Monday, 22 February 2016

Gritty Rangers fight through slump


Despite being buoyed by a maiden victory against Premiership opposition, Mark Warburton’s Rangers side have undeniably been in a form slump of late.

Ever since taking three points in a bit of a slog out at Cappielow, Rangers have continued to dip well below their best of late December and January, with the usual glut of possession being enjoyed but accompanied by a rather powderpuff attack.

However, during this period, only two points have actually been dropped – yes, there was the cup draw v Killie as well, but in terms of genuinely damaging results, just that one concession at Alloa last week has really impacted the club.

Goals have been thin on the ground, yes, but the most morale-busting sight for Alan Stubbs and his men has been seeing a below-par Rangers continue to grind out results when performances have been less than the side is capable of.

It is something of a dichotomy, true, that while points continue to roll in and a comfortable eight-point lead at the top of the table is worth applauding, the fare on the pitch, while not dire, has been well below what Rangers fans and Mark Warburton would expect.

This is both comforting and alarming. It is alarming on a level that Warbs’ men are now deep into their second form slump of the season, which sees much more stressful matches at a time where some slick displays and results would be a heck of a tranquiliser. It also does beg the question of exactly how good this squad truly is and how it would cope up in the Premiership. However, the flip side shows a side which has learned to win. An ability to grind out results when the football has been less than spectacular, and that kind of quality is very Rangers-esque. Very…dare I say, Walter Smith-esque?

It is bringing home the bacon at a time when the farm is not truly bearing a lot of meat, so for Rangers to keep slogging away is a testament to the will to win this side is beginning to learn.

Naturally, of course, the football itself is a tad worrying. A number of players do appear to be struggling just a mite, with James Tavernier a particular example; the right back is not helped by a complete absence of competition for his position, so, arguably, the former Wigan man does not feel alarmingly pushed to perform. Psychologically speaking this removes urgency from his mind, knowing his place is always assured. Make no mistake, I am not questioning his professionalism – he undeniably still gives his all. But he does have a safety net and it may just be affecting his form a tad.

And Jason Holt, the normally wonderful Holt has been a little off-colour too since his return from injury, not managing to quite resume where he left off.

But these are two minor details overall. In the grand scheme of things, Rangers’ poor form is not costing too much. Yes, it is disappointing not seeing a lot of slick sharp play and bagloads of goals, but as long as the three points keep coming in, that is not too huge a problem.

It only becomes one when the results dry up to a costly end, and hopefully that situation will never arise.

7 comments:

  1. Getting fed up with the weekly "we weren't at our best today"
    It was rubbish - QOS were unlucky not to score in the last 20 mins

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  2. You cannot argue with winning but unfortunately we are playing like an accident waiting to happen.We are toothless in attack and as soon as the defence was put under pressure it was panic stations.MW has to understand that all the possession means nothing without a strike threat and that comes from having players in the box where the goals are not out on the wing.But I am not a football manager so hopefully he will get it sorted.

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  3. Kiernan is a time bomb at the moment in the heart of our defence. He lacks the ability to jump and header a cross ball, he gives the ball away to freely and putting the team under threat,,,We need a big dominant centre half,,a Butcher, Gough, Amoruso,,etc. Give Holt a bit of time, he was injured, but he will be back. Tavenier is struggling, and feel he needs competition, he thinks he is automatically on the team sheet in every game, his heart and skill is lost at the moment. Shame about Waghorn, big loss, abeit he misses more chances than any other player, but he is a threat. We must give the new players time to bed into the team, Forrest, King and Ohalloran. Halliday needs a break out of the team, his marking was woeful against QoS. But hey, I'll take the 3 points anyday!

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    Replies
    1. Mate all about opinions but I think you are wrong about halliday, the problem was & this is where Mr Warburton baffles me at times McKay & Holt as central midfield, give me a break at a place like queens that is bonkers,we know they are going to get fucked in about us so why put two players in where we know they have ability on the the ball but they are not going to win many tackles in the engine room & who does that leave exposed you guessed it halliday, now my main gripe is not with the manager anyway it is with the players & there final ball it is absolutely shocking even the games we have pumped teams this season we should have pumped them by more because of a lack of final ball & the worst two culprits are McKay & Tavs who are actually our two highest assist makers this season, if these two just showed a bit more composer in the final third we would be pumping teams no probs

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  4. This time last year we would have been delighted to be in this position. Personally I think its an in built fear we as Rangers fan have that is making us discuss yesterday. Yes QOS could have scored but the keeper was equal to everything. The defence held strong throughout. The concern is lack of goals, Rangers are creating to few chances, teams defend with everyone against us. Now the team need to work out how to get behind them
    I agree about Tavenier, I think he looks bored. As for Halliday, they see that much of the ball that when they give it away fans are on top of them. It must be hard to have all that possession all of the time with little result. However against Hibs (a decent side) Rangers bossed them and got in behind them to score, this id due to Hibs wanting to play football.
    Rangers are doing well, this is still early days, and as I said, last year we would have been delighted with this position.

    Iain

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  5. Halliday has been a passenger the last month or so. Need a real DM to cover centre halfs.

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  6. Queens should of scored five or six, Rangers were crap. We need massive improvement to challenge Celtic and i i think next two years we can only spend on building the squad. players should pull themselves together and stop talking about premiership title and champions league, we re simply not good enough, thats objective reality

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