Showing posts with label Dominic Ball. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dominic Ball. Show all posts

Friday, 19 May 2017

Sergeant Warburton's Loan-ly Rangers Club - where are they now?

If one thing punctuated Mark Warburton’s ultimately disastrous regime at Ibrox, it was his unforgiveable use of Ibrox and Murray Park as a pseudo-lab for other teams’ youth players while borderline auditioning himself for another gig by showing how ‘well’ he could develop these young players.

As a homage to our fine ex-manager, Ibrox Noise decided to take an irreverent look down Memory Lane and have a look at all the departed loanees Bread Man brought in and ask the pertinent question: ‘where are they now?’

Monday, 16 January 2017

Just what IS Mark Warburton's recruitment plan?

Trying to sift one’s way through the myriad of confusion that is Rangers’ squad these days really is quite a challenge. Indeed, it is hard to know where to begin when summing up the recruitment policy, the squad structuring vision and the departures’ lounge.

When Mark Warburton took charge in the summer of 2015, he really did a fantastic job over overhauling a truly shambolic squad left over by the embers of the failed McCoist regime. 11 departures that summer meant Warburton was effectively able to rebuild Rangers’ squad from scratch – with a modest budget he compiled a clutch of players who took to the Scottish Championship like a duck to water, and there is no denying the free-flowing Barcelona-esque football vision he had for Rangers was having a positive impact.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The mess in midfield

If ever a transfer window summed up the aimless direction Mark Warburton is going in, it would be this one. With two new creative midfielders signed up over the past 48 hours, to call the man’s obsession with midfield unnerving would be something of an understatement.

Since this window began, Rangers have been linked with at least five creative midfielders, two of them confirmed as joining up at the Marble Staircase, while the likes of Jota and Hepburn Murphy have gone colder.

And many fans are questioning what Warburton’s signing policy actually is as a result, with an increasing level of exasperation and frustration over the continued targeting of not only creative midfielders, but apparently only loan deals for them too.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Should Rangers have signed Dominic Ball?

With confirmed news this morning that former loan Ranger Dominic Ball is to head to Alan Stubbs’ new gig in Rotherham, it spells the end finally of the rumours linking him back to Ibrox.

Some fans have reacted with great disappointment over the news, supporters who had eagerly wanted to see Ball return to Rangers’ colours, and as such his move to the English Championship was greeted with dismay by a significant portion of the fanbase.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Where does Andy Halliday stand in the new-look Rangers?

Andy Halliday last season took on cult hero status before he even kicked a ball in anger at Ibrox. After all, he was a boyhood Rangers fan, growing up just a stone’s throw away from the stadium itself and had willingly sacrificed hard offers from other clubs in order to take a trial at Rangers and risk being out of a club entirely had Mark Warburton et al not liked what they saw.

Naturally they did though and the rest is history, with the attacking midfielder being one of the Magic Hat’s very first acquisitions in his complete overhaul of Rangers’ first XI.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The curious case of Billy King

On the 28th of January, an extremely puzzling transfer was concluded, following a literal 24-hour period of initial breaking news before it was sown up.

Hearts U21 Scottish international winger Billy King was to switch Gorgie for Ibrox in arguably Mark Warburton’s most confusing signing to date, when the young attacker was confirmed on a four-month loan deal.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Rangers linked to triple player swoop

Breaking news today from the Express claims Rangers are lining up a three-way transfer swoop for Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 29-year old centre back Eitan Tibi, Fulham midfielder Ben Pringle, and last season’s on-loan Ranger from Tottenham, Dominic Ball.

The over 6ft Israeli defender (with over 20 caps for his country) has supposedly been offered to Mark Warburton and many outlets have picked the story up and claimed it is a done deal already. We will see what transpires there.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Just why do Rangers want so many midfielders?

With the absolute glut of signing targets emerging in the past week or so, the vast majority of players Rangers have been linked to are midfielders. From Joey Barton to Niko Kranjcar, from Jordan Rossiter to Alex Pritchard, from Matthew Knox to you name it, Mark Warburton has really gone quite postal when it comes to midfield talent.

Sure, Rangers are also linked with quite a few forwards too; Danny Graham, Jason Cummings and Danny Ings have all been mentioned in the Ibrox breath as well, but it is undeniably midfield which has seen the most activity, which is ironic as it was already arguably the strongest area of the team.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Analysis: where Rangers need strengthened

Warburton has some thinking to do.

Scottish Cup Final result notwithstanding, Rangers desperately need new blood in the team.

This season’s squad has arguably achieved beyond its weight and clearly exceeded expectations, as admitted by manager Mark Warburton; but to ensure we keep progression at a steady rate, improvements in some key areas remain absolutely vital in order to launch a credible assault on the Premiership next season.

Let us take a look at the areas which simply ache for supplements:

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Analysis: Rangers' alarming form slump

With just over three weeks to go till the Scottish Cup Final, Rangers had expected to approach the national game’s showpiece event in buoyed mood with the league sown up, the Petrofac Cup already clinched and of course that mammoth cup win over Celtic.

Instead, form since that Hampden semi final has been alarming at best and absolutely pitiful at worst; the loss at Easter Road was dismissed understandably as a hangover from the huge efforts in Mount Florida, but the two results which followed against the division’s worst two sides gave serious cause for concern. A dismal draw at Ibrox against long-time bogey side Alloa who sit proudly at the bottom of the table having already been relegated to League 1, and then Tuesday’s atrocity – losing at the Toni Macaroni Arena (of all places) to the truly horrific Livingston.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Warburton confirms how many central defenders he needs

Rangers’ manager Mark Warburton has today confirmed he needs at least one other central defender in order to have an allocation of four for the step up to Scotland’s top tier next season.

