Saturday, 12 March 2016

How Rangers proved themselves Champions


On the face of it, a visit from Morton did not exactly set the tastebuds on fire, with all due respect to the side from Greenock. Following Rangers’ comfortable dispatching of supposedly ‘superior’ Dundee, the Ibrox team’s tail was most definitely up, and the Cappielow-based outfit was not expected to pose any kind of threat.

And indeed, after a stroll of the opening 20 minutes, Rangers looked like sealing an easy win if they could just breach a fairly stubborn visiting defence. Unfortunately, the script went pear-shaped after a loose passage of play saw the guests take advantage of a complete mix-up in defence, and weak goalkeeping, to take the lead in frankly absurd circumstances.

The goal was a mess, and it was the first time Rangers have trailed in any match since Jason Cummings’ clever opener for Hibs almost three months ago.

The heartening response saw Rangers step up their game – rather than looking indecisive, Warburton’s men knew they had a battle on their hands – the rest of the first half was spent increasing the tempo, and pushing forward with more purpose. It led to its reward when James Tavernier’s 43rd-minute corner was classily headed home by the bang in form Kenny Miller.

After the break was just a total walk in the park – two more excellent goals, a second for Miller and a net-busting drive from Wallace sealed the three points and confirmed Rangers are not the kind of team to let adversity beat them these days.

More and more Rangers are gritting out winning displays – sometimes with more style than others – the trip to Killie was far from pretty football, but The Magic Hat’s men got the job done – equally last night was 20 minutes of slight worry for fans as Rangers plucked and picked at Morton in search of the equaliser, but they need not have panicked.

In the end 64% possession and nearly 20 shots at goal reflected a Rangers team who went behind but never felt defeated – and the upsurge in tempo thereafter reiterates this point.

In slightly more disappointing terms, Michael O’Halloran had by far his most subdued night, rarely getting involved and creating little. His lot was summed up by getting both booked and hooked. One for the winger to forget.

But Barrie McKay had another fine match, and Jason Holt’s return to form is most certainly welcome, as was Miller’s outstanding contribution overall. The defence was certainly shaky though, and it is evident the Wilson and Ball partnership is Rangers’ weakest – there appears a lack of understanding and communication between them both.

But these are all minor quibbles – Rangers continue to surge ahead in the league (15 points now) – and are proving themselves worthy champions. The only real domestic tests left are Falkirk and Hibernian away, but that glorious cushion is outstanding insurance – even more liberating is next Friday’s visit to the aforementioned Bairns – victory there, and results in Rangers’ favour, and the gap to second place could be a staggering 18 points.

We will see though – there is still some football left to be played – but Rangers’ noses can feel the tape of the finish line and the Premiership.



14 comments:

  1. Let's concentrate on winning the league and giving the "Jungle Jims" something to think about before April 17th.

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  2. Personally I think Ball and wilson were ok. As for communication well they dont play together and i think Ball has only played in his natural position once before. Im a bit defensive of criticism aimed at Ball who I think has been very quietly brilliant and solid in the myriad of positions he has been asked to play in.

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  3. O'Halloran's performance only served to strengthen my opinion that he has not got the quality for us to move forward. Although early in his Rangers career, we should not have had to pay a fee at all for a player who is more an athlete than technically gifted. McKay, King, Forrester and Waghorn should all be ahead of him in the team. Being a good player for St Johnstone does not qualify him as a good Rangers player. To give him 4 and half years was a bad move I feel.

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    2. I see your point but I disagree. I feel he's better than last nights performance and has only played a few games for us... give him time to prove his worth. Frank McP and MW know what they are doing and have brought in good technical players fro nothing. They scouted O'Halloran and deem him worth the money they and fully deserve the benefit of any doubt at this stage. Also, there are players at the top level who are nothing but pace-merchants i.e Sterling, Walcott...

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    3. Couldn't disagree with this more. To judge the player so soon after he's joined, and after 1 fairly subdued performance is just plain daftt. He hasn't had the chance to get a run of games going dueto being cup-tied. When he has been on form he's been brilliant in the games I've been to (season ticket holder, Sandy Jardine front) & seen on TV when we've been away. He is direct, strong, always looks for the ball, tracks back well, uses the ball well and scares defences. I think he's a fine player for £500k and I see him, Waghorn and McKay forming an exciting forward 3 next year. With Mr Kenny "100% effort" Miller being there as a good back-up and an excellent influence in training.

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    4. As a Rangers fan I hope I'm wrong and he proves his worth. However this judgment was not made on last nights performance. He played for St Johnstone since Jan 2014 and no one batted an eyelid until he scored against us. Don't get me wrong, he is 'decent' but so are other players we have, including Tom Walsh who is similar except only 19. O'Halloran thrives by sprinting with his head down to the by-line and crossing across goal for big men like Steven MacLean to finish. This is not what Rangers want from wingers. They are expected to cut inside and allow full-backs to overlap. He is not a 'young' player at 25 so I don't know if there is much potential to develop. If there is, hopefully Warburton will find it.

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  4. for god sake give the lad a chance,,

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  5. Win the next four games and we are champions.

    Now to oust the SNP in June.

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    1. Good luck with that !!! And I mean that. Too many brainwashed idiots I fear

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    2. True. But we can't throw up our hands and let them win can we?

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  6. John Harrison's comments. Hilarious. Chris Sutton. Hilarious. These mothers are actually scared we might beat them. Hilarious

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  7. Oh dear Mr Stubbs, not been your week, has it?!

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  8. It has to be all about the league now, & the focus has to be 100% I think O'h & king will fit in ok for what is required of them & I sincerely hope the boy Forrester gets a contract

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