Friday, 8 April 2016

Rangers next season - who stays, and who goes?


By Richard Fillingham


I think that every Rangers fan would have been extremely happy with 90% of the attacking football that was served up throughout the season. There were a few disappointing results and full credit to some of our opposition for scoring a few fantastic strikes against us that even Wes couldn’t stop.

But let’s take a look forward and here’s my possible team/squad for next season (without knowing the budget of course):

Wes Foderingham would deserve to start the season, unless we can sign a goalie taller & better, to dominate the cross balls, especially at free kicks & corners against us.

James Tavernier, our wonderful attacking English right back, really packs a great shot with an eye for goals. He is not a fabulous defender on occasion, but at 24 he still has a lot to learn to get even better.

Rob Kiernan
has got better as the season has progressed and is another Englishman holding down a regular starting place. A centre half who at only 25 has the best years of his career still ahead of him.

Danny Wilson first played in the Rangers first team at only 17 and did not look out of place alongside David Weir. He did so well that Liverpool paid around £4M for his services, but at a young age he failed to become a first team regular. He signed for Hearts and ended up winning last year’s Championship as their Captain. It says a lot for him that he chose to join David Weir again at Rangers this year, when he could have easily just stayed and played in the Scottish Premiership with Hearts. I am not convinced it has worked out as well as they both would have wished, but at 24 he may come back stronger next year, or he will lose his place in the starting line up.

A very tall, aggressive, fast centre half who can pass (I am not asking for much), would absolutely be the answer to Rangers' prayers.

Lee Wallace, our brilliant, loyal captain and a major contender for our "Player of the Year” award has also chipped in with a surprising amount of goals this season. He also proved to me that Gordon Strachan needs glasses or brains. How do you omit a fabulous, consistent left back from a weak Scotland team? One of the old men of the team at only 28.

Matt Crooks, our new January signing from Accrington Stanley, can play either as a centre half or as a holding defensive midfielder. Another English player willing to come and play in Scotland thanks to the success of our brilliant management team persuading them to buy into the new project. At only 22 he has a lot of first team experience.

Josh Windass comes very highly recommended as an attacking midfield player by Mark Warburton and that is good enough for me. The young Englishman is fast and can glide past the opposition with ease. I can’t wait to see him be a big success with us.

Andy Halliday, our very own local Rangers man, has impressed everyone with his talent, coupled with his aggression and total enthusiasm for the games.

Jason Holt,
for only £65,000 was another bargain buy from Hearts. What a wonderful piece of business by the boss. An energetic, highly talented midfield player who makes things work for the team and is usually in the right place at the right time. You cannot teach that; he just has that ability. 

Harry Forrester was another very shrewd signing who has turned into a star player already with his brand of football and goals contributing so much to winning the Championship. Another English player with experience at a higher level and it shows.

Martyn Waghorn, who was possibly favourite for the “Player of the Year” until his injury. The 26 year old English player accumulated a spectacular amount of goals and his overall contribution to the team should never be underestimated. I can’t help feel that Martyn could be turned into an international class midfield footballer if he was played as an attacking midfielder who would still score goals from that position. He is a very strong boy who possesses a bit of a dig and he can also see a pass when he gets the chance. I could really see him as a Paul Scholes-type of player. He is certainly not an international striker.

Barry McKay has been a revelation this term and forced his way into the Scotland under 21 team due to his success with Rangers this season. With the utterly useless Ally McCoist as manager, Barry could hardly get a game in the lower divisions, mainly due to pointless long high balls to nobody every game. Another contender for “Player of the Year, and still only 21. His first touch and dribbling skills coupled with his understanding with Lee Wallace are special.   

Michael O’Halloran, signed from St Johnstone in January, has still to fully settle into the team. He has pace and he can play anywhere in the forward line. Just the type of signing the Magic Hat likes, and at 25 is the right age to develop into a top class Ibrox star.

Kenny Miller, the surprise success of the season. A revelation at 36 and producing some superb displays throughout the year, he has also chipped in with some great goals and assists. He is also helping to coach and influence the younger players in the squad and also with the under 20’s team.

The 14 above players would not embarrass Rangers, but if we buy 2 or 3 real quality experienced players who could walk into the team because of their talent, what a difference that would make.

