Saturday, 6 February 2016

What Rangers learned from Killie


Today’s performance and 0-0 result are really rather hard to call. While a great number of fans have taken to social media to voice displeasure over the inability of Warburton’s Rangers to put Kilmarnock away, others have taken a slightly more philosophical stance on the display.

The facts are that Rangers completely dominated possession, even if use of the ball was often poor. They peppered Jamie MacDonald’s goal with plenty of shots, and it did take a few more than decent saves plus luck from the woodwork to keep the home side at bay.

And there is absolutely no denying Killie are a hopeless outfit, with clear evidence why they languish second bottom of the SPL.

But the reality is that the last two times Rangers have faced SPL opponents they have conceded 3 goals each time – including, as mentioned in a previous entry, against a hideous Motherwell team.

There is progress here, even if today’s result was not ideal.

The further key points which stand out, both good and bad:

This was the first time this season Rangers have failed to score a goal. It took seven months or so for any opponent to completely shut Warbs’ men out. In the grand scheme of things, that is impressive.

The midfield, when Holt is absent, simply cannot function with any pace or incision. Holt injects energy, quality and thrust, not to mention attacking support, and his absence really hurts Rangers.

Martyn Waghorn is running on fumes and needs a break. He has gone four matches without a goal, and looks tired. This is no criticism of the former Wigan man, it is just a fact – and he needs to sit a match or two out to regain some energy. His touch at the end summed up his current plight.

Rangers properly matched an SPL opponent – in truth they deserved to win, but profligate finishing and bad luck prevented that. This is not especially complimentary though given how utterly poor Killie clearly are.

Rangers’ attacking form is clearly not great right now – four goals in four matches compared with 15 in the previous three.

Rangers’ defensive form is far, far tighter than it has been all season. Four shutouts in a row, and five in the past seven matches are testament to how the Kiernan and Wilson partnership is really starting to click. This is an aspect easily forgotten by some.

It is hard to draw any serious overall conclusions; this Rangers in the SPL could well struggle for goals, if not for possession; or it could find itself putting away all the chances it has at that level. Hard to judge based on two cup matches under Warbs.

But regardless of your overall feelings, today’s display and result are certainly food for a great deal of thought.

29 comments:

  1. Though disappointed today as with the defeats to Hibs and Falkirk and 2 draws,this is a brand new team except Wallace and Miller. And after what we have had to endure on and of the park these last four years these guys have been exceptional for more often than not and for this we should be proud as I am. And also things have never been more positive from the guys now running our club so on and off the park is fantastic and I truly believe we will prevail and eventually get back you our rightful place. And it saddens me people are voicing displeasure these guys have only played 32 games together, while most teams we have played together at least a couple of season together, and only needed to make a few adjustments we we have had a clear out.
    I am not posting this for a debate I am as a Rangers fan like us all.
    Thank you.
    A TEAM LIKE NO OTHER WATP

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    1. The strange this this season is that the team are looking better in the league than they have done since the beginning and in particular last season yet they cannot seem to beat top flight teams. The previous squads, no matter what division they were in were able to beat top flight sides easily. I think this is down to the players that we playing in previous seasons being top flight players who got lazy, were happy to pick up their pay checks but still knew their way around when playing top flight opposition. While the current guys are doing very well in league business they will need some experienced assistance next season otherwise it could be a struggle to get top half.

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  2. We were a million miles the better side. With a bit of luck would have been 4. No need to panic people

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  3. !st time ever - I 100% agree with this article.

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  4. Todays result wasnt the end of the world, we should have won that but even so I'm not worried about the replay. Rest Waggy at Alloa and let Nicky Clark try prove himself.

    Confident we'll progress.

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  5. Whilst I think we can all agree that the team have had a great season up until now I think there are now warning signs.Firstly we are one dimensional in attack especially since Waghorn has been positioned out on the wing.When we should have opted for an out and out striker we end up with another winger.Secondly we are so indirect preferring to load either wing with players but have nobody in the penalty box which is where the goals are.Warburton was right we are going to need six players of quality to play the system he favours

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    1. Fully agree mate, you can feel the restlessness at Ibrox, it's just so laboured and slow at times, we rarely attack with speed, preferring the slow build up and consequential packed box and as you say we might have one man in there as a target and there's never anyone at the back post.

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  6. We will take them on there own patch with holt Halliday and ball in midfield we know now what they are about.
    Only positives from me

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  7. Definitely agree that waggy needs a break just to recharge the battery's. Zelalem honestly think he has only had one decent game for us I would rather have law playing. Or even give Jordan Thompson a chance he is the same age as zelalem . I wish he would give hardie more game time the boy deserves more of a chance. Five minutes here and there is not enough

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  8. rangers need a goal hungry trickster someone that is used to the style of play but also a striker used to playing against a tight defence , ricardinho would be just the man rangers need for next season he would need time to adapt from futsal but the guy is a hidden gem and he wouldn't cost much if anything , worth a punt.

