Sunday, 29 March 2015

Thank you Stuart McCall


December 6th 2014. Rangers welcome Cowdenbeath to Ibrox. 8th of November since Rangers' last victory in the league, and that run of 3 draws and losses finally came to an end with a 1-0 win when the Blue Brazil showed up, but another woeful display punctuation everything that was wrong on the pitch. It was to prove Ally McCoist’s last match in charge before he handed in his resignation/notice.

March 28th 2015. Rangers welcome Cowdenbeath to Ibrox. 6 days since Rangers’ last victory in the league (the previous match in fact), and that run of wins continued as new manager Stuart McCall’s stamp continued to make its mark on the team with an ultimately convincing 4-1 win.

The contrast between McCall’s fledgling reign and that of his immediate predecessors is starting to truly embarrass them. While it was a slightly spluttering start which saw his first two results being draws, the fact that four matches into the McCall regime and Rangers have yet to register a loss while managing to overcome high-flying Hibernian with relative ease, on their own patch, tells Rangers fans almost everything they need to know about the difference between having a rookie, and having a manager.

When the boys from Fife came to Govan, Rangers had some serious concerns in defence. There was no Foster, Smith, Zaliukas, Faure or Sinnamon available, and McCall was forced into some slight modifications, such as a change back to 4-4-2.

After the success of the 3-5-2 at Easter Road, such a change was concerning and many fans feared a bad day, including yours truly.

We need not have worried.

The big news was a start for David Templeton on the left, with Shiels switching to the right, and after 20 minutes of non-stop pressure from Rangers, including two fine saves from Thomson to keep the home side at bay, it was evident the McCall message is getting through.

It is easy to pre-empt praise by saying ‘we are not Real Madrid’ as insurance, before saying ‘but’, but this time I will not say that. This was a performance of gusto, flair, imagination, pace, and some outright excellent football.

Templeton had an absolute field day down the left, tearing the backline to shreds, and his relationship with Wallace looked borderline telepathic. Both bombed up and down the left and quite simply ‘Beath had no answer at all.

The big disappointment of the first half was the lack of goal, for all that pressure, all that flowing football (yes, flowing football from Rangers), they could not beat Thomson.

This was, for the first time this season, downright enjoyable fare to watch. Last week’s display v Hibs was a tactical masterpiece, which did not get enjoyable till 20 minutes into the second half when it was clear Stubbs had no response to McCall.

But yesterday? Yesterday was flying from the start, and the quality of football on offer was impeccable, as was the attitude.

In the end the 4-1 result was completely just, Vuckic coming on to claim a double and Nicky Clark setting it all in motion after the turnaround, before the outstanding McGregor zinged one in from 20 yards to put the match out of reach.

But the one big let down was Bilel Mohsni. His concentration levels are non-existent, he is astoundingly careless, and he just does not focus. He is colossal in the air, and strong in the tackle, but his laziness of mind cost Rangers a goal today, and a brief dip in morale till McGregor got the second.

A defence of McCulloch and Mohsni is absolutely not going to cut it for the rest of this season, and while I believe this team will now be promoted (you can quote me on that) it will be held back by those two hamstringing the backline.

But that aside the football was fantastic, the goals were great, and it was wonderful to actually enjoy watching Rangers.

On the pitch, at last, Rangers are becoming a pleasure and not a pain.

Thank you Stuart McCall.

22 comments:

  1. Well said - Think Moshini is one that has to go and was only selected here to cover injuries, Faure has been a loyal servant to the club and deserves his chance as does Gasparotto, if a youth player made this kind of mistake thats one thing but a supposed international quality player should be at least able to concentrate for 90 mins.

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  2. Think you need to reign it in a bit. We played well yesterday with footballers on the park but the opposition were not great. The same manager drew three games prior to that. A step in the right direction as confidence returns. Only that!

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  3. Agree! Another really encouraging step forward and great to register a home win!! In terms of the players I've been most pleased with the emergence of Walsh, the renaissance of Wallace (superb again yesterday) and the breath of fresh air that is Vuckic.
    I would say Templeton was better yesterday but still a bit inconsistent; he has the ability to be brilliant but his performances are still tainted by a few loose balls that can cause promising attacks to falter.
    Still, it's great to see things looking up in a way that feels sustainable.
    Bit disappointed crowds haven't risen back up above 40K but I'm sure season ticket sales will return to previous levels next term.

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  4. At last Templeton gets a start and what a difference. McCOIST & MACDOWELL hasn't got a clue

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  5. Almost another disaster yesterday. Cowdenbeath are absolutely shocking yet we allowed them a goal and almost managed to draw.

