From failure at Fir Park to 14 points clear – how did Warbs’ do it?


Summer 2015 and the summary of a miserable three years was to watch the exodus of failures leaving Ibrox by the backdoor.

The Kyle Huttons, Ian Blacks and Richard Fosters all epitomised the litany of failures Rangers had suffered for too long, and who had effectively disgraced the proud blue shirt in the process.

This was the dross, the bottom of the barrel tripe Rangers fans had tolerated violating the hallowed turf for longer than they had deserved, and it was with pleasure supporters watched them leave at long last after a truly abysmal capitulation at the hands of an utterly pathetic Motherwell.

Today – manager Mark Warburton has led his newly-built side onto the precipice of the Premiership. He has not just passed the test of Rangers’ leadership, he has absolutely strolled the exam with A+ distinction and a double digits’ gap at the top of the Championship.

The contrast is almost unfathomable.

How did he do it?

The first act was to presumably consent to the release of the 12 out-of-contractors last year; there is zero chance Mark Warburton, knowing he would be taking the reins a few weeks later, would have had no input over the departures of half the squad.

The second was to give everyone left a blank slate – a threadbare and motley crew remained, and the new manager had no prejudices or preferences. A new start, a fresh chance.

The third was the cleverest – Mark Warburton used every trick in his Magic Hat to scour the English championship and lower leagues for rejected gems, young loans and the occasional Bosman. He spent well below £1,000,000 in bringing in the Martyn Waghorns, Rob Kiernans and James Taverniers, and gave trials to the likes of Andy Halliday and the absolutely outstanding Jason Holt.

Warbs’ was like a hoover, sucking up all the dismissed talent and forgotten young players down south, guys who were not getting the chances there, and cultivated them in one place: Ibrox.

Together he brought together a group of hungry players who felt they had everything to prove – Martyn Waghorn’s career had stalled, following that famous £3M move to Leicester – that fee was defining how lost the striker appeared to be, and when Warburton wanted him at one of Britain’s biggest clubs, the powerhouse was aching to impress and eager to say yes.

And what we see today is a team built in his image – as Greg Roots’ entry yesterday explored, Warbs studied Barcelona in depth in particular; he took that model, and brought the same ethics and formation into his own management.

Brentford benefitted first, and now it is Rangers – a small, pacy, dynamic clutch of players who work like dogs for each other and have no lack of skill.

They have blown away most who stood before them. Yes, there have been dips – they are humans, not robots, and at times some of the play was a bit flat; but compared to previous managers it has been a breath of fresh air.

And add to that 4-3-3 Warbs obsessively insists on the hunger the players have to prove they are not finished and are worthy? You have a Rangers team which has sailed near-effortlessly to the Premiership.

Warburton achieved this with a minute budget and little time to properly plan and work with the players; just imagine what he can achieve with more time and financial clout in his corner.


  1. yeah sure but it is obvious we need someone in experience in defence for next year, 4-1 up should be all over

  2. The man is great in every respect,and I've got every confidence he can bring in players to enhance the squad.
    He inherited Clark Law&Sheils but I think he will let them go to get as he says a lean and fit group, add in some good players he has loaned out, looking forward to enjoying next season. "in warbs we trust"

  3. We were playing like Barcelona early in the second half. Amazing stuff! Our defense worries me big time though. Come on Davie, sort it out!
    My money is on a title celebration next week! Bring it On!

  4. I agree, we've improved immensley compared to last seasons embarrasment, however, do we really learn from our mistakes?. Last week, Falkirk beat us after we were 2-0 up,,yesterday we were 4-1 up and let QoS back into it,, time was our saviour yesterday!!, so did we really learn?! The players lose concentration and focus and become complacent. This has been a worrying trait all season. Kiernan and Wilson have been bombscares and I certainly dont rate fodderinham, just look at his contribution in yesterdays goals against, barring the penalty. Tav needs competition in his position, he has been giving the ball away and cant stop cross balls to save himself at the moment, he wants all the glory of goals!,, Our defence is a shambles and concerning, I hope Ball goes back down south, and we get a 7 ft, no nonsense defender that can header a ball out of his own area. Yes we have done well this season as a whole, but if we are to challenge the beggars next season, we need quality centre halves,, we have done the past 4 years!! Come the shelic game, they will out gun us in height alone, set pieces will be our down fall as we cant defend against the height they have,,our players will get bullied off the park,, I really hope im feckin wrong!, but it seems its going that way,,,

    • 7 ft no nonsense defender? Load a shite. If you can find one of those who has pace, game intelligence and can pass a football then brilliant but II would imagine that unusual specimen would cost a fortune and a hefty wage? We have recently entered the footballing light under Magic Mark and Sir Davie…I for one am in no hurry to step back into the darkness. In Warbs we trust…WATP

  5. Let me state straight away we are no Barcelona but that is the hats mantra. How many 7 foot Giants play for them? We are a work in progress so get behind it man it could be magic. Just remember the Dundee game , not seen that for a years

  6. Think your getting a bit carried away with the achievements of the manager and the players after all we are in the 2nd tier of one of the poorest footballing nations in Europe. You say he spent less than £1m however how much did Alloa, Dumbarton and Livingston get to spend? Let's see how he performs in the top league before lavishing praise on him.

  7. Win or lose, my team are a joy to watch and we will show Patrick how to play the game with energy and passion.
    We will look at the way they approached last years game and never be easily caught out like Ian Black did, getting chopped in the first thirty seconds from Broonahldino, who is nothing brilliant but gives them everything he has.
    I can't see Ball or Halliday falling for that next month, and will turn it round so its that wee fanny trying and failing to wind everyone up.
    They are not great but they are not terrible either on their day.
    All we ask is that our troops learn from StJ and Falkirk, and play the way we love.
    Win or lose, I will cheer them off the park as they're the only team for me.

  8. We got rid of the worst manager in the history of the club…'s that simple.

    With the 2nd biggest budget in Scotland his teams were hopeless…..and that's putting it midly!

Comments are closed.