of Rossiter, Candeias, McCrorie et al really are of Rangers standard – we have done so much arguing the past six years about what that level really means, but as we proposed on Ibrox Noise some months ago, surely a Rangers level Rangers team will have a tonne of currently-active internationals?

In which case, right now, we have still just barely a handful of such players. On paper, it’s not enough, but chances are some of these players will break through to their national sides fully – Murphy, Jack, Katic, Docherty and John are five such players, with McGregor, Arfield (to an extent), Hodson (aye, don’t forget him) and Bruno Alves the established ones we have.

However, we digress.

The squad, right now, looks better shaped – it looks more equipped to handle the rough and tumble of the SPL, with more physical players like Docherty, Rossiter, McCrorie et al around.

We like where this is going under Gerrard, and we look forward to more.

11 comments:

  1. Candeias is shockingly wasteful, player of the year or not. Theres no way hes the standard Rangers need to have if we're to challenge

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  2. Apart from fixing the black hole that was our defence, the team needed tinkering rather than drastic surgery. This has been done. Remember that we were the league's top scorers last season. Doesn't mean we can't be improved, but think about our league position if we had let in the same number of goals as Celtic.

    Where we were lacking was strength in depth. I believe this has largely been fixed. Look at our reserve team
    Alnwick
    RB? McCrorie - Alves/Cardoso - LB
    Jack - Docherty
    Atakayi - Windass/Dorrans - Middleton
    Dallas/Rudden/Shiels

    Yes, we need cover at fullback - Hutton, anyone?
    And we certainly need a striker. I would be happy to get someone on a 12 month loan and sign McBurnie in January
    But we can see definite signs of progress. Warburton's first window signings all worked. If SG's do, then tinkering will be the order of business from here on in.
    RTID
    Let's Go!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good article but have to take exception with Bates being "rejected" by Raith. That was not the case.

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  4. Its shaping up nicely,strength n width,
    The big man never came to Glasgow to make a cunt of himself
    We will succeed no doubt about that
    Stevie has the power to bring in players that would have never considered moving to Glasgow

    NOW LETS WALK THE WALK 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🏆

    LETS GO WATP 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

    ReplyDelete
  5. Think he will play with 3 at the back with Alves joining in.
    Stevie's nowhere near finished as yet, as he told us all yesterday.
    5 more players and the leauges there for the taking first season!!
    Stevie certainly thinks so U can see it in him*

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  6. I can't believe they'll hold on to Morelos. He has no desire to be here, he's petulant and the sitters he's missed this season, out weigh anything previous. His heart's just not in being at Ibrox.

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  7. We need two strikers and a really commanding and creative midfield general - we gave some good steady midfielders but none that can stamp their authority all over the game or make that cutting pass in the final third - Tavernier our right back is still the player most likely to create something going forward and that is telling. As for Candeias he’s a journeyman and it’s time he continued that journey. He will never be Rangers class - and Rangers didn’t have a Player of the Year

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good comments and a decent article I can see Windass stepping up to the plate here as he will not be allowed to be such a slacker . I think if the money is right then Morelos will go . I've changed my opinion from a couple of days ago I think Ryan Jack will stay and be converted into a right back/sweeper . I agree with Dexter Candelas is a decent player but we need more I would like to see young Middleton make a play for that role

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  9. Exciting Times Ahead! 😃👌⚽💙

    Would like to see more appearances for our young lads ...Middleton/Atakyi/Barjonas

    ReplyDelete

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