I would also take 2 or 3 top quality loan deals with players capable of getting into the team next year, as Mark Warburton and David Weir have proven that they can be trusted to use these young players if they show they deserve to be first pick material.

Do we release the players whose contracts are up?

Nick Law             (English)        Midfield        28 (Probably release him)
Dean Shiels             (N Ireland)    Midfield        31 (Probably release him)
Nicky Clark            (Scottish)            Forward        25 in June (Probably exchange / release)
Fraser Aird            (Canada)            Def/Winger    21
Billy King                (Scottish)            Forward        22 (Probably back to Hearts)
Dominic Ball (Spurs?)    (English)        Def/Midfield    20 (extra year loan?)

Let’s not forget that we have some good young Academy boys still learning their trade and playing the same brand of football as the first team.

Ross McCrorie (Ayr united) - Centre Back - 18
Luca Gasparotto (Airdrie) - Centre Back - 22
Darren Ramsay (Arbroath) - Left Midfielder 21
Tom Walsh (Dumbarton) - Midfielder -19
Robbie Crawford (Alloa) - Midfielder 23
Ryan Hardie (Raith Rovers) - 6’ 2” Striker  19
Andy Murdoch (Queen of the South) - Midfielder 21
Jordan Thompson (Airdrie) N Ireland - Midfielder -19
Mekhi Leacock-McLeod (signed from Wolves in February) Right Winger - 19
Liam Burt - only 17 - Attacking player - recommended to be an excellent prospect

Jason Krones, Kyle Bradley, Kieran Wright, Aidan Wilson, Jamie Barjonas & Grant Nelson - young players, all signed to the Academy until 2018.

All in all the squad sits in a very healthy position, and just requires the mildest of tweaking to thrive in next year’s Premiership. How far it can go beyond that is another matter. We await with excitement.

18 comments:

  1. Spot on with most of the comments. In addition I would like to see King signed permanently and also Ball who I think shows great potential.

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  2. I agree with most of what you say I still think tav is not a defender so I'd like to see us do something in the defence. I'd let go the ones talked about..definitely need a striker with a proven goal scoring record all in all I trust our management to recruit the best they can ..onwards and upwards

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  3. Thanks Richard for all that info...agree with you on Martyn Waghorn I think he could assist more goals than scores in an a/m position,as he doesn't have the same strikers instinct as Kenny Miller...Who stays and who goes are tricky questions for Warbs and Davey...If it was up to me Law,Clark and Aird would be gone...David Templeton who you haven't mentioned I would keep,he has quality imo...he hasn't really had a good chance to shine for W/W...Also you talk about signing a goalie taller & better than Wes Foderingham to dominate the cross balls at set pieces...I agree again...Cammy Bell is certainly not a contender...Wish we could have a young Lorenzo Amoruso and a young Jim Forrest.

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  4. Waghorn is best suited as a false nine, not an out an out midfielder or striker.

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  5. Warbs has pointed out that our main signing priority is a Defensive Midfielder. If we can invest in a ready made complete defensive midfielder with years of experience then I believe the bulk of our work is done.

    We need a one in three ratio striker, Wags seemed to miss 6 before scoring.

    I'm keen for our youth to be given a chance but the pressure to deliver will show whether Warbs will trust the academy.

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  6. Yes Jim Forrest , someone giving their age away, a VERY underrated player and very hard done by the club

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    Replies
    1. Correct willie...I think if the Berwick thing had not happened he might have eventually passed Ally Mcoist's goal record!

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  7. I can't wait to see who we bring in I think we defo need a keeper I like wes but he Gos to sleep at times at corners free kicks and cross balls something he can add to his game but we can't wait 6 month there's a lot of pace to the team I'd like to see more height in the team I think we got found out abit against st jobby we have a got age balance to the squad which means they will get stronger and stronger as time goes on so mabi some more physical players which I think we will need for next season we trust in mr warbs n weir can find those kind of players engines is what I think he looks for battlers in every position not bottles like the other sides WATP send it on

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  8. We should start a 'best Rangers strikers of all time' post. Those of us old enough to see Jim Forrest would rank him in a top 5.

