Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Burnley come to town - what to expect from Warburton's Rangers

Tonight’s visit of English Championship cracks Burnley represents the first real test of the fledgling Mark Warburton era.

Rangers have undergone sweeping changes since the former Brentford manager took over the helm, including colossal turnover in the playing squad.

Fans from far and wide have been gushing in their praise of the new boss’s performance thus far, and pre-season results have given material to build on, not least the rather comfortable dispatch of Ayr United.

But Burnley represent a much larger threat, and while it is only a friendly, it is the manager’s maiden bow at his new home of Ibrox and there is no chance anything other than a constructive display will be good enough.

They say results in friendlies do not matter – that is not totally true. For morale purposes, successful pre-seasons are vital for squad psychology, and while it does not necessarily indicate just how good a team is, a poor pre-season feels like it dismantles everything the manager is trying to build and sets progress back a tad.

With a glut of new names already secured though, and assurances about the formation being the standardised 4:3:3 universally deployed through all age ranges of the Club, tonight’s clash in Govan sees Warburton putting into play the first real sense of the kind of team we are going to regularly see this coming season.

It also provides a critical dress rehearsal for Saturday’s trip to Easter Road.

Naturally, it is impossible to pick the starting XI, but here is a stab at one anyway:

Foderingham in goal

A back four of Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson and Wallace;

A midfield trio of Thompson, Murdoch and Halliday;

While the attacking trident could be Clark, Miller and Waghorn.

Naturally, this is just conjecture, and no one knows what starting XI the new boss has in mind, but this is probably as good a guess as any. Whether we see trialist Jason Holt start tonight is entirely uncertain – but he would likely play in Murdoch’s place if he does start.

A warming sight is that defence, and seeing four proper players in their correct positions, including two from Wigan who are entirely familiar with each other already. Whether all four do start is up in the air though.

What is certain though is the brand of football simply has to be better than the absolute horror Rangers fans have suffered for over three years. Warbs has preached the notion of flowing, attacking football, with young, hungry fresh players eager to please and work, while seniors around them keep them on their toes and guide them.

If Rangers can produce a prototype of that, of a decent display, against a more than able Championship side who were EPL last season, then it is a definite sign that Warburton’s message is getting across properly.

And that is welcome from all of us.


  1. Holt would start before Thomson in my opinion.

    I highly doubt Thomson will be a regular starter this season

  2. Andy murdoch is away with the under 20s for some reason so he won't take part tonight.

  3. cant wait to see this team in action it will be like man united in the years gone by with cream of englands youth rampaging over everyone who dares stand in our way the champions league is no longer a dream warbo has promised 3 years and not a day more be afraid be very afraid europe we are back in king we trust

    1. heard the games sold out to see the champs we are the people who else could 60.000 for freindly dave king must be so proud of the work he has done is paying of big time and great to see the fans selling out ibrox in his name in king we trust

    2. Attendance was 22,334

  4. Did he just say the cream of England's youth? I don't think so, but looks like he's building a good unit rather than individuals which has worked for him before.

    1. he never built that team he just took over a good team and kept it going

    2. Good point

  5. I am disappointed that Andy Murdoch has been put back down to the under 20's for their Irish tour. Hopefully he will train with the first team again when he gets back to Glasgow.

  6. Watched the game tonight against a workmanlike Burnley side - who created one chance in the first half and scored. We were promised a high tempo/pressing, fast and exciting brand of attacking football - on the evidence of what I watched it was no different to last season. Strikers who can't score and defenders who have a problem defending for 90mns


By commenting on this article on Ibroxnoise.co.uk, you confirm you have read and understood the site terms, conditions, and moderation parameters (provided on the home page) of doing so.