The future of Darren McGregor

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If anything was likely to send
alarm bells ringing in the mind of Darren McGregor, it was that new manager
Mark Warburton’s first two signings were centre-backs. Not one quality
defender, but two, and one cost a fee.
Last season’s Player of the Year
was widely lauded from most quarters for his robust, solid, and reliable
displays at the back, performances which surpassed what many fans expected from
him given his previous injury problems.

Unfortunately, like most of the
rest of the squad, he looked a lot less capable in the ‘marquee’ matches
against Celtic, Hearts, Hibs and Queen of the South – basically the harder
matches.
Sadly, these particular fixtures
seemed to expose his weaknesses rather starkly, an example being both he and
then-partner Lee McCulloch letting the rather short Leigh Griffiths beat them effortlessly
in the air at Hampden.
This pattern continued in the
playoffs, and while I am miles away from blaming him for the team being
sub-par, the frailties at the back against all three sides Rangers faced
clearly needed to be addressed, and to that end, Wilson and Kiernan find themselves
in royal blue, and McGregor has struggled to contain his disappointment that he
has probably been replaced.
On those signings he conceded:
“When I was reading the paper I was hoping
it was going to be midfielders and forwards that were signing, but it ended up
being a centre-half and a centre-half again.”
He went on to project the company
line that competition is welcome, and that these guys can ‘make him a better
player’, but the reality is he knows the two signings will be the priority
defenders, and that there is a distinct chance his auxiliary position of right
back will be sown up by Reece Wabara, should the trialist impress.
Where does this leave him? Likely
on the bench. He has shown himself a good defender against the bread and butter
of the Championship, but an arguably mediocre one against the best. 
Where does
this leave Rangers? Stronger. To have a pretty decent defender like McGregor in
reserve, with potentially Zaliukas or Gasparotto as further depth, it
essentially gives Warburton the lean streamlined squad he demands with less
rubbish and more quality.
When called upon McGregor will
give everything, and there is no denying his attitude was good, but it may just
be that Warbs does not see him as a first choice.
If it improves Rangers, all the
better.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Good solid professional who does give his all. He will be on the bench but a good squad player to have in reserve.

  2. Agree with the article. At least we can be sure McGregor won't sulk when on the bench. Comes across as a level-headed, good guy, which is the type we need right throughout the squad.

  3. I dont neccessarily agree with it ? i think you are writing the guy off before a ball has been kicked , and saying these guys "should " be better means nothing . The big man was a stand out last yr while at the same time having to cover for the dross that was playing all around him ? , never an easy thing too do and even more difficult when your team mates ( inc Goalkeeper ) were so poor . Bell never touched a cross ball the whole season ? would YOU be confident ? . I fully expect the big fella to rise too the challenge , and as he said improve his own game . I hope i am correct because he is as honest as the day is long .

  4. I expect McGregor to keep his place, to not do so is a slap in the face. All places are earned and he eared his last season- Rangers were better when he played, it's up to him to keep it from the new lads being signed now and that's football, he is a good professional who looked poor against better teams as JIG kept imploding, JIG is not a natural defender and should never have been in defence. Self improvement is what the likes of Black and Foster didn't do and became lesser players as a result. I don't see what they are whinging is about, they were awful and left the club quite rightly. Boyd I felt we should have kept, the guy would score goals and will for Killie this season.

  5. I think like everyone he will fight for his place and get it if he earns it , we now have hopefully 3 reliable central defenders (I don`t count Zaliukas as hes crap ) and young Gasparotto .McGregor can also play right back if needed .Playing with better defenders should help him.Someone saying we should have kept Boyd ……….he was the worst of the lot a " Rangers man " who didn`t try a leg , was overweight and missed chance after chance , he may well be a success at Killie , but he will be remembered as a massive waste (or is that waist) of money,

  6. Could not disagree more with this post, McGregor had to cover his centre half partner be it Moshni or McCulloch and plug the gap at the right for Foster.. I think we will see this lad grow into a cracking CB under Warburton and Weir.. Who's to say Kiernan will play centre half.?? The lad can play midfield, so let's wait and see.. New team new gaffer real training, I reckon the worst players are gone we will make the others better.
    Including Temps (I hope for that lads sake)

  7. Stick him in midfield boss the holding position win balls annoy the opposition not saying he is a macdonald or McCall but at least he is a winner and it's worth a try

  8. If you have been watching all of our games last season, you would have seen that McGregor was to blame for 60% of conceded goals. He doesnt have the height or the strenth to win Centre Half headers, He is a weak centre half who outshone all of the other duds who were under performing, Warbuton obviously agrees!

  9. I agree McGregor struggled against better opposition but I would also suggest Wilson did the same at Hearts. Is Kiernan any better, only time will tell. Kiernan has only had two clubs but been loaned out to a further 9 prior to joining us, still should be good enough for the championship I would expect. Looking forward to seeing Foderingham as Bell is shite.

  10. Regards the 11 out and 3 outfield players in, is anyone comfortable we are ready to challenge for this competative league?? Even another 2 or 3 in before the Hibs game it is going to be a struggle to gel a team.

    Putting a new team together is not something our new manager has had experience or success with in his 18 months as a manager. IMO McCall has a far better track record of that. There are 3 or 4 teams in this league who will provide us a substantial challenge this term. We need to start well, I hope the manager proves up for it.

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