Why Rangers players no longer use their heads


38 goals. That averages 3.8 a match or four if you want to round up, and why not. However, beyond the glorious football which has led to these strikes is the increasingly remarkable fact that not a single goal has been scored with any player’s head.

Indeed, ten matches into the season Rangers are yet to register a single headed goal, with very few attempts even made from the noggin.

Why would this be? The easy and obvious answer is Warburton’s brand of flowing football is almost entirely on the deck – low passing and movement of the ball has led to very few aerial opportunities, and, notably, a dramatic reduction in aimless crossing compared with what fans are used to witnessing.

When Tavernier, Oduwa, Wallace or McKay flank, they either cut in and drive to the box, interchange with each others’ overlapping runs or link with the central engine room of Holt, Halliday and Zelalem – this marauding turf-based play means the ball spends very little time lugged hopelessly into the atmosphere, and almost exclusively remains on foot level.

There is a very significant reason Rangers do not have a big strapping centre-forward like Kris Boyd or Jon Daly any longer – beyond the fact both were hopeless last season is the fact Rangers just do not play that way now – there is no airborne supply, because dynamic players like Kenny Miller and Martyn Waghorn cannot do much with it.

It leaves play on the floor, and crossing at a minimum. Take a look at this video from the 26 second mark:

Instead of just crossing it, Oduwa chose to cut in with skill – it won a penalty.

That is the difference. When will Rangers ever score with a header? Who cares! The fact so many are going in without one is a compliment to the low centre of gravity the ball now occupies.


  1. Long may it continue too. I watch a lot of Barcelona and throughout the Guardiola years and since it has frustrated me to see the traditional corner being used with very limited success except when Puyol was in the team. This season they seem to have twigged that keeping the ball to feet especially with the skills they have will prove more fruitful. Now I'm not suggesting Eangers are even on the same planet as the Catalans but from little acorns…

    • Correct Billy. Every team, just about would aspire to playing like Barcelona. The only way that that can ever hapen, if it ever does happen, is if teams start to play in the same manner as Barcelona
      You might get a bunch of players who become really good at playing in that manner. Perhaps, if your lucky, you might get a bunch that can play that way as good or even better than Barcelona.

      Even if the best you can get is a bunch of players who are only half as good as Barcelona, playing in the Barca manner, that's still pretty good I'd imagine, in anybody's book.

      Hope springs eternal Billy. No doubt there were periods in their history when Barca weren't playing very good stuff. Even they had to start somewhere mate. So you're right. little acorns and all that. Onward and Upward.
      C'mon the Gers!

  2. I posted a link on an Arsenal website taken from the 'Talkingbaws' website. It was a 10 min video of Gedion Zelalem's touches during a recent game.
    Gunners fans picked up on your observations right away, about how everything was on the carpet and nothing in the air. Proper football.
    I don't know if you allow links so I won't try posting it in this box. I'll try in a box below, to see if you do allow them. If not, anyone interested in seeing it should googlr 'talkingbaws, Gedion Zelalem touches.
    Gunners fans were really impressed.

  3. Gedion Zelalem/touches link. Ball never leaves the carpet.

    If link doesn't work highlight it, right click and select Gideon Zelalem from the menu.

  4. What a great statistic! Something Rangers management can be proud of.

    I was thinking today that our centre backs don't get an opportunity to score because the freekicks are direct and the corners are short.

    I reckon Kiernan will get his head on on the end of a couple this year though

  5. Barcelona & Rangers in the same sentence in respect of football styles is a joke. We are getting carried away with some good results against second rate teams. Lets wait till we come up against some decent teams away from home in the depth of a Scottish winter and see how the performances look then. No doubt we are light years away from the McCoist dross and from what I've read the opposition are getting jittery as they are going backwards as we go forward but can we leave the masters of Barca out of the equation?

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