Just why do Rangers want so many midfielders?


With the absolute glut of signing targets emerging in the past week or so, the vast majority of players Rangers have been linked to are midfielders. From Joey Barton to Niko Kranjcar, from Jordan Rossiter to Alex Pritchard, from Matthew Knox to you name it, Mark Warburton has really gone quite postal when it comes to midfield talent.

Sure, Rangers are also linked with quite a few forwards too; Danny Graham, Jason Cummings and Danny Ings have all been mentioned in the Ibrox breath as well, but it is undeniably midfield which has seen the most activity, which is ironic as it was already arguably the strongest area of the team.

So just why is it that Mark Warburton has gone to extensive lengths to borderline saturate the engine room of the team?

Well, there are three very distinct reasons for this course of action:

Firstly, around four midfielders are on their way out this summer. Arsenal’s Gedion Zelalem has more or less said his goodbyes already, by admitting he is focused now on Arsene Wenger’s side and how determined he is to break through at the Emirates. With Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky both quitting this upcoming window, there is certainly room for Zelalem to try to crack Arsenal’s first team. Along with him, Dean Shiels’ time has been numbered for ages, and while he has been a faithful servant, his deal will 99% certainly not be extended; this also applies to Nicky Law, who has had to be content with a place on the bench and few could see him wanting to stay, never mind being offered a new deal. Last but not least, Dominic Ball is almost certainly going back to White Hart Lane. Tottenham are in an excellent place right now, season’s diabolical finish notwithstanding, and Mauricio Pochettino’s men have Champions League football guaranteed next season. Ball gave Rangers a lot this season and few would begrudge him a shot at Spurs’ first XI.

Secondly, it comes as no coincidence that some of Rangers’ best defensive displays have been at a higher level against the likes of Dundee and Celtic – and during those matches the midfield was especially impressive, with Halliday having a particularly mammoth match against the East End’s finest. The better Rangers’ midfield is, the more efficiently the defence can function; and messyrs Kiernan and Wilson have produced their most impressive work against the best opposition when the midfield in front of them was on form. In short, Mark Warburton wants to enhance that midfield further for the step up, especially introducing a proper defensive midfielder in order to properly prepare the backline for life at a higher level.

Lastly, relating to the second portion, without any doubt the most inaccurate cliché in the book is that all great teams are built around their defence. Look at Barcelona, Bayern Munchen and Real Madrid – none of these teams’ defences are impressive, especially the Catalonians. But they have dominated European football for a decade or more. No, the most important area of the team is midfield; case in point is the current and embarrassing AC Milan side. The defence is quite robust, with Alex and Romagnoli a good partnership in the middle, flanked by Italy internationals Abate and Antonelli, while attack has Colombian international Carlos Bacca and Brazil’s Luiz Adriano, not to mention France’s Jeremy Menez and the enigmatic Mario Balotelli. But the midfield is filled with rot – absolute trash by the traditional levels of a club more used to Seedorf or Kaka than Honda and Bertolacci. Ergo, the Rossoneri are nowhere. By bringing in a glut of quality midfielders to Ibrox, not only to replace those outgoing but to simply make that area stronger, it will help other areas such as aforementioned defence and certainly attack too. Mark Warburton knows what he is doing.

Times are good at Rangers.


  1. These are in exciting times but it must be said that every area in the team should have the same focus as midfield. Possession without having a quality strike force means nothing. The defence badly needs a no nonsense defender as at the moment it's too weak down the middle.That having been said I can't wait for the season to start.

  2. Exactly as I've said many times. Our defence is abysmal and it's only when the midfield are doing their job properly that's made Wilson and kiernan look halfway decent.

    The midfield is key to our side, although I think Warburton should look to get a commanding centre half to take charge of the defence as partner to one of kiernan or Wilson. Those two undoubtedly have ability but they don't work well together and neither are real leaders, despite Wilson's captain role at Hearts. With a leader at the back like Weir then Kiernan and Wilson can flourish.

  3. The majority of the team have done a fantastic job for us this season,with a few exceptions.Sadly,some couldn't quite cut it in the premier league.There is not a huge difference between us and the majority of the teams in the premier league,but we are not going up aiming just to end up in the top three. so we need the best team we can afford and gone are the days when we can just buy a team. So if we have an abundance of midfielders all well and good as long as they are an improvement on last season, we are going in the right direction. Don't know about Joey though.Might have to get used to playing the "green and white shit" down to 10 men.

  4. Didnt understand the point of the article. Every team should have at least 2 players per position. With those leaving and those likely to sign leaves Halliday, Holt, Rossiter, Crooks, Windass, Barton. 6 players, 2 per positions. We have the same with forwards; McKay, Miller, Waghorn, Forrester, O'Halloran, and potentially Kranjcar and/or Cummings. I only hope the same rule will be applied to our defence as thus far it is being neglected

  5. With speculation of experienced players being recruited during the summer break, how does this reconcile with the policy of providing a pathway for Academy and youth players? This would seem to be restricted by the need to compete successfully in the Premiership.

  6. basically we are becoming the new Arsenal & we will pass teams to death until we get the ball in to a position to score, Days of lump it up the park are finished with Warbs & i believe we will get better & better, hopefully if we get into Euroupe [ BTW how good does that sound] we will get even better as the competion will be harder & hopefully we will raise our games. As you say Times are good at rangers, Its all done to the Warburton effect long may it continue

  7. I agree we need a bug solid centre back aka Gough, Butcher, Amoruso etc needs to be strong in the air who can offer some headed goals from corners too. Someone like this might help Wilson/Kiernan to grow into decent players. Also is it only me that would love to see a Barton/Brown head to head…sounds tasty don't you think?

  8. Barton on a 3 yr contract would be a massive gamble – he would not be brought in for with sell on value and the aim would be his influence but that influence could go either way and he probably would not come cheap either and at 33 his best days are well behind him. Same goes for Kranjcar – even though only around the 30 mark his best days are behind him by about 5 years or more and in the past the players that have disappointed most in Scotland are big reputation skill players towards the end of their career who often simply don't fancy it.

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