Sunday, 22 March 2015

What a difference a win makes


With five draws in a row as Rangers’ last five results, including two under new manager Stuart McCall, hopes were on the floor for today’s clash with Hibernian.

The squad had been bereft of quality, passion, effort, endeavour or cohesion, and it is safe to say anything other than a defeat would be viewed as a bonus.

With the last three results v the Hibees being defeats to an overall score of 9-1, the Easter Road outfit went into today’s match as clear favourites and had the added motivation of stopping their city rivals Hearts winning the Championship simply by drawing or better.

To say this match did not follow the script is the understatement of the year, and was the first sign of McCall starting to impress his ideas on the team and juicing substantially more out of them than either of his predecessors did.

The initial lineup was hardly promising, with the usual dross of McCulloch, Mohsni, Law and Miller punctuating proceedings, and it only doused optimism even further.

But after 30 minutes, while play had not been sparkling from Rangers, it had been tactically spot on. The home side were completely stifled by McCall’s tactical shift to a 3-5-2, which reverted to 5-3-2 in defence, and Scott Allan, the destructor at Easter Road last time, found himself isolated and snuffed out by pressing from Murdoch, McGregor et al to hound him out the game.

With Hibs’ best player nullified, and McCall’s constant badgering from the touchlines to keep the intense pressing going, their threat was absolutely non-existent.

It was the first time in forever Rangers’ first team worked this hard – McCall laid out a plan of suffocating the opponents, stopping any of their midfield expressing themselves; where their midfield had overrun Rangers in January, it was absent presumed missing today.

Even Nicky Law, after a very quiet first 30 minutes, came into life and started to deploy the ball to more effective use, while McGregor and his two partners, McCulloch and Mohsni, one slip from Bilel aside, were pretty comfortable at the back it has to be said.

Nicky Clark might not have had the most effective game, but his effort, workrate and enthusiasm meant he was a constant thorn in Hibs’ rearguard, and Lee Wallace rampaged up and down the flank like the Wallace we know and love.

There is a long way to go, but if this is the start, at last, of McCall’s revolution at Ibrox, and this kind of industry, desire, workrate and unity can be sustained, promotion suddenly goes from a complete busted flush to a genuine possibility.

The Rangers might just be back. At long, long last.

14 comments:

  1. Massive result today. Gives us hope of going to easter road in the play offs and coming away with a result whereas before todays match I wouldn't have giving this rangers team a hope in hell

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  2. OOOOO RANGERS WE LOVE YOUUUUUU,,,WATP

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  3. Until the next bad result and then you'll be saying the players are all useless the manager hasn't a clue and the board need to go

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    1. Is that your belief......don't hold your breathe, you know what it. Is, use septic fans know we will be back even stronger in that scares use cunts....kick kick won't last for much longer. We are the people....

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    2. Why don't you do one. Your comments are dross.

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    3. you get to bed like a good wee boy,,,you have school in the morning,,,and tell all your palls tomorrow you are one knob,,

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  4. An improvement in effort and a good result, after which the players now need to take a look at themselves and see how they have cheated the fans so far this season!

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  5. a great game as a team,,,now lets keep it going.

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  6. fantastic, I can go into work with a smile on my face!!
    if they work hard then the flair will follow as long as we grind out results in this tough period.

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  7. Get real you lot.....Granted we werent at our best but at a time when we were well on top and McCulloch and co. were blowing out their arses, Mr Collum steps in and kills the game with one of the most ridiculous decisions imaginable. If thats the way you like your team to play, then your easily pleased and welcome to them. GGTTH !!!

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    1. Dry your eyes - Hibs were the lesser team over the 90 minutes, one decision doesn't decide a game.

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  8. Not before time.

    Good shape, testament to that was the 2 wing backs in a midfield 5 were the best players on the park. Just shaded the boy Murdoch....what a talent and prospect he's turning out to be. Brilliant from that laddie.

    More of the same required and a few young starlets given the chance to shine. There are some young talents in there, let's have them.

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  9. Go to work with a smile on your face. I was actually impressed by Hibs. What a fast .dangerous team on the break. Great to see Rangers grind out a big win tho. Showed how much it meant at the end. WATP

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  10. I have said for four seasons now, Rangers should be playing the formation 3-5-2 at Ibrox and 5-3-2 away from home, just ask the guys I sit with in the Sandy Jardine Stand front section. They keep telling me I am like a stuck record (CD's to our younger readers). I am not claiming to be an expert in tactics, but I never had much disagreement from thos around me. How often have we at Ibrox been overrun by midfield players from Berwick, Livingston. QOS, Peterhead...need I go on? But at Easter Road on Sunday, Stuart McCall set up the team in a formation that worked. Why did it work? It worked because Stubbs set his team up to play against a 4-4-2. For once we have a manager who will change his tactics to suit, hence the 3-5-2 at the start and reverting to the 5-3-2 as the game went on.
    Yesterday we saw outstanding performances from players who have been 'tired', Wallace was immense, McGregor, remember he is a centre half, gave everything and was unlucky not to score the first goal, with Wallace on hand to ram it in the net. Zaliukas was so composed, Moshni did well, keeping things simple and the workrate from Clark, Murdoch, Miller and Law (even), all contributed to the result. We also got the rub of the green when Collum never gave a foul for the 2nd goal, but missed out on giving us a penalty before it when Clark was pushed. In the Alloa game we didnt get a penalty when Daly was clearly held by their centre half. So as they say what goes round, comes around.
    I have missed out 3 players Bell, McCulloch and Shiels; for Bell I'd say he had very little to do, McCulloch also had very little to do, but what he did, he did comfortably, but in my opinion is a weak link, Shiels worked hard, but in this game I thought was subdued, but his display in the previous game merits him retaining a place.
    Overall, the commentaries say Hibs were under par, I don't belive that, we stopped them from playing. So after a quite unstablising start Stuart McCall has now pass marks in my estimation, but far from securing the Managers job yet.

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