Improving the best: how Rangers can get better

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As the mainstream press have been so eager to highlight to Rangers manager Mark Warburton, the season, league that is, is nine matches old.

Formally speaking, Rangers have completed the first quarter of league fixtures, and, famously, have won all nine of them with some eye-popping stats along the way.

The Ibrox men have been so impressive that Warburton has managed a clean sweep of manager of the month awards, and two of his charges, James Tavernier and Martyn Waghorn scooped August and September’s player equivalent.

However, as the Magic Hat has always preached, there is room for improvement, room for the team to do things better, and as such, here is a guide to what those areas could be.

The defence:

It has been pretty solid – after all, it has only let in a paltry five goals in the league, but it was cruelly exposed by Tommy Wright’s St Johnstone who nabbed three, and even the first competitive match of Rangers’ season shipped two at Easter Road.

Rangers play a high pressing line which can expose the two CBs (Wilson and Kiernan) to fast counters. The defensive duo are not the quickest around, and nippy players get joy. It is not immediately apparent how this gets fixed, but against superior teams (SPL, essentially) Rangers risk being undone. There was improvement v Falkirk, where the back two seemed more positionally resolute and blocked more attacks, but how much has been learned from St Johnstone will only be truly known once Rangers play a team of that calibre again.

Another defender or two:

With only Dominic Ball and Fraser Aird as defensive cover, Rangers are threadbare should there be an injury or suspension. Aird is the only full back deputy, and with just Ball to cover Kiernan and Wilson Rangers are in plain need of another one or two defenders. A utility CB/FB who can cover both slots would probably fit Warbs’ strategy of a lean squad, leaving Rangers with a total of seven defenders. That would probably be enough.

Defensive midfield:

Rangers simply do not have a defensive midfielder. Andy Halliday has played as an auxiliary DM and has done a fair old job there, but it is not his best position nor does he pretend it is. John Eustace will never be fit enough to cement a regular place as Rangers’ anchor, so the reality is Rangers need to sign a new one in January. Jonathan Douglas was heavily linked, and could be signed on a pre-contract in January (deal with Ipswich expires in June) – with Rangers’ existing resources being enough for the Championship.

A plan B:

Do Rangers need one? As Warburton said ‘the best plan B is to do plan A better’. But it was pretty evident against St Johnstone and even v Falkirk that having a second strategy in emergencies might not be the worst idea ever. Quite what that strategy would be should be left to far smarter people than I, but it might be worth having a contingency.

There may be one or two other areas to nitpick, but the fact things are going as well as they are with the above flaws regardless shows just how well equipped Rangers are these days.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Yip I agree with most u say,we need another striker to play with wag horn, a striker with height and power eg I don't mean him exactly lukaku or a bent eke type of striker,a box to box midfielder,at the end of the day we do need a few players because we were heavily exposed against st Johnstone, the team we have just now is enough for the league we r in just now

  2. What about a forward or two ? Kenny Miller is a goal scorer but hasn't seen much game time . Martin Waghorn has scored but isn't a natural centre forward / attacker like Miller . At least one top goal scorer & two would be brilliant ! There are plenty of kicks near the goal or even on goal but we require them 'all ' in the net , rather than misses or blocked etc . Spend some cash & get a forward that makes the difference !

  3. Falkirk's goal at the weekend was remarkably similar to the one St Johnstone scored from a corner kick .
    Why is nobody covering the edge of the box when we're defending corners ? Still think a defensive midfielder is our main priority and maybe a big powerful striker to offer an alternative up front when required .

  4. Just my opinion ? We need 2 DM One of quality and the other with strength pace and potential we also need another goalie of real quality with loads of potential so could be really young We need two CB like the gaffer says one for the job and one with potential and yes an out and out goal scorer and who s two say we don't get 2 of them as I am sure there are loads of young hot strikers who would run through a brick wall to showcase there talents at ibrox exciting times WATP !

  5. Just my opinion but we need a goalie of quality Can see him being young with loads of potential wen I say young I mean 22 23 ish we will get 2 CD one to do the job and the other with bags of potential 2 DM Which will follow the lines as of our centre backs one for the job the other with potential we definitely need a CF Who is an out and out goal scorer This is where I think we will get two yes two they will be young hungry and would run through a brick wall to showcase their talents And like the gaffer said he will be looking at all aspects of the club so he will bring in guys to do the job guys with potential and bring through our own and champions league will really appeal to lots of players down south

  6. I agree that we could do with a clinical forward. I expect Miller to leave at the end of the season and an out and out goalscorer would be a great replacement.
    BUT, the work that Waghorn puts in shouldn't be underestimated. He needs to keep a jersey for the way he works a defence and brings others into the game. Also, the Magic Hat plays a fast, mobile, high pressure game. Might not suit a lot of established proven goalscorers.

    So I would put my faith in the Hat. He will find what we need, never fear.

  7. i dont think Eustace will ever appear TBH im fed up with his scenario, I would liek a Defensive Midfielder hopefully in January & that would free up halliday , as for the defensive id like to see the boy we loaned to St mirren brought back, It is good times though after all the Sh*te we have had im just glad to see us bangin them in, Hopefully Waggers will be top scorer come end of season, Actually I would like to see the league wrapped up come January

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