Having been dogged by defensive issues throughout the season, not to mention a recent collapse of nine goals shipped in only three matches, defensive security has been made a priority by the Magic Hat, with Rangers’ boss conceding four are needed for next season.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Where on earth is Jason Holt?

Rangers’ form over the past three matches, while miles off being desperate, has maybe hit a little bit of a buffer. In the way it dipped late September until late December, it again does seem a little off Rangers’ finest.

Four goals in three games is most definitely below the team’s normal capacity, and while the previous dip was elongated and no one truly knew what the cause was, with the fanbase awash with a myriad of theories, this time it looks a little simpler to pinpoint; the absence of the mercurial Jason Holt.

No one knows the exact state of play with the playmaker’s injury, but his disappearance from the first team coincides with a very noticeable and sudden dip in energy from the team – it is not drastic, nor is it deeply worrying, but it is tangible, and Rangers’ previously-convincing and smooth play from midfield to the front is just lacking a little thrust.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Who replaces Andy Halliday?

As is now infamous, Rangers’ defensive anchor Andy Halliday was sent off at Cappielow for a mere celebration, leading to a suspension for the former Bradford man.

Consequently debate has turned to who will be filling in for him at his holding position in the engine room.

It highlights Rangers’ lack of cover for that position, and possibly the importance of securing Matt Crooks now or another to fill it.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Murray Park trialist earns deal?

Increasing speculation from Murray Park this evening has suggested trialist Mehki Leacock-Mcleod has signed a deal with Rangers to secure his future at Ibrox.

The 19-year old Wolves winger has been trying to impress Mark Warburton at Auchenhowie and with significant doubts lingering over the Michael O’Halloran deal, rumours persist that the young attacker has been brought in as cover for that position, or maybe even more.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Does James Tavernier need a rest?

It would be no lie to suggest few Bears knew of James Tavernier when the English right-back was linked to Ibrox this summer.

Sky Sports’ Jim White broke the news that he and fellow Latic Martyn Waghorn were both on the verge of a move to Rangers, but the majority of supporters merely said ‘who?’.

A couple of months into his time at Govan though and fans took him to their hearts; aided and abetted by some absolutely ridiculous goals, including a mazy solo run at the Excelsior Stadium v Airdrieonians and a quite bewildering array of astonishing free kicks, Tavernier soon became monikered as the “Blue Cafu”, owing to his pace, overlapping runs and those aforementioned goals.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Warburton reveals the positions he wants to fix

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has today confirmed the positions he seeks to improve come January, but has surprisingly been incredibly explicit in one of the suggestions.

While it is well known Rangers are in need of enhancements and a bit of a tweak in personnel, it is the direct acknowledgement of Danny Wilson’s poor performances, Lee Wallace’s lack of deputy and Dominic Ball’s inexperience that was the most unexpected.

Warburton conceded that Rangers need ‘versatile’ players and that the critically under-manned position of defensive midfield was being focused on, but it was his admission that ‘left of defence’ needed work – strongly forcing the conclusions that Danny Wilson’s time at Ibrox may be coming to a premature end, another left-back may be a priority and that Dominic Ball is not viewed as a serious solution to left centre back.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Is there a way back at Rangers for Danny Wilson?

If this season has brought any surprises, beyond Rangers’ stellar start (not such a surprise after Mark Warburton was appointed manager), it is the ‘fall from grace’ of effectively this summer’s marquee signing.

Former Hearts, Blackpool, Liverpool and Rangers defender Danny Wilson was truly the biggest name Rangers brought in over the summer, and was even posited as potential captain material.

With the 23 (yes, he is still only 23) year old having quit SPL-bound Hearts, Rangers’ acquisition of him was considered a real coup, given the lad has an astonishing level of experience, including the Champions League and English Premiership.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Warburton reveals the biggest area of concern on the pitch

Mark Warburton has admitted Rangers’ defence remains a key area of concern, despite his side’s rampant 4-0 victory versus Alloa at Ibrox this weekend.

Speaking after the match, he alluded to the swift counters from the Wasps which nearly yielded a positive outcome for the visitors, one such move being halted by a charging Lee Wallace.

The manager said:

Monday, 2 November 2015

What does one loss mean for Rangers?

Going into yesterday’s match at Easter Road, while the record books said 11 wins from 11 and there was plenty of evidence in the preceding weeks of unity and togetherness within the players, there is no denying form had struggled a little bit.

Opposition, starting to close ranks and shut up shop, dedicated themselves to stopping Rangers – borderline illegally, but undeniably astutely.

The early season scorelines of 6, 5, 4 and even 3 had become a serious rarity, and while the flowing football was not completely gone, it had struggled to be as influential, effective, and creative as it previously had been.

Possession stats had been consistently good, but a spark just seemed to have been removed, and 1-0 and 2-1 scorelines, previously non-existent, punctuated recent victories.

Monday, 26 October 2015

St Mirren 0 - 1 Rangers: player ratings

With yet another league victory out the way, and the 11th in a row, Rangers had to really battle against a ‘physical’ St Mirren side who were intent on ‘getting at them’ throughout this match, especially inside the opening four minutes. Referee Steven McLean put a stop to it with a yellow for a half way line kung-fu assault from Buddies’ veteran enforcer Jim Goodwin, something Andrew Dallas failed miserably to do in midweek, and it stopped this one spiralling out of control.

But with the need to roll their sleeves up, how did the Rangers starting XI perform in arguably the hardest-fought away win of the season, outwith Dumbarton?