Why it’s no longer taboo to call this a ‘slump’


A difficult period for Rangers is now well upon us and in truth, the team and the manager are not delivering in the way fans had hoped.

The stellar start made by Rangers this season is well and truly a thing of the past, and the last five league matches reads one loss, two draws and just the two wins.

This is not promotion-clinching form, and today’s debacle at the Falkirk Stadium only served to further enhance the emergence of increasing frailties dogging both the XI and their boss as we switch over to 2016.

While Falkirk’s opener should never have been given in the first place, no one can deny they were worthy of their win – Rangers’ predictable slow play and fruitless flank work was symptomatic of both the players’ apparent complacency over the past 10 weeks and the manager’s clear refusal to either change tactic or personnel, unless forced in both cases.

7th August – St Mirren come to Ibrox, and the match was summed up when a ridiculously obvious ball went right through both Rob Kiernan and Danny Wilson to let Howieson through and score.

Over four months later and it happened at least 10 times in Falkirk. That is the fault of both defenders and manager alike, where tactics, which are not working, are being persisted with.

And it is something which has been plastered over all season – Rangers are far too easy to score against, especially by the top teams, and earlier in the season the goal-fests against the minnows papered over it quite well. But now Warbs’ men are being found out. As are his tactics.

It is brutal to slay the team and manager after such a great start, but 8 points from the last 15 is worrying form, and is highlighted by the two wins being against bottom sides like Alloa.

Another worrying aspect is the ‘clique’ mentality which has burgeoned to the surface – only two slots are actually up for grabs in this team, with, if all are fit, Foderingham, Kiernan, Wallace, Tavernier, Halliday, Holt, Zelalem, McKay and Waghorn all guaranteed starters.

The likes of Oduwa, Clark, Miller, Shiels, Law, Ball, Wilson and the rest are all fighting for two places.

Is that healthy? It certainly defies the ‘pathway to the first team’ Warburton has preached since taking over. Is it any wonder the first team has started to become complacent?

The fact is thus: he and the team were invulnerable to criticism when results were good. When displays were good.

Now they are not, in both cases, both are fully accountable and must accept responsibility and take the negative feedback, just like they did the positive comments earlier in the season.

One can only hope there is a way out of this rut, because right now, Hibs smell blood come the 28th.


  1. Not good enough!! You can't keep playing the same tactics wen the personnel are not Good enough to carry them out and other teams are capitalising on the poor positioning n weak performances. Oduwa just won't do a flash in the pan against part time opposition send him back to Spurs immediately. He must change it none of this we lol just don't plan a better it's not going to get better cos sum of the players are just not gr enuf. If hibs get Allen n stokes in we ll struggle to compete with them cos the only player we are linked with are young inexperienced untested at a high level type player with "potential".wat we need is experienced premship quality player to get us to the prem n set us up for the prem.

  2. I could not agree more the inflexibility of Warburton in terms of tactics and lack of any real goal threat means it could be another dismal season.We should now forget about getting more wingers and concentrate on a no nonsense centre back and an experienced striker.The experiment of packing the team with young boys should now be tempered with experienced players.Over to you Dave

  3. Have to agree with the comment. The players and Manager can keep saying we will learn from this but the sad fact is they are not learning, gone is the fast movement the quick passing now it is predictable either down the left flank with McKay and Wallace with the occasional switch to Tavernier and whoever has the spot on the right not much movement off the ball and a struggle to open up the 8 men behind the ball. The tactics either need to be tweaked or some players need dropped to show they aren't guaranteed a place, probably both

  4. Could not believe how poor Rangers were today, odewa was a man down and apart from about 2 games has been all season, I could go right threw the team and slaughter them all and the manager but I will stop myself and hope it's sorted out for the Hibs game but I fear it won't be………serious investment must b made in January not just the 1 or 2 Warburton wants to add because this squad ain't gonnie win the league…..

