Did we really learn anything from the hiding by Burnley?


It was only a friendly. And as such conclusions cannot really be drawn too much about today’s comprehensive loss to Burnley at Ibrox, but nevertheless it provided a lot of food for thought going into next weekend’s Premiership curtain raiser against Hamilton, food it is clear manager Mark Warburton will be chewing on thoroughly.

The first point of note is Burnley are a step up in class from anything Rangers have faced in the past four years, including their own selves this time last summer. They have won the Championship, and their squad is befitting of a solid EPL team. It is also a better team than anything Rangers will face this upcoming campaign, by some considerable distance in fact.

Ergo, there are clearly caveats which give a slight amount of slack to any knee jerk reactions about just how easily Rangers were picked apart.

Fundamentally Burnley gave Rangers an absolute hiding – clinical use of the ball, solid defence, slick passing, high and efficient pressing, major energy and drive and sharp finishing; but then given how much they have been able to progress over the past 12 months such an outcome was not a huge shock.

Unfortunately, friendlies have two purposes; fitness and morale. In all truth, this performance and result helped neither, and maybe damaged morale.

From Clint Hill being exposed inside four minutes by the continuingly hapless Rob Kiernan and conceding a clumsy penalty, the signs were evident early on that Rangers’ defence was about to be cruely picked apart – there is zero understanding between Hill and Kiernan, and this was the first opposition to reveal the extent of it.

Time and time again the back two were bypassed effortlessly, with Kiernan out of position almost every time as Hill struggled to cope and chase. It is another defensive unit which does not work at all. It also was not helped by the equally ineffective Tavernier, who simply cannot defend in the slightest. Kiernan and Tavernier is becoming as much a problem itself as who the CB pairing is.

And that lack of spinal rigidity flowed through the team as Rangers appeared to be in a pseudo diamond half the time, with Barton lying deep, flanked by Kranjcar and Halliday while Waghorn appeared at the apex.

This would not have been so bad had Rangers’ middle portion had any major use of the ball, but aside from sideways passing from both Barton and Halliday, the engine room, so effective usually, was absolutely anonymous, and Kranjcar in particular having a wretched afternoon.

Up front fared little better, as McKay had an impotent display down the left, managing only one penetrating dribble in the whole match, as Miller struggled to get any kind of impact. Waghorn fared a bit better, helping out in defence and trying to force some cross balls into the box, but it was to no avail.

It was not until a glut of changes were made that the home side started to look something a bit more energised. O’Halloran provided industry down the right, and he and Halliday combined to create Rangers’ consolation, while midfield finally got something akin to a foothold in the match.

Of course, ultimately friendly results have no real currency, but it is worth morale to get a good one against a good side, and Rangers came up considerably short.

Defence remains a worry, but the bloody nose Warburton and his XI took today will have taught him a great deal, and one can only trust his judgement to get preparation right come Hamilton.

It is not the end of the world to lose to an EPL side, but some of the frailties which surfaced against the better sides last season manifested themselves again today.

Rangers still have work to do.


  1. Lets be honest Kieran and Tavs had a nightmare cup final and demonstrated in lots of games last season they Cannot defend.So instead of bringing in proper defenders Warbs gives them contract extensions.Manager has to be ruthless and not reward failures but I am concerned we are going to see games were the opposition is passed off the park but we don't want put the ball in the box and we end of with boring no risk football.I really hope I am wrong.

  2. Warburton has not got a clue about defence and so he must go and this talk of only having a plan A is now becoming a joke. This team has about as much chance of winning the league as the Tim's have of winning the Champions League. Warburton looks as though he is a man drowning and I truly believe that Mr King is doing nothing to help him by loosening the purse strings so he will go. Mr King has been good with the sound bites but it will be a foolish man who thinks that the Rangers supporter's will put up with this dross. I have a feeling that there will be more dross to follow and I just wonder what if anything will Mr King do because the man with the magic hat will soon be disappearing into it never to return

    • My god 1 defeat & u want the manager sacked. Rangers job is to challange this year & we will not face teams anywhere as good also in andre gray a 10 million pound striker who will expose better defences than ours. We have issues but lets not overreact to 1 defeat.

