Rangers are on fire, SPL defences are terrified…

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First things are first, while the last time Rangers faced Motherwell in 2015 they were fighting to stay in the SPL, this time it was a buoyant Fir Park outfit, fresh off a solid fifth-placed finish in Scotland’s top flight and a vast improvement under Mark McGhee. So no one is going to use the ‘your opponent was too easy’ excuse.

Lincoln Red Imps Motherwell are most certainly not…

Hence we can, while early in the season, take quite a lot from yesterday’s trip over to the Steelmen, and one of the most remarkable and pleasing aspects, particularly when the three substitutes came on, was just how equipped Rangers look for the top flight now.

Admittedly until their introductions, Rangers had dominated possession without creating enough chances, and while Tavernier’s goal was absolutely glorious, it was not one in a long line of great shots peppering Samson’s goal.

But once these three came on, the scales not only tipped in Rangers’ balance, they nearly fell off the counter in that direction. And that is what I allude to here;

When Windass, O’Halloran and especially Kranjcar appeared in the second half, Rangers’ standards hiked to the level Rangers fans normally expect from their typical SPL team. The quality upgrade was stunningly apparent, and it showed just what fans have had to tolerate in the lower bowels of Scottish football that a return to the kind of quality we used to expect was actually a bit of a shock.

These players were signed to handle the step up to the SPL, and on this evidence they not only can handle it with ease, but will at least match Celtic. Kranjcar in particular made the game look easy; how Mark Warburton and Frank McParland persuaded an 82-Croatian cap to give up the USA for Scotland only they know, but they did, and Rangers are far richer for it.

Many fans spoke about loyalty to existing players, that they had earned their place – on this evidence, it is truly about starting your best players as opposed to showing faith in your most loyal ones. This is not me advocating betraying players who gave us so much, and it is with a heavy heart I even suggest Jason Holt and Harry Forrester’s places might be at risk, but they are – the quality of Kranjcar, Windass and O’Halloran was completely noticeable, and completely of the standard Rangers fans used to take for granted at Ibrox.

That kind of level is clearly returning, and Rangers need our best players to achieve that.

Getting Kranjcar was the same level of impact as getting Prso back in the day, and the quality of him was pretty similar too.

The more pleasing thing for fans too is that the consummate Rossiter and midfield titan that is Joey Barton have not even put on our jersey in anger yet, so the standard will only rise further. We will see Joey on Tuesday by all accounts, so we should understand first hand just what he can offer.

But for now, we can wallow in the knowledge Rangers are utterly going in the right direction.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Football is a game of two modes – defending and attacking. We're great when we have the ball, but awful when defending – particularly crosses into the box. You cannot give this team as currently constituted full marks. We will score goals, but yesterday's game was a repeat of the Scottish Cup Final when we defended. Our new full back is 5' 8". How is he going to help defend crosses? Our new centre half is pushing 40. This has got to concern to everyone of a blue persuasion.

    • Davie Weir played in the UEFA cup final at 41 and some called for another year out of him. Being 37 is not a problem. In fact it might well be the solution mate. Although you are right. The defence was very very poor. Only motherwells poor finishing let us of the hook. I hope Hill and Barton can move us in the right direction defence wise. Other than that we just absolutely dominated Motherwell on their pitch without any new signing starting. 10/10 for me

    • I would not read too much onto football at this part of July. Warburton himself stated that preseason prep goes on with these games being played rather than specifically prepared for. Could argue that it is more of a positive then to get such a result. Cautious side of me says that Motherwell are also preseason and too much drilling from supporters takes pressure off board to keep strengthening right up to deadline.

  2. All teams have to do is put the ball in our box and we're going to lose goals!! Wilson and Kiernan need replaced!!

    Tav needs to wake up defensively!

    Forget a striker, I'd invest heavily on a new CB partnership

  3. Not too impressed with wilson or keirnan but the midfield and forward line excited me, glad to be talking about the football side of things again

  4. Not too impressed with wilson or keirnan but the midfield and forward line excited me, glad to be talking about the football side of things again

  5. We all see it!!,, how the hell does Warbs and Weir not see our defence is shocking. We desperately NEED 2 big, strong centre halves,, We are going to get a good doin off teams with this defence,,they were lucky not to concede several goals yesterday, Motherwell outpaced us at the back every time!!!

  6. Yeah was excited before the game yesterday defensively we could have been three nil down in the first 15 mins. Defo grew into the game and the subs did make a positive impact. Cannot agree that barton will make a massive difference on tuesday ffs he should strol it can only measure any significant impact against the mighty thistle or maybe at a push ross county everyone else wil be like taking sweeties off a baby for him imo wat 55 waiting with our name on it sort the defence magic hat and well be cruising no matter who the manky mob sign

  7. I think the general concensus of opinion is we were great at goin forward but again the defence was sh*te, kiernan & wilson just dont do it, 2/3 times the BT Commentators said the same thing, Wilson not ready/aware and its true they just seem to be not on teh same leverl as the rest of the team. I hope Crooks will play in defence & hopefully sort it out, Motherwell were sh*te & should have scored but tough,

  8. Tavs goal opened up the game so it was easier for the 3 subs to make an impact.Not saying they are not good just don`t get carried away and write of the rest of the boys .Forrester played well and based on last season, not just half of one game ,looks a better player than O.Halloran .Hopefully they will both do well this season.

  9. a have a feeling come Hamilton game we will have new CB in and Rossiter Barton will give better protection to back 4, if we win league this season for me it will be best ever apart from 9 in a row one that was class 🙂

  10. Warb's said when he came we were going for attractive offensive football, we might win 4-3, he's not doin much wrong. Lay off the defence a bit and let's push on, remember Griffith's was the best attacker in the SPL last year, but he's now in the back pocket of some bloke from Gibraltar

  11. An Ally McCoist/Kris Boyd type poacher would make things complete. I know its easier said than done but someone of that nature.

  12. Think your gettin' a bit carried away wae yer report on kranjkar, he looks some way off in terms of match fitness to me. As has been said those two in defence simply have to go end of. Why we haven't signed Bougherra for this position is beyond me. Cannae wait tae see all our best players fit and match sharp playing together. Just think how joyous it would be tae take the league title off them at the first attempt after all we've been through……

  13. Can we please wait until the season starts in earnest before getting carried away ?
    I agree with all the comments about CBs, so we have to trust the two Ws are on it.

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