Six things Rangers fans learned in South Carolina

Six things Rangers fans learned in South Carolina

Mark Warburton’s new-look Rangers side finally got its season underway, albeit in a friendly, giving fans and management a chance at long last to see what is in prospect at Ibrox next season.

Under near-90 degree temperatures and following a local thunderstorm in Charleston, South Carolina, the action got underway in earnest around 8PM local time with Warburton electing to give a debut to only one new signing; Josh Windass. Trialist Oguchi Onyewu did also start the match, though, giving management a chance to size him up.

So what did we learn from what was, ultimately, a very comfortable 2-1 win in the USA?


Josh Windass not only fit into the XI like a glove, like he had been playing with this group of players for years, but that he looks the business. Those ‘rival’ fans attacking Rangers for signing such a ‘lowly’ player would surely be eating their words as young Josh ran the show, with busy work in midfield and deft touches all over the place. He scored one excellent goal, should have scored another, and even helped out in deep midfield as well. For a ‘lowly League 2’ player, Windass looks like he was born to play for Rangers.


Trialist Onyewu stood out. He did not have a mountain of work to do, true, and was maybe caught slightly sleeping for the hosts’ solitary goal, but otherwise looked robust, assured, strong, and hungry. A slightly nervous start, evidently desperate to impress, faded as he grew into the match and Rangers could do much worse than to sign him up. For a player without a club over the past 18 months, he certainly looked sharp enough.


Clint Hill was not scheduled to start this one, but an early injury for Danny Wilson saw the former QPR stopper appear regardless, and his display was mixed. He was quiet, looked to lack presence, and was caught off-guard early on when he simply did not seem at the races as Battery nearly scored. He was unfairly penalised when a decent enough challenge was adjudged a foul, and did not do much else wrong, but his performance lacked the impact Onyewu’s made. Still, plenty of time for him to improve, and he surely will.


Matt Gilks appeared for the second half and will be disappointed to have been beaten near-post, regardless of how unexpected and sharp the shot was. But he probably had a better half than his counterpart Wes Foderingham did in the first, with the ex-Swindon ‘keeper looking a bit nervous and off-colour. At one point he paused in front of the ball attempting to block rather than the obvious attempt to advance and smother. He knows he has competition now and rather than it pushing him on seems to be having the opposite effect.


Martyn Waghorn looked a bit off as well, not really getting into the match and guilty of some loose possession. Rangers’ talisman still has not truly returned from injury yet, and looks some way off his normal self. Perhaps my colleague Richard’s suggestion of him playing deeper is not the worst notion. But then, Rangers certainly do not lack options in midfield.


But the final word has to be for second half sub Michael O’Halloran – the MOH who showed up in the second half was the one who took us apart last September so effectively – the same one Warburton chose to invest half a million in, and he is justifying those comments saying he needed a pre-season. He was sharp, hungry, quick, used his skill brilliantly, and indirectly assisted Windass’ goal. Keep this up and he is like a new signing and will be hard to drop.

Other points to note:

McKay looked to pick up exactly where he left off last season. This lad is developing into a multimillion pound talent at this rate.

Halliday had a bustling match, with some good reading of the play and a better understanding of the defensive midfield position.

Holt was busy, and looked every inch the energetic ‘battery’ he was in the last campaign.

Miller worked hard as always, helping out in defence when needed and always on hand to support.

Tavernier and Wallace were both quiet. Wilson was solid enough.

Disclaimer: yes, this was a friendly, and yes, Charleston are not Real Madrid, but Rangers have stunk in similar friendlies in previous years, such as 2014’s underwhelming tour of the USA, so while we cannot truly judge on such a match, it bodes better this time than it did.

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  1. First pre-season game, never good to judge how players have done. It's all about fitness.

    Expect the League Cup games to be testing and don't be surprised if there are bumps in that, it is all about sharpening players for the league campaign start. The League Cup games are effectively pre-season games now for most of the clubs. Nonetheless fully expect us to emerge top of our group.

    The Burnley friendly that comes after that, will give us a strong indicator as to where we are.

    • I cant understand travelling all that way for One Friendly Match, although it was all expenses paid by the Yanks, it may have been a good P.R. exercise for the North American Fans and a bit of Team Building for the New Men.

    • Yeah am I the only one that thinks the League Cup group is an excellent way to prepare for the season ahead. The quality of opposition might not be the highest but then again when is it ever in friendlies but more importantly it will be competitive football which I believe is the best possible way to gear up to hit the ground running in the league and looking at the first 6 fixtures there should be at least 15 points in them.

  2. Would have been better to stay at home, have the full squad together inc Barton who cannot get into the US and to have had maybe 4 or 5 games versus lower league UK teams. More games, more fitness/match sharpness work and the full squad together as well as opening the training and games up for the fans to see the new boys. Would have been a much better PR exercise too. US for one 70 mins game without the full squad didn't work for me. Ok the players got a tan and it reads a bit more exotic in the US, but strip it down it was not the greatest pre-season idea.