    • My god 1 defeat & u want the manager sacked. Rangers job is to challange this year & we will not face teams anywhere as good also in andre gray a 10 million pound striker who will expose better defences than ours. We have issues but lets not overreact to 1 defeat.

    • Typical dooms day rangers fan! We learn more from a loss than we do a win. We need one very good centre back and we'll be fine

    • totaly agree mate lets face it burnley will be heading back down next year we took their only class player from them and they still looked like barca compared to us i think it will be a long hard season against teams that are full time

    • I think supporters ambitions have to be realistic otherwise the manager will get destroyed under the weight of it. Winning the league this year is not on the agenda but progress is and the best hope of progress is everyone realising where things are at and supporting accordingly. What did I learn from yesterday? Nothing much except that everyone else seems to have caught on that bad and all as Wilson is he is still a much better option than Hill plus Tav will not be the starting right back in games against top half SPL sides.

  3. I dislike to constantly see left footed players Halliday and Waghorn struggle to take the ball with their right foot when asked to play on the right flank of the team. They invariably stop, turn and wait for the ball to come to their left side, meanwhile they have stopped momentum and it allows the opposition to close them down as they run in to a packed defence. No thrust or quick through balls. O'Halloran is a complete contrast and times more effective. As soon as the ball is passed to O'Halloran, Dodoo should be positioning himself for a cross. The Burnley strikers were so direct and with the ball at their feet. I don't think Dodoo had that luxury once on his whole 30 minutes playing. I would have Hobson at right back. Wilson and Rossiter on from the start of every game. Least said about some of the rest of them the better. I refuse to believe that Kiernan, Miller and Krankjar will have a worse game all season. On a happier note Rossiter was top class and I think Dodoo will score a few with his head that Waghorn misses on every occasion.These goals will be needed because Rangers will not walk the ball into premier team goalnets. I also prefer Holt to Forrester. So Foderingham/Gilks, Hobson Kiernan Wilson Wallace. Rossiter Barton. O'Halloran Holt Dodoo McKay. Krankjar needs more time to get up to speed and shouldn't play v Hamilton if Holt is fit.

  4. Defence was shocking and bear in mind Burnley are well behind us in preparation for the new season.

    This would have been a shock to the system for the newbies, not all the opposition this year will be part time semi professionals.

    Also bear in mind Burnley will be struggling at the bottom end of the EPL and are one of the favourites to go back down.

  5. Unless we seriously get a decent defender in we will not win the league. I know its just a friendly and it's still early days of season. But come on this is the same problems as last season defence is shocking. And I'm not having a go at Kenny Miller but if he's our main striker this season it's not enough is it . King has to spend some money enough free transfers I honestly don't think we're gonna spend ten million I'm not a idiot. But surely we can spend some money. if we don't we will regret it honestly.

  6. Warbs must go WTF mate get a grip n go back to your own teams websites you have your own defensive oroblems which we will expose

  7. Well said that man Colin Ainslie, saves me going on a rant again. The hat loves attacking football but you have to have defence to win games too and thing King has promised us too much and not delivered so far

  8. Been very clear since last season….Rangers defence is rubbish…Tavenier scores goals but cant defend…Kiernan is out of position,way too often…Foderingham to me…isnt a goalie,he doesnt get balls when crossed into,what is his area six yard box to penalty area.
    Minimum we need is clearly a centre half,who dominates his 18 yard box..the other two positions should be very closely looked at then changed….

  9. Fed up with excuses, the defence is woeful, yet W&W don't seem to have an answer.what do they do at training?

  10. Hill can't move and got deeper and deeper and Kiernan can't read clever opposition and got into bad positions. Opposition managers will have seen this and will target the CD's and set-pieces all season.

  11. If tav tapped in from close range we'd have a more respectable scoreline that would have merited our play.

    We're forgetting we matched them very well it was just 3 players that caused the result Hill, Kiernan and Andre Gray.