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  9. Todays game could, as stated, have ended up 4 or 5 nil to Rangers, but equally, it could have end 1-0 to Kilmarnock. Of course we were 100% better than last year, indeed I did wonder at times whether we would have fared better under McCulloch than we did under McCoist since McCulloch did at least have a game plan!

    Notwithstanding the above it would be foolish to believe that the players on show today are capable of winning or even finishing in the top two or three in the SPL without at least two or three significant signings. We desperately need an out and out striker and a quality midfield player that can open up defences and add that something special when needed to secure victory. A good strong defensive fullback, a Porini, Greig or Jardine type would be a significant addition and one that would most definitely strengthen the defence for some of the more difficult games.

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    1. Totally agree with your summation, we are too deliberate with our build up. Yes we could have beaten Kilmarnock (but they could have beaten us, as could Falkirk and Morton). The realistic premiership aim for next season must be priority 1 top four, failing that top six, we need 5 or 6 quality additions to this group, in the right areas.

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  10. I wouldn't read *too* much into it RE next season. Yes, we didn't finish our chances in a game we should have won.

    But presumably by next season the squad will look quite different.

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  11. If I see another short corner I will go berserk. We must be the only team that doesn't put players in the six yard box at corners. Counted 3 in the penalty area for one yesterday.

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  12. waghorn needs to be subbed now and again to give him back his edge,zelalem should not have started,sheils would have done better,you shouldn't ask a boy to do a mans job.Ime sure kenny millar would have scored that chance waghorn missed. dont want to be a moaner but thats my opinion.WE ARE THE PEOPLE and W&W will get it right

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  13. Short memory tom we beat killie last year this is the worst team in spl and we could not score against them plan a not good enough Warbs needs to get his fingers out and get us alternative system to suit the day

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  14. For me, this game proves the premier teams now fear the Rangers too. The way Kilmarnock sat in made them look like the rest of the teams we have played this season. Also, I have had a pop here at Barrie Mckay quite a few times and yesterdays match did nothing to change my mind about him. He is vastly over-rated by Rangers people. He is a bit tricky but offers no killer end product. He takes just about every corner and how many times have we scored from corners? Once Twice?
    If Billy O'halloran was elegible to play in his place we would've won yesterdays game. No doubts about that.

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  15. All the killie game showed is what we knew to compete we need at least 4 or 5 better quality signings but for the 1st time in years we DO have the board & manager to get them.

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  16. A sign of things to come next year in the SPFL. Killie are 2nd bottom because they have no goal threat.

    I expect us to come through the replay by a couple of goals.

    Waghorn ' s terrible touch late on confirms why he is plying his trade in the Scottish Championship League rather than down south where he averaged one goal in five appearances throughout his career.

    If anyone thinks that he and a man close to 40 will do the business in the SPFL then heaven help us.

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    1. Well, with a 'terrible touch' he has scored almost 30 goals. And let's be honest, the quality of the SPFL is nowhere near the CHampionship. He will do fine as a forward. He's not an out and out poacher.

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  17. Brand new team. ..........are you kidding. We are approaching the end of the season, not the start.

    Yesterday's performance will be par for the course in the SPFL, though most teams will carry a bigger threat than Killie.

    Warbs comment on adding 6 quality players is a direct threat to King and the board to step up to the mark and spend some real money. Don't be surprised if the 2 Galacticos from Accrington Stanley are part of the 6 quality players required to see us into the last 16 of the Champions League................that's if the



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  18. Pure p*ss, like watching Ally in charge again,nightmare.
    Anyone wondering why Waghorn is playing for us rather than the lower leagues in England ?

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    1. Dont be daft its nothing like the football from last season.

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    2. Are you blind? Or just ignorant?

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  19. It will be a different game at Rugby Park, we will win easy i feel.

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  20. Just watching Hearts v Hibs 2 great shots 2 goals why oh why do we very rarely hit the ball from outside the box? .I am sick tired of this passing game around the box ,against packed defences we just don't seem to get the shooting thing

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    1. Agreed, entertaining and passionate, remember when we had that?

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  21. agree Zel looks like he is under orders NOT too shoot instead he passes it to waghorn or whoevers there it just seems v.bizarre. I think he has outstayed his welcome & he should go back to Arsenal.

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    1. Playing'Zel'is playing with 10 men mate...he has contributed nothing and never will.

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