Thursday, 4 February 2016

Where on earth is Jason Holt?


Rangers’ form over the past three matches, while miles off being desperate, has maybe hit a little bit of a buffer. In the way it dipped late September until late December, it again does seem a little off Rangers’ finest.

Four goals in three games is most definitely below the team’s normal capacity, and while the previous dip was elongated and no one truly knew what the cause was, with the fanbase awash with a myriad of theories, this time it looks a little simpler to pinpoint; the absence of the mercurial Jason Holt.

No one knows the exact state of play with the playmaker’s injury, but his disappearance from the first team coincides with a very noticeable and sudden dip in energy from the team – it is not drastic, nor is it deeply worrying, but it is tangible, and Rangers’ previously-convincing and smooth play from midfield to the front is just lacking a little thrust.

Even against Raith, the attack was a tad predictable, with no Holt to penetrate through the middle Rangers resorted to playing from deeper with slower possession which ultimately did not go anywhere – only an excellent move from Kenny Miller which threaded a fine pass through to the onrushing James Tavernier, coolly finished by Andy Halliday saw Rangers take all three points, because otherwise Warburton’s men were worryingly toothless up front.

The different Holt makes has been highlighted in his absence. In the last three games before he succumbed to the injury Rangers were scoring for fun – 15 goals. Four goals since then.

And the quality of the midfield without him has been frankly worrying. Ball, Shiels and Law for the visit of Falkirk (without Halliday too), and then Ball, Halliday and Zelalem for the trip to Fife.

Neither performance was impressive, and while Gedion Zelalem does get some unfair criticism from some aspects of the support, he definitely is struggling to assert himself. Shiels equally does not convince as a starter.

But this, all this is pedantic and clutching at straws to articulate the qualities of the players at Warburton’s disposal – the real issue is Holt’s absence.

It has made a difference to Rangers, and the worry now is he will lack match fitness if injury-free and available for the visit of Kilmarnock on Saturday.

But 60 minutes of Holt at his industrious best is worth its weight in gold.

We can only hope he can be called upon by then.

18 comments:

  1. If Holt's absence is the cause of Rangers latest dip in form, and I'm not sure it is, we can't just rely on one man to make our team tick. Personally I don't think that the downturn is solely due to Holt being absent, though he is a great player for us, I think the slow and deliberate build of passing we play allows any mediocre hard working team to get 8-10 men bedhind the ball and deny Rangers any space to create chances. We need pace in an attacking move, we also need grit and determination not to be pushed off the ball, we are far too lightweight in that regard. Our ball players also need to be battlers and I think we could benefit from 'tough opposition' training matches, as we'll get plenty of that next season, from the top six in the Premier. I'm a great fan of what Warburton (and King for that matter) has done and love the way our club is rebuilding, just think that this is our next step.

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    1. Totally agree with your remarks. Zelalem,for me doesn't show enough forward attacking penetration and aggression for goal. King could possibly give us more in that position. Also when Waghorn is off the boil the team suffers accordingly.

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  2. Thought he a leg injury and he was near playing last night but didn't want to risk him

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  3. I would say that the missing Holt may have not been the reason for a slight dip. One the weather and two a very poor playing surface. There is class and speed throughout the team. I expect that the knew signings will have an in pact there with the latest signing has goals written all over him and penetrative to break down stubborn defenses.sometimes we have to win ugly sometimes it won't be attractive but watch the difference between playing at Raithby and playing at ibrox I guarantee that you will c a different rangers a team fit for the premier league

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  4. He was rested as a "precaution" for the Morton game,was supposed to be fine for Falkirk then missing at Starks Park.The boy does have a history of niggling knee problems.He has definitely been missed in the middle,he's got a bit of dig for such a wee guy and his runs into the box to get onto cutbacks are excellent.He would have hoovered a few up on Tuesday.Hope its not serious but hope the club tell us what's happening with him.

