All quiet on the defensive front at Ibrox?

10
Interest in this fella went very quiet, very quick.

With the news over the past 24 hours that Rangers are linked to former Warburton charge Alex Pritchard on a year-long loan, the strength of midfield begins to look potentially intimidating for next season. There is no doubt the depth the Magic Hat could have next term is up there with some of the best Rangers had pre-admin, but, and here is that ‘but’, every day another midfielder gets potentially connected with a move to Ibrox is another day of deathly silence over defensive improvements.

In this current spate of player silly season, curiously only one significant defender has actually been reported in connection with a switch to Govan; Lech Poznan’s Paulus Arajuuri. However, that story was quickly dismissed with indirect quotes claiming chief scout Frank McParland was not interested.

Whether he is or not, nevertheless the worrying lack of quality at the back is starting to become a small issue. There is, of course, a boatload of time before next season and the actual transfer window has not even opened yet, but it is worth observing that since Warburton became manager, only two absolute CBs have been signed with one utility CH for depth. Curiously, Kiernan and Wilson were actually two of the very first signatures Warbs secured, so no one can accuse him of not making defensive signings a priority.

Yet since then the only players Rangers seem to get linked to are attacking midfielders and forwards.

This is not an altogether bad thing; Rangers’ model is clearly Barcelona, with their time-tested 4-3-3 which sees a dynamic and low-gravity midfield supply a lethal trident up front. But like Barca, Rangers do not seem to have defence as a priority in general – like the Catalans, both fullbacks are more attackers than defenders and when teams really go at them, their CBs get exposed frequently. One difference is that at least Rangers’ defenders are both dedicated to their task – Barca deploy a DM there (Mascherano).

Regardless, Rangers need defenders, and defensive midfielders. Thankfully Warburton has conceded DM is a position he is looking at, and that he needs four defenders for next season. There is also the possibility Matt Crooks will be considered for a role there, such is the Englishman’s colossal height (a subject of contention from the previous entry and the comments!) so it is not exactly a desperate situation. Far from it.

But a few names linked would be nice, so we actually have tangible players to latch on and Google to see if they are any good.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I think crooks will be a DM he will operate along the line I seen him do this a couple of times for Stanley 7 he looked like he could hold his own, God knows we need somebody as I am fed up with Wilson he just seems to be getting lazier, Hope Warbs gives him a kick before the cup final as the hibbees will be desperate for a win against us, Also any news on the Liverpool chap?

  2. I think we have to be patient for as you say the transfer window is not yet open.I have no doubt the powers that be are working on this at present and the Manager has said he has to strengthen in that area. I don't think there will be any panic buys as his record in the area of recruitment has worked out very well to date. Just look at the team from across the city–how many duds have they bought with panic buying ? –too many to mention.

  3. Ibrox Noise, Totally off subject but can you do a report on Mike Ashley and were Rangers stand now that Newcastle have been relegated ? I read something back in March stating the football league in England have much stricter rules regarding dual ownership and he may be forced to sell his shares. Any input would be appreciated

    • He might have to sell his shares – maybe – but it wouldn't change the onorous contracts he benefits from that are still strangling the club. Hopefully a solution can be found to resolve this.

      Whether he remains a rangers shareholder or not wouldn't make any difference to rangers really, although I understand the emotional reasons for wanting him to see him sell.

    • Yeah you have point, Obviously we need the retail contract sorted which by the sound of it will be almost impossible. I suppose even the fact he couldn't vote at the AGM or hold his % over us in any way would be a good start. The retail contract is a killer

  4. I know this article is about defenders but have just noticed Nicky Maynard is available on a free. Perfect example of a quality striker who has lost his way a bit and Warbs could re-energise similar to work he did on Forrester.

    Scores every type of goals and scoring record in English Championship pretty good.

  5. Hell of a coup if you get Pritchard – I am a Tottenham supporter and many felt that he would be in and around the first team last season though given the quality we have in that area it seemed sensible to send him on loan to West Brom. Guys like Domnic Ball and the other kid you had have never been considered first team material so that should give you a good idea of the quality Pritchard possesses and would be one of the top midfielders in Scotland. It is however for that reason that I would be amazed if he wet in that direction unless you could offer Champions League football and even at that I still think he will be aiming for another Premiership team at worst.

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