Thursday, 21 May 2015

Why dogged determination isn't enough for Rangers

Last night two SPL-quality moments defined the result. Nicky Clark’s sumptuous backheel to make it one, then Kenny Miller’s audacious second, with the outside of his left boot on the outside of his body.

These were excellent goals, but they punctuated the severe work needed to be done with Rangers this summer if the dream of promotion to the Premiership is realised.

And even if it is not.

The truth is, last night, as joyful as the result was, and the confidence the players can go to Easter Road with, the performance itself highlighted how staggeringly below ‘Rangers class’ the current crop really are.

Now, do not misunderstand; the resilience of the team was remarkable – the fight to shut Hibernian out was superb, and precisely what Struth meant when discussing Rangers’ players doing their duties. The pleasure we all took from the result, and witnessing the heart the players had, the will to win; it was precisely what we Bears demand.

But the cold harsh truth is few if any of the entire Rangers first team are good enough for the fringes of an SPL Rangers squad, never mind starting. The quality of football Hibs produced simply outclassed Rangers – the toothlessness of their attack cost them, which, in all fairness, was forced by Rangers’ defence’s determination.

Cammy Bell, decent though he has been for the level we are at, is no Allan McGregor. Rangers used to have the best goalkeeper Scotland has produced since Goram, who now plies his trade with EPL outfit Hull. That we are proposing Bell, who has one cap for Scotland, as good enough for the SPL for this Club highlights the extent to which our standards have dropped.

The same applies to the defence; it fought like lions last night, but Foster, McGregor, and Zaliukas are so far miles behind the likes of Hutton, Whittaker, Goian, Bocanegra and Weir as to be painful. Even Lee Wallace was not a first pick LB under McCoist’s SPL Rangers, instead that position went to Papac and Ally tried to accommodate Wallace by playing him in midfield. The two alternated.

In midfield it was once Davis and Edu – it is now Murdoch and Shiels. This is not a dig at either of these two – both have actually been arguably some of our best players since McCall arrived. But Davis and Edu were SPL Rangers – Champions League SPL Rangers; no one could put forth a convincing case that both of these are of that level.

Vuckic lacks pace but is clearly a cut above every other player at Ibrox; he is the one asset Rangers have who is just about good enough to play in the SPL at the level Rangers expect – but unless the board forks out the asking price, he will not be here beyond next month anyway.

Law is a bog-standard lower SPL player who performs well in patches but his inconsistency defines him. In the olden days he would have been a midfield version of Gary Bollan (remember him).

And then up front we seriously struggle.

Miller, our best striker, is not getting any younger, but produces when it counts – but he is far from a long-term solution. Clark is a nuisance and full of beans – but, that astonishing goal aside, lacks composure – there is a very good reason he has not really asserted himself at Ibrox, and why 41 goals in the-then second division for Queen of the South does not translate to 41 goals for Championship Rangers. And Boyd & Daly tell their own stories.

If Rangers do make the promised land; if this hard-working and dogged Rangers side gets back to where it belongs, messyrs King & Murray will need to overhaul the entire playing staff otherwise it will come straight back down the following season.

You may all have read this and are screaming ‘shock, the players are not good enough, could have told you that years ago’ – yet the number of fans who try to justify individuals as being good enough for the SPL at this Club seriously contradicts that.

Imagine how world class Allan McGregor, Steven Naismith, Nikica Jelavic, Maurice Edu, Steven Davis and even the Bocanegras, Goians, and Whittakers would actually look in comparison with what we now have.

Even if Rangers fail to win promotion, changes are needed. Heart & determination will only get you so far.

You do need to be able to play a bit too.


  1. Spot on mate.......

  2. Sign SCOTT ALLEN, best player on park by a mile.

  3. I've not seen quality crossing at Ibrox for years, a rangers man in a Hibs top delivered high quality
    Balls that caused us trouble every time. Scott Allen was the best player on show last night. Sign him up,ASAP .

  4. the reason we are in this state was caused by buying players we coulnt afford paying wages we couldent afford trying to catch celtic please dont go down same road again lets face it we are still waiting to see the coulor of this boards money they cant even pay ashley 5 million for our crest so caution is the word fellow bears

    buying players we couldent

  5. I agree with most of what you said although I think Murdoch might not be a stand out player but could be an outstanding player

    1. That's fuckin deep pal.Walt fuckin Whitman material.

    2. Question is do you agree?

  6. I agree with the article, but would note that when we get back to the SPL, we will be able to attract better players. Our youth will improve around better players. The trick is we need to buy cheaply and wisely to shore up problem areas(lots of them)

    But 3 £2M players and 3 frees each worth £2M if you were buying them, would make a big difference to that team allied to the best of the young players. Lets not forget a lot of wages are about to be freed up. We don't need to win the SPL next season. Buy wisely again the summer of 2016 and we are back in the hunt.

    I accept it isn't that easy or everybody would do it. That's why we need the right manager. McCall has submitted a list of target names and the board will judge him on that. If its good enough, give him the gig


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