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  5. Martyn Waghorn has been a shadow of himself for the last 3 games, but is still too good to take off. Dominic Ball has excelled in the holding midfield role and in my opinion is a much better centre half than Danny Wilson who is too casual at times and his long passes are usually cut off by the opposition. Rob Kiernan is a definite first pick now & can only get better. If Jason Holt & Andy Halliday can time their runs right, they will be a very dangerous scoring partnership. Gedion Zelalem will struggle to keep his place when everybody is up to speed with the latest transfer players all getting a chance to prove why they have been brought in.

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  6. Answer to your question is that he is injured,it happens so it changes the way we play a bit.That said , we have just won 3 really difficult games without conceding a goal .A different type of win , but these were never going to be three games that we won by 3 and 4 goals.Morton drew at Ibrox , Falkirk beat us last time out and away to Raith on a cold . windy night on a poor pitch.It was actually good to see battling performances in these games , it showed that the team had that in their locker .Hope they don`t gamble on the wee man on Sunday either , we need him long term not short term.

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  7. Dip in form??!! Just the usual doom n gloom which is continuously spewed out on this site.... 8 points clear. Simple. We can't win every game 4 or 5 to nil. That simply is not realistic. Get a grip guys. I am more than happy with how things are going. Look on the bright side (for once)....we could be Celtic. Then maybe you'd have good reason to mump and moan.

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  8. First,....i have to say Mark warburton our manager, has been terrific and we should extend his contract, having said that i would like to see a few minor changes to the way we play...our passing game is very good,but what id like to see is more long range efforts...if teams are parking the bus..also we are still short.of that big..strong mid-fielder, we still lack..a big guy up front for crosses in to the box...which has also been a bit of a negative,..should work to get as many of them as possible..though got no problem..with barry Mckay, hes been great this season.even as high up as maybe our outstanding player......Anyway, just my thoughts..God bless, the famous GLASGOW RANGERS..!!

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  9. First...like to say..Mark WArburton has done a great job with putting together our team,that now actually plays football....their is a few things i think he can improve on.
    We have to get more crosses into the box at times..and stop wasting corner kicks..
    if teams park the bus....our team should be advised that long range shot..isnt a bad thing,in other words adapt our game while not just off it..but on it..
    Anyway thats just my opinion...We Are the famous GLASGOW RANGERS..!!

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  10. I agree with wee Holt missing we,ve suffered slightly.I was also wondering how no updates on his progress,look forward to see him back in the team,we are better when he is playing.Here,s hoping he plays against Killie WATP

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  11. We had a dip before when Holt was in the team so its definitely not down to his absence. We DON'T have enough strikes from outside the box we seem to want to score the perfect goal which seems more and more difficult as teams get everyone behind the ball and it is increasing more difficult to get through .Have a dig !!!

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  12. Anon 13:03/Laurence Oliver.What's that aw aboot?The....crap gies you away!Have you done yir nut?

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  13. For me zelalem is the weak link.
    Also I would like to see tav further
    forward if we were able to fill his
    position with quality.The boy Christian
    riberio (Exeter) would do nicely as he
    scores goals from the full back position.

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  14. How warburton can play zelalem before nicky law puzzles me the boy does not work hard enough off the ball and tends not to go forward the manager said after the falkirk game that the fans were shouting to get the ball into the box but no way will he change the style of play he has introduced maybe he didnt realise that we crossed the ball into the box and king not the tallest player got us three points with a diving header

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  15. Law has been playing in front of Zelalem ,Warbs just mixed the midfield up a bit as they were playing two games in 4 days .He has to use the squad and decide who looks fittest .What he meant about the Falkirk game is the fans shout just to get the ball thrown into the middle but he wants patience and good balls crossed in to good areas.We don`t have a big guy to just lump it into , Thank God !We had enough of that last season and it did not work.So stop moaning!!!!

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  16. I just wanna see us beat killie, And watch Big Jigs draw hit the Ground, Then listen to Boydy spout drivel on the post match interview & as for Stevie Smith well he'll probly be injured!

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