    Gusto flair imagination & pace, outright excellent football...????? Not from where I was sitting. Huffed and puffed against a team of amateurs. The big no5 looked and moved like a 16st Sunday pub team defender.

    Templeton, he didn't rip anyone up apart from himself. Tries to be clever and tricky when there's no need. One of these days he'll tie himself into a knot. A few descent things but in the main not good enough. Got the ball control of my 7yr old daughter.

    Overall satisfactory, no more no less.

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  6. as ever, The BlueBells are Blue to infinity and beyond!!

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  7. I dont get this "Templeton was great " bit ? , the boy was decent , but if you compare his overall effectiveness ( even with young Walsh the other week ) its meagre . I dont mind the boy but i believe he flatters to deceive ! and wee McCall will either make him or break him ! although i hope its the former as we need all the guys we can get to start performing . S McC deserves a bucket load of credit already though .

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  8. Couldn't agree more, let's give the manager the chance to deal with big bomb scare and look forward to another good result next week WATP

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  9. We are the greatest when we win and the worst when we lose or draw.....time to get a bit of a reality check and get a bit more level headed. There's been a bit of a boost with a new manager coming in as happens to a lot of teams but time will tell as the players have let McCoist down so let's hope they don't do it to McCall.

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  10. I think the consensus is "Lets not get carried away". Templeton did make a difference and occupies defenders, which gives others time and space. Shiels' movement yesterday was good - Clark was wasteful and McCulloch and Mohsni do not cut it in a back four. Murdoch was good and Miller worked hard. Ultimately it was Cowdenbeath, no disrespect but they are hardly Brazil!

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  11. Best display from agers team for years stop moan in u guys when stu gets his war chest from the king with the squad we have Ronni and boys will be lucky to win the ramsdens cup

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  12. We are getting there slow but sure we need to be patient ,and give Templeton a run in the team not the odd 15 mins here and there

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  13. the team is doing well so lets get behind them,,

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  14. Why is everyone and his dog slagging everything that is Glasgow Rangers these days . They should just see to their own team and grow up . Whatever shape or form , Glasgow Rangers will be back and make no mistake about it . Scottish football is in a bad state these days and it would be so much worse without Glasgow Rangers and their vast fanbase .

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  15. BigLebowski, is right lets not get carried away, these players have been shite with McCoist, and are still shite , roughly yesterday 10 mins to go it was 1-1 and yes we won , but it could have stayed 1-1. By all means this is not a attack on what happened yesterday, Vuckic is a breath of fresh air, who bear in mind was on the bench, both Moshni and Jig have to go , anyone like Kyle Bartley back I would

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  16. We should not be crowing just yet but I do see why people are because of the last 4 years of absolute dross on show from mccoist . Wee mccall has got more out of these guys in 4 weeks than mccoist did in 4 years just shows you what a manager who knows what he is doing does for a team and am not even a mccall fan so fair play to him.

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  17. Not to much rejoicing just yet ok we scored 4 at home against a part time team of players who play the game as a hobby, scoring 4 against Hearts should see an improvement but this squad will find it difficult if we are promoted, any sign of money to compete in the SPFL?

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  18. Let's not get carried with 2 good victories, don't get me wrong it's been a joy to watch it's just there are clearly still some areas where Rangers must improve. Before I say this I will say not all are guilty of it and it has been better especially against hibs, but certain players when we are defending they back off from players they should be going in for the tackle and I've lost count the amount of goals it's cost us in the last few seasons. I'm talking about guys like McCulloch + Law they need to look at Clark tracking back 20 yards to get possession and big Darren McGregor who never backs off from a tackle. Big test next weekend against hearts, we have to do what they did at hibs as we pressed really well against them, their players never had 2 seconds on the ball. We have to keep the high tempo up. Plus we should have won the game about 15-1, 15-0 if you take moshni's mistake out and if we had taken our chances. Lack of pressure, lack of tempo and lack of chances has been rangers problem for months. We have to start taking these chances or all the other improvements will have been for nothing.

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  19. 3 points, slight improvement. Next.

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  20. A guess you keep everybody happy eh were getting better just be glad of that. And is it know strange that mcall has given more young boys a chance in his short time than coisty did in the last 4 years.am telling you were in good hands just wait till he gets some of his own players I'd at least trust judgment had no faith with the previous management team

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  21. Lets face it. Under Ally or clipboard we would got at best a point out of that game.
    McCall has us playing football again.

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