    • Last year people were moaning about us only playing a kick about with a spurs youth team and 1 game against Burnley,when the season started we were by far the fittest team maybe in the country certainly in the championship

    • I agree with most of your point but the fitness levels gained in such high temperatures is what was very important about the time spent over there. If you can push yourself and do it in those conditions it makes life back in the Scottish Prem a lot easier

  3. Two things we have learned over the years 1/ Pre season friendlies mean nothing and 2/Don`t make judgements on players in one game , bad or good .Are you struggling for things to write about?

  4. I can't remember the last time I seen such unity in a Rangers side, the are a band of brothers, they will fight for eachother and they all want to play for the magic hat WATP

  5. Stop being so hard on Wes every keeper makes mistakes look at Foster he was crap when he first went to Celtic now hes nearly the England keeper, give Wes a break he had a clean sheet and hes got great potential just shut up and let him get on way it

  6. Enjoyed the game,another couple of outings and they`ll look Great. One point bothers me. Our Goalie, Too hesitant ,especially with the ball at his feet. Not just one game but in 70% of his game. Just does not impress me that much.

  7. I have tried to defend Wes from day 1 but it has been over a season now and he has played every game, I know he wasn't helped out by the defence last year but you can't blame the defence for the lack of authority he has in his own box, goram was a hobbit but when the opposition were in the box they knew goram was there,he just doesn't command his box and thats the best traight a keeper can have. I feel teams think wes is there for the taking especially with long shots.
    The team as a hole look good, impressed with josh just can't wait to see the rest in action now

  8. Been hearing tav n waghorn have rejected new contract cos they feel they merit more handsomely paid cos of hearing wat Barton n rossiter are on well the two of you can get to f**k!! use wer goin nower in careers gers gave u a plat form n gave you regular football n confidence a place wer u felt wanted n a manger who trusted in your ability n this is how you pay us bck wanting to hold us to ransum , Bartons cumin from the champion n could have been playin premier league football n rossiter came from Liverpool with high expectations n captaining England under 20s that's how they're getin paid well. So get your act together n take a brain check your not that good so if u hink you are n u want to hold us to ransum as I said do one !!!!!!!!

  9. So Waghorn and Tavernier have knocked back improved terms as has Warbs…..they feel under valued after their contribution last season.

    Giving Barton £30m a week might come back to bite the Board on the bum.

  10. I see Tav and Waghorn have refused New contracts, simple shove them in in the reserves for 2 years and let them rot, both of they're careers were dead until last year, they are jealous of Kranjar and Bartons wages but they have respect in the game and deserve the wages, not sure what they two are on but prove yourself against Spl and full-time players then ask for more money,Thought highly of these two but they now look as if they are trying to milk the Ibrox cash cow before its mature enough to give milk WATP

  11. I'm on minimum wages and see my kids every second week, I hardly eat from October as I need to think about Xmas but that's what you do. If true about tav and wag, ship them out or let them rot in reserves, realize people coming in are on much bigger wages but they are proven and these two aren't, as the hat said if they don't want to play for club, you aren't wanted, fuck OFF. If we win SPL next season or go close fairplay then ask for pay increase, hope it's paper talk but if not we don't need mercenaries at Rangers

  12. Tav and wag? Reckon it's press talk trying to put the spoon in, they lads have 2 years left on contracts, not in there interests to negotiate now, Daily Celtic sorry Daily Record stirring it and the little people pick up late scraps and report the story out to them, it's pathetic WATP

  13. If true, Tav and Wag, should be benched, I'd even support having a collection to pay their wages, it's principles, I'd pay their wages and let them rot, don't want to play for the mighty RANGERS, then fuck OFF, I'm on nightshift £8 an hour. These people need a reality check

  14. I c waggy n tav hink they can hold us to ransum cos they had a gd season in championship n feel they shud b offered new deals in same bracket as Barton n rossiter take a brain check one of these guys played in champship lst year n gt player of the year n could have played in premship down south the other was breaking into the Liverpool 1st team n is captaining England 20s n is very highly rated, tav n waggy wer going nower in ther careers weren't 1st choice for previous club wer down in confidence n warbs steps up brings him to us makes them feel wanted n trusted ther ability one gd season in a league that's not the best n they think ther world beaters gers gave u a platform n use wan to hold us to ransum. Am afraid to say of use are not happy get to fuck cos we are Glasgow Rangers n your not bigger than the club n we won't b held to ransum use are not that gd. Not happy do one!!!!!!

  15. Rossiter has a play and pay deal because of injury issues.

    No wonder Warbs is recruiting in the free and over 30 ' s market, they are the only ones who will accept the wages on offer.

    He must have sanctioned the Barton move knowing the problems this would cause in the dressing room.

    The city trader might not be as clever as he would have us believe………..though his tactics in the cup final should have been a warning to everyone, give him all the credit for getting Stokes his move to Blackburn on £15 k per week and a big signing on fee.

    Tactics, what tactics.

    Given the contract rebels and the amount to over 30 ' s in the team a whole new squad will be required in 2017/18 season.

  16. Ever thought that Tav and Wags might have used the gers as a show room? Who would see them play at Wigan or wherever. Worked for foster and van dyke. Rangers for life? Don't be silly. Is there a sell on clause?

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