Friday, 29 May 2015

Why Rangers won't miss McGregor on Sunday


He has been voted, rightly, Rangers’ player of the year. The fact that this rather sums up how the Club’s standards have plummeted is neither here nor there, but Darren McGregor has definitely been the most consistent overall performer for Rangers this season, particularly against the bread and butter of the Championship.

But his frailties were first exposed at Hampden when supporters learned how truly out of his depth against a decent side McGregor actually was facing Celtic, and in all honesty he has likewise failed to step up in many of the big matches this season.

This has not been highlighted more than his frankly awful displays in the playoffs, where he has looked incredibly awkward, nervous, and has had all the poise and grace of Bambi on Ice.

It is true that he has been playing through the pain barrier, but add that to his astonishingly weak displays overall and, bizarre though it is, he will be no miss on Sunday.

Indeed, it has been Marius Zaliukas who has been leaps and bounds Rangers’ best central defender in these playoffs, whether in a back three or with McGregor in a two, and he is the one who needs to step up on Sunday if Rangers’ rearguard is to cope at Fir Park.

McGregor’s inability to clear a ball into the middle of the park, for those eagle-eyed punters, has been stark – about 80% of all clearances with either his head or foot have gone out of play to the right sideline. Always the right sideline. True, if in doubt boot it out, which does suggest McGregor is constantly in doubt.

We do have to thank him for a huge goal last night which just about keeps us in this tie, but beyond that he has been founding totally wanting in his natural position at the back.

This is why reverting to the three on Sunday, and without McGregor, is actually to the team’s benefit and not its detriment.

Rangers fans, and this blog especially, have been hyper-critical, justly, of captain Lee McCulloch for some considerable time, but absolute hats-off to the skipper – he, along with Zaliukas, was colossal at Easter Road in the semi final and even saved a sure goal. So, incredible to say it, but the idea of him in a three at the back on Sunday is not the fearful prospect it could have been.

In all likelihood wantaway man Bilel Mohnsi will fill the last slot – which does mean Rangers will be extremely tough aerially and hard to penetrate, while having two defenders (Mohsni and Zaliukas) capable of dribbling from defence.

So while this three may seem terrifying in theory to Rangers supporters, McCall, if he is to turn this around, needs a dynamic defence capable of setting up attacks – both Mohsni and Zaliukas can do this.

And truthfully, as stated, McGregor has been a weak link in these playoffs and coupled with his apparent injury will not be much of a miss on Sunday.

10 comments:

  1. you keep telling yourself that and you might end up believing it...

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  2. Anonymous GTF

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  3. Zaliukas was the cause of the first goal and was not much better onMcmanus headed goal along with two other defenders ,but it has been the same all year with trying to defend set plays ,corners freekicks etc.The three goals were caused by defensive errors .

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    1. "Zaliukas was the cause of the first goal"
      Absolute tosh,Zaliukas was poor at the first goal but McGregor by positioning himself behind the rest of the defence playing two Motherwell players onside in the six yard box and then compounds this with sticking his foot out and putting the ball past Bell who had the shot covered was to blame,if he had held his position with the rest of the defence it would not have been a goal,McGregor seems to one of those players that every time they make a mistake it leads to a goal

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  4. zaliukas has been the weak link at the back in the past few games he has played , mcgregor has been outstanding in the playoff games

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  5. I do agree it should be a 3 5 2 set up with vuckic & miller up top.

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  6. McGregor's a bit too small for a centre back and i feel his future lies at right wing back . We need to sign two big powerful centre - backs for next season , a couple of strong creative midfielders , a big striker and very importantly , a decent goalkeeper . Sad to say Cammy Bell will never be Rangers class .

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  7. None of the current players with the exception possibly of the Newcastle loanees could be termed as Rangers class. McCoist's laziness in scouting decent quality players, his failure to bring on young players and his habitual signing of old pros has us in the mess we are in. Sadly, these 'old pros' couldn't even beat a poor Motherwell side with Celtic rejects like McManus and Pearson. That is nothing host of a disgrace and the players and manager should hold their heads in shame before they exit en masse when this season finally ends/ Then we will await with baited breath the injection of capital promised by King and the appointment, very quickly of a quality management team and the arrival of at least six or seven proper professional football players.

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  8. McGregor has been at fault for 50% of our goals this season,,,hes a midget, no presence,, no pace,, your right,, its a sad state of affairs when a sub standard player wins the player of the year award,, The players shat themselves on Thursday,,simple as that,,its all well asking for 50000 to turn up,,, but its counter productive when your own players are intimidated by their own fans,,shitting themselves incase they made a mistake,,they made 3,,, McGregor, Zaluckus and Murdoch were all to blame for the goal,, going back to their own ways of lack of concentration and not giving a shit,,,, id put black in for murdoch,, we need our experienced players,, is templeton injured???,, Wallace and Sheils were garbage,, and why throw in 50 high balls into the box, when miller and clark are 4ft 2",,,and the well defenders are over 6ft?? im no scientist,,but its no wonder why we never won a header all night,,, Is it possible to still win this?, yes of course,, Am i confident we will win this,,,, nope!!!,, We needed 11 warriors out there on Thursday,, and we got Ken Dods diddy men,,Come Sunday, I dont think those players have the bottle or the will to fight for Rangers,, they are soon out of contract,, they will drown us and walk away with all the money we have given them,, and you know what,,they wont give a shit doing it!!!

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  9. Why would we need our central defenders to be capable of dribbling from defence ? This should be the midfields remit as the square passing at present from our defence is bad enough without adding dribbling to the equation.McGregor does seem to head almost everything to the right with his body positioning always looking awkward.If Moshni does as is almost certain get the nod then here's hoping he gets his remit stapled onto his arm without any of the shocking decision making prevalent.Bell is almost as poor as his stand in Simmo,with the same lack of commanding his box evident.Cross ball punching or catching is a non starter with him and if he had watched the Motherwell keeper late on when they were under the cost,he may learn what is required.Sadly I don't see this happening.

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