Showing posts with label Matt Crooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Matt Crooks. Show all posts

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The three men who can overhaul Rangers

With an underwhelming season drawing to a much-needed end, thoughts have turned in earnest to next season and the changes needed at Ibrox to produce a more credible challenge at the top end of the table.

Already we have seen countless players linked with Rangers, with reports last night suggesting Aberdeen’s Ryan Jack was a done deal and manager Pedro Caixinha’s first signing for the new campaign. Indeed, Caixinha has subsequently moved to strongly big the Dons’ captain up, admitting he has scouted him and he hugely admires him.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Where on earth is Matt Crooks?

If one thing was sure last season, beyond the lack of a reliable defence, it was the lack of a reliable defensive midfielder.

Indeed, one of Mark Warburton’s first acts as Rangers manager was to dispense of the services of the only dedicated DM Rangers had in young Andrew Murdoch, and slot Andy Halliday in that position, something many fans protested about.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The forgotten few

On Sunday Rangers elected to start only four of the summer recruits, a number itself second only to the corresponding league fixture's record which preceded it, when five of the new recruits took to the field that day in Glasgow’s East End.

At Hampden Rangers overlooked eight of the chosen signings acquired during the summer influx for various reasons such as injury, banning, or out of favour.

12 signings came in during this period, including the dream midfield Rangers fans were genuinely excited about in Joey Barton, Jordan Rossiter and Niko Kranjcar, with Accrington’s Matt Crooks also arriving at the Marble Staircase. Once again, for whatever reason, these players were absent or benched for Sunday’s clash.

Completely missing from the match day squad, Harry Forrester posted a cryptic snap to Instagram highlighting a train trip – was the creative midfielder (secured in January) trying to say something?

Friday, 7 October 2016

Why it's Jordan Rossiter's time

Mark Warburton was quoted as saying “a week to 10 days away” for Jordan Rossiter at his last press conference on the 29th, essentially presumably leading to the young defensive anchor’s return by the time Rangers travel north to Caley.

Rangers have been patchy in his absence, with a dreadful loss at Celtic Park preceding a slight glimpse of some form, and in Andy Halliday’s defence he has done a pretty solid job filling in there with Matt Crooks apparently not truly deemed as fully ready to hold down that slot, and Joey Barton’s ban eliminating him from selection.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Fan poll - would you select Joey Barton again?

With the sideshow surrounding Joey Barton growing into a full-blown circus thanks to his latest charge from the SFA, Rangers’ fallen ‘star’ is nevertheless due back at The Rangers Football Centre on Monday, having served his three-week ban for that notorious training ground incident last month.

In that time the former City and Marseille anchor has toured the country plugging his autobiography, and one might even suggest the ban was a deliberate ploy by the player to get time off to do so, using a high-profile move to Ibrox to aid his exposure.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Rangers ready to welcome new addition to the squad

Mark Warburton has confirmed that utility midfielder/defender Matt Crooks is finally ready to make his debut for Rangers, nine months after the former Accrington man was ruled out of the game long term following a knee injury.

The 22-year old has yet to kick a ball in anger for Rangers’ senior team, but reportedly impressed in displays for Head of Development Graeme Murty’s youth teams with some composed displays in defence, and has now finally achieved full match fitness in readiness to make his long-awaited maiden bow.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Why Rangers fans can't take much more of Kiernan & Wilson

Rangers fans have been debating over the defence for as long as we can remember. Under Ally McCoist post-admin, complaints about Ross Perry, Darren Cole and Emilson Cribari were common-fold, before they became about Lee McCulloch and Bilel Mohsni.

Now those defensive demons are back again with the threadbare selection being currently between Clint Hill, Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan, none of whom have filled the support with much confidence apart from fleeting glimpses now and again.

While Matt Crooks returns from fitness (by all accounts he had a decent night for the unders v St Mirren slotting in at central defence) he remains a non-option, but he could be a possibility a number of weeks down the line as he regains match fitness.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Rangers missing three defenders for Saturday?

Rangers’ preparations for the season-opening clash with Hamilton at Ibrox have been rocked by the emerging revelation that three defenders could be missing for the visit of Martin Canning’s men.

Danny Wilson, Clint Hill and Matt Crooks will all reportedly be unavailable through suspension, injury and long term injury recovery respectively, limiting manager Mark Warburton’s selection options considerably.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Why the sun will never shine on Ibrox

The newspapers never were the most elegant of information sources. The majority of them historically chose whichever Glasgow club was the bigger focus of attention at that moment in time and used those travails for hits, circulation and general profit.

There is, however, no denying that the past four years have seen a dramatic spike in the sheer level of negative Rangers reporting, of these newspapers and indeed media sources in general exploiting the dark days at Ibrox for their own ends.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Battery v Rangers - match preview

Just a few hours to go till Mark Warburton’s new-look Rangers side takes its maiden bow in Charleston, South Carolina, as the sole friendly of Rangers’ USA camp sets to test the Magic Hat’s men and see where his new recruits have bedded in.

Notable omissions from tonight’s squad look to be Joey Barton, Jordan Rossiter, Matt Crooks, Niko Kranjcar and Lee Hodson.

Barton has begun training at Murray Park of late, with TV duties preventing him from joining up with the squad in USA, along with the small caveat that he did not officially become a Rangers player until Friday, with his contract formally starting on the first of the month.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

"Ask not what Rangers can do for you; ask what you can do for Rangers"

 Richard Fillingham

I don’t know about you – but I want to know what you really think about a giant club, the size and stature of Rangers, being dragged down to such a low financial state, that we cannot afford to pay any real transfer fee for any player still attached to a club. What a catastrophic position to be in when your team is attempting to win a league title, when other teams have had years experience of competing at a higher standard of players.

