Monday, 11 May 2015

Rangers' midfielder; from fringes to first team

A figure who has been the very epitome of ‘fringe player’ since he joined is Northern Ireland’s Dean Shiels.

Formerly a top-scoring Kilmarnock striker, Shiels was nominated for Scotland’s player of the year in 2012, but then took the gamble of joining Scotland’s lowest tier to join Rangers in their new surroundings among the likes of Brechin’s hedge.

Ever since then, like his colleague David Templeton, Shiels has failed to really secure a starting berth on a regular basis. He did manage a temporary run early 2014, but before and after he has been a frequent benchwarmer under McCoist then McDowall.

It was not until Stuart McCall came in that Rangers finally started to see the very best of Dean Shiels, a different Dean Shiels to the one we expected, but an equally effective one.

Under the former Bradford boss, Shiels has found himself in a midfield role, alternating between advanced and defensive. His link and support play has been quietly superb, and his winning header at the weekend just reward for the excellent work he has done deeper than we would expect him.

He said:

“There was a large group who were not playing (under McCoist) and what you should do in those situations is keep working hard. Obviously I wasn’t getting much game time but I think this season has been the hardest I’ve ever worked, especially through October, November and December when I wasn’t playing. You do that in case your chance comes and thankfully under the new manager it has done.”

It really has. McCall’s direction has given Shiels a completely new lease of life. As mentioned, he is no longer playing as an attacker, but as an auxiliary midfield link man. He provides space, and support, and always uses the ball, rarely wasting a pass.

He is the kind of player who is always available to take pressure off opponents, and somehow finds yards with which to work. This new aspect of his game has shown Rangers fans what McCoist and McDowall’s ‘management’ could not, that Shiels is a top-class player who was utterly wasted under previous regimes.

McCall has put faith in Shiels to deliver in a different role to the one he is used to, and the former Kilmarnock striker is arguably looking a more rounded and overall better player than the free-scoring one he was in Ayrshire.

He went on:

“I always believed in my ability to do well, it’s what I signed up for when I came to the club. It’s been very difficult going to places like Annan and Arbroath – a long, hard struggle. But it would be an unbelievable achievement for me to help get Rangers back up. It’s what I always wanted to do and hopefully it will happen this year.”

If anyone really deserves a crack at the SPL with Rangers, it is Dean Shiels; a man who gave the SPL up for three years during the peak of his career for a weaker league.

Now, about David Templeton…


  1. I like Deano , but there is no getting away from the FACT that he is too easily moved off the ball . The boy has good awareness and a really nice touch on the ball , but as long as he is so easily disposessd ? he will be a "luxury " player .........i would love the guy too twig though , because he could be a smashing player .

  2. Look, I think we can all agree that it has been the sheer gross of inexperience and neglect of our previous managerial team in McCoist, McDowall, Durrant and Durie are to blame. The old pals act who exposed and took advantage of skimming thousands from our beloved club, knowing their inability to manage and grow the team to future success. They expected just to buy the leagues, bringing in good enough players, but unable to play them properly, either individually or as a team. McCoist had a just turn up and win attitude and unfortunately, the team started to think the same, which caused us the league this season. Now that McCall and Black have arrived, there appears to be a bit of structure and purpose to our team. Some tactics and ideas can visibly be seen on the park. Shiels has always been good enough, as most of the players are,,but now they are just being managed properly. I just hoped David Templeton could get back to his best, because he was an outstanding player for Hearts,, Lets keep our feet on the ground and take one game at a time. Its half time with QOS, Sunday is our next focus, no further.

  3. Fair comment. I was not impressed last year, albiet he had few chances. This season, the same. But, as with so many other players, McCall has come in, dropped the dead wood, replaced them with kids and got a better performance from others. If he thinks Shiels should get a new contract, that's good enough for me.

  4. Shield has been rank rotten along with his team mates. No excuses for him. He's been in the team enough times and playing at a lower level so he should have been showing more. Simple and straightforward.

    I think there is a player in him, which he has shown but in far too fleeting of occasions. No surprise he puts in a wee bit of a game when he reckons he's in the last chance saloon.

    For me he was there 8 months ago.

    Too late Dean lad. Ta Ta

  5. You are wrong. Most of them at Ibrox now should and could have easily been good enough to win this league. The fact that they are so unfit due to a certain leech is not their fault. Granted two or three are just awful(esp daly) but the rest should have been easily good enough. The man is a disgrace to his profession

    1. I'm wrong says you !!

      Not fit but not their fault?? Professional fuckin fitba players getting paid fortunes...aye righto, you must be on the glue....and get aff the crack pipe. Another McCoist hater. Aye he's culpable but the players have been shocking and must carry the can.

      The younger lads, vuckic, McGregor and the keepers can stay.....the rest should be horsewhipped and chased tae fuck away.

  6. I don't hate mccoist but as a manager/coach he is useless. Players left to their own devices not being trained properly cannot perform anywhere near their best that is a fact

    1. Agreed. But the statement that its not the players fault was a shocker.

      My boss is a dick and I'm left to my own devices....but I've got professional pride and still perform and produce maximum effort.

  7. That's not my comment. My point is players that are in peak physical condition will always be better than when not. Part timers we're sitting in and doing us in final stages Ffs!!!


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