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  9. NEED TO STOP BATTERING MC COIST EVERY ONE SEEMS TO HAVE FORGOT WHAT HE DID FOR OUR CLUB IN ITS HOUR OF NEED THAT MAN PUT UP WITH S--T THAT NO MANAGER IN WORLD FOOTBALL HAS EVER HAD TO DEAL WITH AND TO THIS DAY WE RANGERS FANS STILL DONT KNOW THE TRUE EXTENT OF WHAT HE WAS DEALING WITH BUT WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THAT HE WAS DEALING WITH SCUMBAGS WHO WERE BLEADING OUR CLUB DRY. REMEMBER ONLY A HANDFULL OF PLAYERS TURNED UP FOR PRE SEASON FOR THE START OF OUR CLIMB BACK TO WHERE WE BELONG OK I ACCEPT THE FOOTBALL WAS POOR TO WATCH BUT IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY HE WIN US 2 LEGUE TITLES AND WHEN THING STARTED GOING WRONG FOR HIM ON THE FEILD THE SCUMBAGS WHO WERE BLEEDING OUR CLUB FOR EVERY LAST DROP THEY TRYED TURNING THE FOCUS OVER TO MC COIST SO THEY COULD CONTINUE DRAINING ALL OUR RESOURCES BUT MC COIST DID THE CORRECT THING STANDING ASIDE AND DIVERTING THE FOCUS STRAIGHT BACK AT THEM F--K ME A COULD GO ON ALL DAY DEFENDING HIM THERE WAS SO MUTCH PRINTED ABOUT HIM THAT WHERE BLATENT LIES,LIES,LIES HIS WAGES FOR 1 THIS GUY IS RANGERS THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THEN SOME HE IS ONE OF THE GREATEST EVER RANGERS PLAYERS OF ALL TIME AND PLAYED A MASSIVE PART IN OUR SUCCESS FOR SO MANY YEARS ILL STRESS ONCE AGAIN STOP BATTERING THE LEGEND THAT IS MC COIST BECAUSE TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THIS THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT ONE DAY SOON AND ALL WHO HAVE SLATED THIS GREAT RANGER WILL FEEL VERY SILLY.SUPER ALLY IS A LEGEND AND PLAYED A MASSIVE PART IN OUR JOURNY BACK TO THE PREMIER LEGUE AND DERICK JOHNSON MADE THE CORRECT CALL TODAY FOR SUPER ALLY TO INVITED BACK TO IBROX TO JOIN THE CELEBRATION WHEN WE CLAIM OUR PRIZE SO THIS IS A CALL TO ALL RANGERS FANS WELCOME THIS HERO BACK HOME WITH OPEN ARMS AND SHOW WHY RANGERS FANS ARE THE GREATEST FANS IN THE WORLD BECAUSE AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE HE IS ONE OF US.
    THE TRUTH SHALL COME OUT.-WATP-

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    Replies
    1. opinions are like assholes EVERYBODYS GOT ONE.
      so stop laying down the law about what we should and should not do.
      and go back to school little man and learn how to spell.

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    2. Do you like seeing us overpay for journeymen with no technical ability? Do you like long ball football? Do you like a club without a footballing strategy?

      I don't.

      McCoist is a failiure who only cares about himself. Oh, and BTW, he didn't take a wage cut, it was a deferal and he took the whole lot.

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    3. The guys right leave ally alone. Some the comments about our all time best scorer are terrible. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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  10. I THINK CROOKS WILL COME IN AND DO A GREAT JOB IN DEF MID ALSO A LUMP OF A GUY WHO LIKES PUTING IT ABOUT A BIT

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  11. Think your praise of some of the players borders on the ridiculous. We are playing in the 2nd tier of Scottish football one of the poorest footballing countries in Europe. Let's see how many are capable in the top league it's one thing to beat Alloa, Dumbarton and Livingston but another beating Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts. I fear Tavernier will get found out defensively in the top league and let's see how Holt does when he has players like Brown all over him. Finally if you think some of the younger players are ready for the top league then your sadly mistaken especially Crawford who has struggled on loan with Alloa this season

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  12. Nathan you are not a true rangers man you are a glory hunter who critisises when things go wrong and jumps on the band wagon we have won the championship but we need at least 6 players to challenge in poor spl next year not looking forward to it unless we spend some money and get far better player's in

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    Replies
    1. Very harsh. Or maybe your another Timmy troll

      Delete

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