This site pointed out Hibs’ threat to Rangers some weeks ago and received ridicule for it, and then emphasised the issue only a few days ago this time to more agreeable reaction.
Now Stubbs’ men are level on points with Mark Warburton’s struggling side and building up a head of steam.
While it is true Rangers have a ‘free’ game with three points, that Hibs have decimated what should have been an 11 point gap down to zero is a collapse reminiscent, sadly, of the similar one McCoist lost in 2011.
“This site just lost all credibility” say all the Warburton fanatics who are probably reading this wondering who the ‘tim’ is who is comparing Warburton to McCoist.
I agree – Warburton is a far better manager overall, with more pleasing football on the eye, but remember this from a few months ago?
And damningly he has now lost a colossal lead.
Rangers’ display at Almondvale yesterday sums up the form of the past two months – tiki tika to death but a complete inability to take chances and a fragile defence. Add to that the simple and blunt truth that teams have figured Warburton’s tactics out and while there are more wins than other results in recent times, the style has rarely been convincing.
Mark Warburton needs to introduce some new tactics. Every match is following the same pattern and it has become ridiculously predictable:
4:3:3 – dominate the ball and pass pass pass – every so often a horrifying scare at the back as a simple ball defeats the defence or fails to be cleared properly. Goal. Or not. More than once. Rangers may have scored during all this, they may not have.
But on 60 minutes a sub or two – usually Shiels, Miller or Clark. Yesterday, again, Kenny Miller was brought on for the ineffective Oduwa, and again, Kenny Miller, three months without a goal, showed why he cannot score. And why Clark, languishing on the bench having scored a few in recent times, would have been astoundingly frustrated.
Waghorn again shunted out wide to accommodate Miller. Waghorn again wasted out there.
Warburton fans, the ilk who suggest he can do no wrong (as opposed to those who are just starting now to ask a few questions), argue we just need a striker who can take chances. With all due respect, is free-scoring Martyn Waghorn not our striker?
Rangers are currently in a bit of a rut. The odd better display aside, Warbs’ men are not producing the goods, not any more.
And yesterday was the first time there has been no get out of jail card against a stuffy weaker team who stubbornly refuse to be rolled over.
This entry probably sounds like it is absolutely slaughtering Warburton – it is not intended to – but facts are facts and the man has to admit his smoothly-oiled machine is desperately in need of some WD40.
A new plan is needed, because Plan A has now been sussed. A different formation, or different players to freshen things up. For all Warbs’ has preached about it being about the whole squad, and players seeing a ‘pathway’ to the first team, a great number of them do not get a look in or assurances they can stay in the team.
The Airds, Laws, Shiels, Hardies etc remain constant squad fodder and never get a chance to hold a first-team slot no matter how well they do as subs.
The criticism of Warburton is fair – he is not beyond reproach. It is up to him to find an alternative strategy, get the form and results back and show what a brilliant boss we all know he is.
He might know football better than I know my own hand and might be smarter than me and everyone I know times infinity, but we can all see things are not as swimming as they were.
Mark, over to you.