  5. Agree totally and it's no good talking about our good start, teams and coaches have reacted to how we were playing footbal…that's their job…we have to react to the way they play against us…except we are not doing that. Head in the sand, it'll be alright on the night mentality is getting us further reveresed from our very good starting position. Surely all can see that all sides just drop back in two lines of four across the 18 yard box and all we do is pass the ball across the front of them in the hope we will force an opening, but that hasn't been happening because of a bit of hard work and organisation on behalf of these teams coaches and players, not even against Morton or Livingston, so imho there's little chance of the form sides like Hibs or Falkirk not being able to do that. Our defence is not strong and in truth hasn't been all season but if teams are blown away then they probably don't have the heart to test it. Now that has all changed, is this the opposition team talk? 'work hard keep your shape when they push on, drop back in two lines of four, defend across the 18 yard box and you'll frustrate them all day, they won't try to go past you, they will always try to pass through you, keep your defensive set up…their defence is bad so we will get a chance at a few points in the game….we will win this'.

  6. Fair comments…The reality is this team is average at best and needs some urgent reinforcements ..Leaky defence/no bite or creativity in the middle and lacking a lethal striker. Whenever there is a set piece( specifically corners) against us I expect the opposition to score. Morton was bad enough but Falkirk today made this Rangers team look mediocre. When we are under pressure we have ( from the gaffers mouth ) no plan B…well magic hat you had better get one pronto cause these lads have no clue how to mix it up when the passing/ high tempo game doesn't work and because we have a leaky defence the so called wee teams just pick us off and get the result.Hate saying this but Falkirk looked like they had a clear plan and Houstie definitely out thought the magic hat today ….If it wasn't a crisis a couple of months ago… IT IS NOW!!follow follow

    • And rangers got another soft,late penalty, and hibs had a man unfairly sent off against Falkirk which meant they had to play for more than half the match with ten men. Boo hoo, rangers. Grow up! Maybe rangers fans can't handle the truth.

  7. Will someone please listen, get Kevin Nolan a man who can win the ball with loads of experience, Alan Hansen said you win nothing with kids and it now shows, their defence pushed our kids aside, the first 20 mins of the 2nd half they deserved to be 4-1 up no doubt.Get some experience in and help these kids

    • Are you trolling? The reason Hansen's phrase is so well known is because he said it to describe a team of kids that went on to win all before them. You literally contradict yourself by using it in your argument.

  8. I like Warburton a lot,but his ''there is no plan B'' is arrogant nonsense.There should be plan B and I hope this is reflected in the transfer window. We need a combative midfielder, no-nonsense centre back and a big strong striker as well as an ability to change formation as necessary. Young Hardie should have been played long before now and to finish I'm not too impressed with our loan signings when the chips are down.Don't like the physical side of the game

  9. There were a few 'under performers'on display But I thought that Tavernier was dreadful. Whenever Rangers lose the ball the centre backs are awfully exposed. We all know that, of course, but nothing seems to be done about it.
    It's time that MW told Tav to sit back/ His goals earlier on have gone to his head. Lee Wallace gets caught upfield too the way Rangers play but his recovery is generally excellent. Tavernier? Not so good. Dean Shiels was rank rotten, and Waggy's first touch was way off today.
    The short time that kid Thompson has had on the park, he has looked good. I was disappointed he didn't get a run on the left side. I think he'd do well there and wee Barrie should be playing on the right wing.
    I know he does some good things whe he links with Wallace, but too often he beats the back but the cuts back again onto his right foot rather than smack it across the goal or cut it back.
    I still think that Rangers will win the league but they'll have to change their style a bit or sign a few new players who can "do plan A better", as Warbs says.

    • While I agree that Tavernier was poor today I am surprised that Wallace has not been criticised. He was every bit as bad and is equally poor defensively. What is more he is not a leader and we consequently need a captain out there that can lead by example and take the game by the scruff of the neck when needed and show the rest of the players the way. He is not and never will be Rangers Captain material!