Rangers have been reduced to scrounging around, looking for the best free transfer players currently on the market, that are available to sign right away. This will enable us to bed them in for the start of the new Premiership season, after a four-year sabbatical, forced on us by the SPL clubs in 2012. We can use their services to play for our world record breaking team, without having to pay a transfer fee for any of them. In fairness, we have picked the best of them, to the great credit of our management team getting the homework right, and with their experience and perseverance paying off.

David Weir formally clarifies Rangers' defensive scenario

Rangers’ assistant manager David Weir has formally clarified the defensive situation at Ibrox, confirming that the current squad may be considered sufficient for next season if no further deals are finalised.

With American international Oguchi Onyewu trialling with Mark Warburton’s men during their US camp at Charleston Battery, and word going very quiet on the prospects of Jamaican stopper Adrian Mariappa, Weir took the chance to clear up exactly what Rangers are looking for.

He said:

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Profiling Rangers' new-look squad - how it's shaping up

 Richard Fillingham

I think that every Rangers fan would have been extremely happy with 90% of the exciting, attacking football that was served up to us throughout last season. There were a few disappointing results and full credit to some of our opposition for scoring some very good strikes against us. Goals scored against us were mainly due to quick breakaways, plus corner kicks and free kicks. These were our weaknesses in defence and they turned out to be of major concern to Rangers overall.

The squad is starting to take place for the opening of the new 2016-17 season and hopefully a tall centre-back (no less than 6’ 3” please) & a proper tried and tested striker are still to be added.

Monday, 20 June 2016

How Rangers spent £0 on an SPL team

With promotion, Rangers’ fans had a slightly misguided belief that the Ibrox men suddenly had access to all the gold in the world. That the “Promised Land” of the Premiership would wield a steep hike in monies available and Rangers’ target market for the new season would be a huge rise compared with the ‘bargain basement’ of the Championship and other lower leagues in England.

So far, on five players and counting, Rangers have spent close to zero. That is correct; zip, zero, nada.

On Josh Windass, Matt Crooks, Joey Barton, Jordan Rossiter and Clint Hill the outlay for these players’ services has been borderline nothing beyond agent and development fees and impending wages.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Profile: Rangers' new boys - what will they add?

 Richard Fillingham

Rangers have managed a great deal of activity already, and while today also saw the acquisition of ex-QPR defender Clint Hill, let’s take a look at the four Warburton had managed to sign before our latest arrived.

Joey Barton:

When discussing Rangers biggest signing of the year, so far; He has more baggage than the average bag carousel at Glasgow Airport, but he is undeniably a very good midfield footballer who can raise Rangers to a higher level of play, and that is the most important part of his signing.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Signings, sellouts & season tickets - why it's great being a Bear

 Richard Fillingham

Any new signings for Rangers will be joining the world’s most successful club, and have the privilege of plying their trade at the magnificent stadium of Ibrox Park, whilst enjoying our wonderful training facilities of Murray Park to hone their talents even further. Coupled by the added bonus of playing in front of the best supporters in Scotland, singing their 51,000 hearts out every other week – I wish it was me playing for them!

Exciting times ahead with four Englishmen - Matt Crooks, Josh Windass, Jordan Rossiter and Joey Barton already signed, with many newer players still to come, and strengthen an already decent squad of players.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Rangers' awards season: who won what

No denying last season was imperious as far as Rangers’ players were concerned. A great number had superlative performances for the lion’s share of the campaign, including some incoming talent. So here is a player-by-player listing of who won what, showing when it comes to standing out, nobody does it better.

Championship Player of the Year:

The big award for Player of the Year went to Rangers’ captain Lee Wallace. A marauding titan down the left, Rangers’ loyal Lee gave up a great deal for the Ibrox men's journey through Scottish football, and has been rewarded with the captaincy and both Club player of the year and PFA Scotland’s too. Thoroughly deserved.

Rangers' transfer window - what still needs done?

With the signatures of Joey Barton and Jordan Rossiter lighting Ibrox up, plus the preceding deals which saw Accrington Stanley pair Matt Crooks and Josh Windass swap League 2 in England for the Premiership in Scotland, there has already been serious surgery to fill in the squad gaps which were frankly glaringly obvious last season.

All through the season three positions stood out as desperately needing reinforcements; central defence, defensive midfield, and striker.

With those four on board, which positions are now more secure, and which still need work?

Central defence:

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Joey Barton; the latest

 Greg Roots

It has been confirmed by a multitude of media outlets that Joey Barton will undergo a medical at Auchenhowie today, with the 33 year old Burnley player of the year expected to put pen to paper on a 2 year deal shortly after completion of the medical. It is also believed that the offer has an option to add 1 extra year to the deal upon expiration in the format of a rolling contract, similar to how Kenny Miller extended his stay with us.

This signing will be a major coup for manager Mark Warburton and will provide a much needed boost so shortly after our disappointment at Hampden on Saturday. It represents a real statement, signing players with proven experience and key leadership skills will help to bolster out exposed defence at the same time as providing vital insight to our younger players who will thrive under such guidance.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Profile: Rangers' new defensive anchor, Matt Crooks

By Richard Fillingham

At only 22, new Rangers' signing Matt Crooks is 6’ tall and can either play at centre back, or as a holding midfield player, but personally, he is not tall enough for me to play at centre half for Rangers in the Scottish Premiership, but fine to play in midfield for us. If, that is, he is good enough to hold down a starting place in our new look 2015-16 team.

When Matt was with Huddersfield, he went on loan to Accrington Stanley as a 20 year-old and made eight appearances for them before being called back to his parent club.  Accrington Stanley finally signed Matt as a free agent on an 18-month contract in October 2014, taking him up to the summer of 2016.