    Warbs will definitely get a decent centre back in this week

  12. Hill and Krankjar are finished at this level, that's why they are playing with us and for those who are crying out for Warbs to spend money……..ffs how long does it take for the penny to drop….we don't have any money to spend on transfer fees, none. That's why every one of the 9 signings has been a free transfer or Bosman.
    On the 'grand tour' of the States we stayed in student accomodation, that's how tight things are bearing in mind the coffers are full of ST monies just now……………and the decision to ban fans indefinitely then not refund them their hard earned cash is just a joke.

  13. I don't see the point of David Weir. I loved him as a player, but he clearly can't teach others to do what he did. Like others here I am fed up hearing the same mantra "we will learn from this" which we've been hearing since Falkirk put three past us on 18th March – then Queen of the South .. then Raith Rovers .. then Hibs in the League .. then Hibs a second time in the Cup Final .. now Burnley .. who next ??

  14. So Nico thinks that Celtic qualifying for CL proper is good news for us?

    Is he kidding, it will put £20m into their coffers and further widen the financial gap……perhaps Dave will step up to the plate and match this pound for pound?

  15. Fucks me, We have a defeat in a friendly against an English Premiership side and people want to stick their heads on a railway line. The season starts against Hamilton next week, not Burnley. That team will need time to bed in. That result will hopefully keep our feet on the ground. WATP

  16. It is worrying that the defence which we all know is the weak point in the team seems to be the area most unchanged, its strange to say the least. Rangers have the strongest midfield in the SPL now, I just hope they aren't relying on defensive midfield play to plug the gaps. We beat teams by pressing high up the park! sitting in waiting on it coming with the likes of Barton, Rossiter etc. will totally change the style of play and allow teams more time on the ball.

    I'm hoping the lack of transfer action at CB is due to the difficult market and not faith they will develop as players. To be honest id hoped we'd sign Toure. His ability would be a big help this season. Good signing for the tims.

    I also want to see more foreigners coming into rangers. We only sign guys from England. Why?

    • Because there is still no scouting network set up outside the UK, despite years of promises that there would be.
      The drying up of transfer activity is most likely because the best of the free transfers and Bosman ' s have already been snapped up.

      I can't believe we are relying on a near 38 year old to anchor the defence, he was all over the place yesterday and anyone with pace will give Hill a roasting.

  17. It was a friendly against the team that won the English Championship league and thats a hard league.
    main thing is we try and win the league,Im not saying we will but onwards and upwards WATP

  18. Trust in Warburton, 1 defeat and the rats are starting to leave the would be sinking ship. We will do fine this season. WATP.

  19. we were rank rotten, they are no world beaters but they strolled past our over the hill mob. We will be lucky to draw with accies.

  20. Do you think so? The bookies won't be surprised, they are favourites to be relegated before a ball is kicked….how often are the bookies wrong?

  21. We got found out at the back so many times last season that I'm completely dumbfounded that we haven't strengthened and this was against mainly part time sides. The magic hat has brought exciting Times back to Ibrox but I'm no football expert but even a blind man can see we need at least two half decent centre halves, think warbs has got to push the board for some funds, our defence apart from Wallace is shocking and we don't have an all out quality striker, feel frustrated

  22. People need to remember the level of player they are criticizing warbs bought tav and Kiernan for 400000 ,also they must be judged on their performance in the spfl ,I agree however I don't believe they will improve enough to top the league ��

  23. Most worrying to me, besides the bomb scare of our CH's, was the performance of Kranjcar. He looked like he was not up for it. I'm not sure if he doesn't have the legs any more, or maybe he doesn't have the heart. I hope it is neither, and he is still working his way back to 100% fitness.
    We looked dreadful in the first 65 minutes. Could not string more than 2 passes together through the middle of the park. Burnley's high pressing game will surely not have gone unnoticed by our competition this season.
    There has got to be room for O'Halloran, Rossiter, Barton, and likely Windass. Maybe Crooks, who made League 2's team of the season last season, can play centre half.

  24. Woeful,Inept,Blundering,Rank,Pathetic,Useless, out of his depth and slower than a Sunday in Coatbridge,I give you Clint Hill.If this is a product of an extensive scouting network ,we are in the brown stuff.Most of us on here are not kidding ourselves on,we know the centre of defence has been lacking for a while but to bring in Dads Army is not the answer.We'd be better off with Clint Eastwood !!!

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