  10. Manager is grossly overrated he seems to be incapable to recognise that he has to change the system to suit the game the team we are playing it is like a training session no pace no commitment and a total lack of organisation tavernier is a passenger wilson also and we are seeing why the players he has brought in were considered not good enough for the english championship mccoist wake up call has been replaced by the players had a meeting in the dressing room after the game and swear to sort it out very disappointed with the whole scenario

  11. I cant add what you guys have said,, you all have valid points,, we need a backbone,, centre half, talented midfielder and a lethal striker,, if we had someone who could prolifically score, we would be winning those games,, Get rid of Clark, Law, Shiels and other dead wood still hanging about,, we need experience, kids have lost their bottle and they want the limelight and tv interviews, rather than perform on the park,, they need a wake up call,, i fear them against hibs,,,they are on fire just now,,we are not!!

  12. I have to say i agree with the topic..
    As sad as it is I think we all must admit there's something not quite right now.
    I love Rangers and i am worried. I hope to hell I am wrong, but Warburton just doesn't seem to know anything else than what he is doing now.
    A million times better than that disaster Ally, but still so far off when it comes to reality of the crap we have the face.
    We control possession, look good, but are basically hopeless.
    We are so horrendous in the final third, to finish a ball is like landing on the Moon !
    Defense? ..It's just atrocious… We are not Barcelona !!!!

    Can Warburton change it?

    I dear hope so.


  13. C if MW mentions after we play pish once again how much percentage of possession we've had in a game after we've dropped points am gnu jump in the Clyde naked that won't win us the league.

    • Looks like Warbs is a one trick pony and is incapable of changing things. Is he obliged to keep playing the players he took on loan ? Sick of hearing the same crap after every poor result ! Gers must win this league , it's essential , no two ways about it .

  14. The author is right to say that this is no longer a slump.Complacency and lack of rotation with under performing players is the major cause.
    Throw in an alarming lack of tactical awareness by the manager. I had read about a few of his former players criticism, aimed at no plan b and no set piece preparation prior to his arrival.
    I put it down to sour grapes, but I'm beginning to see that they may have had a point.
    It's accepted that the current system is vulnerable to counter attacks but nothing seems to be adapted or changed. Teams have now figured this out and it's being exploited by teams of all abilities. Look at the game against St Johnstone. That is a taste of playing this way against stronger opposition. 3 signings are needed. Cb,strong cm and a stiker who can win a header. It's all good and we'll playing yhe Barcelona way, but if you have players who lack intelligence and ability, it becomes one dimensional very quickly.
    I'm still of the opinion that the manager is going through the learning process and will make mistakes,but his apparent stubbornness to change it up could develop into a major flaw.
    I hate to say it, but winning games is more important than the manner in which you play.
    I love playing with wingers, but you need a stiker who can score with his head and get into the positions for this to work. Playing around the 18 yard box with no penetration is worthless. I'm not a fan of keirnen or Ball. Intact, I would send away all loanees and use the youth we have on our books. The new "Pirlo" needs a reality check Imo.
    This has turned into a rant. Sorry.

  15. Watching the game today the two things that struck me were that the team lacks leadership on teh Park and are easily muscled out of the game by pretty much every team they play. Lots of pretty football often with pathetically poor final ball that sets up an attack for the opposition. In these situations both Wallace and Tavernier are generally caught out of position and our central defenders are slow to static.

    Wallace is not a leader, he lacks all of the characteristics needed and like Tavernier is limited defensively. We could live with that if we had a top quality experienced defensive midfield player but we don't. In fact we don't have a defensive midfield player at Ibrox. That results in Halliday being played out of position when he should be vying with one of the attacking midfield positions with Waghorn, Holt and Oduwa. Add to that the fact that we don't have an out and out striker outwith the youth team and it is no wonder that we are struggling. We need quality and King will need to spend serious money in January or we will be facing another season in teh Championship.

  16. Best price 7 to 1 thought it was a cert but didn't have the heart to bet against us King better put up or leave town

  17. There is no crisis at Ibrox. Just a slump in form, and other teams in the league, who are strong and on a roll. It is not essential that rangers win the league, and it shear arrogance to assume they will or have a god given right to do so. The " we are the people" mentality reeks of arrogance. There was a fundamental shift in Scottish football when rangers were forced to rebuild from the lowest division, and I would be sad to see rangers go, and they do bring a massive draw and boost to the Scottish game. However, it is sheer madness to say there is crisis. Rangers fans just need to reevaluate where their team is in the pecking order of Scottish football, and it may take time and patience before they rise to the top again. Rangers previous glory was built on debt they could not justify, and already there are lunatics who expect rangers to be at the top overnight. Some people never learn.

  18. I repeat that ballet dancing loses out to commitment and character on a football field. Rangers presently have too many exponents of the former and a shocking lack of the latter. There is no fear of playing Rangers and that is heresy but true. That 17 year old that ran Rangers ragged at Falkirk had a huge smile on his face for 90 minutes and would have had both legs broken after five minutes in the great Jock Wallace era. Warbs has done well with no cash but he has a lightweight team that could be blown away by the winter gales.For me Wilson and Tavernier are defensive liabilities that should never be played in their respective positions.Get Richard Gough and Mark Hately stripped for the next game and Jorge Albertz too.I can dream. But it won't be about Oduwa,Tavernier or Danny Wilson.
    Rangers seem to be playing with a man short in defence, a man short in midfield and two players too many on the front line. This plays right in to a packed defensive strategy of opposing teams. Tactics and set up needs to change, personnel too.
    If not—————

  19. There is no crisis at Ibrox. Just a slump in form, and other teams in the league, who are strong and on a roll. It is not essential that rangers win the league, and it shear arrogance to assume they will or have a god given right to do so. The " we are the people" mentality reeks of arrogance. There was a fundamental shift in Scottish football when rangers were forced to rebuild from the lowest division, and I would be sad to see rangers go, and they do bring a massive draw and boost to the Scottish game. However, it is sheer madness to say there is crisis. Rangers fans just need to reevaluate where their team is in the pecking order of Scottish football, and it may take time and patience before they rise to the top again. Rangers previous glory was built on debt they could not justify, and already there are lunatics who expect rangers to be at the top overnight. Some people never learn.

  20. We had all the possession but you cant dribble the ball into the goal you have to shoot. If the opposition is crowding out the 18 yard box then maybe a shot from outside the box is required.i was in the Falkirk end and they were saying it was easy!!

  21. Sad to say but every comment on here is spot on if plan a is all we have then we need 7 quality players to make it work no money from Mr king where do we go

  22. People are starting to realise why some of the players brought in couldn't hack it in the lower English leagues.

    Those hoping for an improvement in the standard of player to be recruited in January better get used to more of the same………….free transfers or loanees.

    If money is in the bank to repay SD and the 3 Bears have also coughed up for the £2.5m shortfall in finances, very optimistic number , there is no money left to spend on transfer fees.

    Paul Murray has caught the lying disease from King when in his interview last week said that the club would spend whatever it takes to win the league.Sounds a bit like King's promise of over investment.

    The SD loan will never be repaid if one of the conditions attached is that Ashley drops all legal actions against Rangers and the SFA……there's no chance of that.

    The panic to repay the loan is because the SFA won't be able to stand up to scrutiny in a court of law and they are well aware that Ashley has enough ammo to blow them out of the water. They have told King to fix it or title stripping will become a certainty.

  23. Anon 10.47

    agreed mate, we got carried away with big wins over teams whose players are picking up expenses and not much else.
    Warbs didn't react well to the criticism following the first defeat of the season…..if Hibs win in the coming fixture he won't know what's hit him.
    I don't think he will hack it.
    The Tims lending Allan and Stokes back to Hibs will make their squad much stronger……..whilst we fanny about looking at free transfers and loanees, which, given what we have seen from the current lot, won't be much help.

    King is a pauper with a mortgage just like you and me.

    3 weeks after the AGM Murray is now parroting the same line as King ……..we will repay the loan, just awaiting the legals to complete the paperwork!

    How much paperwork is involved ffs.

    In the interest of honesty and transparency why not get the solicitors holding the money to confirm that they have the cash…………….come on you know it makes sense.
    King and Murray have already lied via a QC in court to the state of play…..why should we believe anything they say.

Comments are closed.