What did victory at Fir Park mean?


Before Saturday’s match, I described it as revenge. Many other fans agreed, albeit some called it more of a general ‘marker’, a benchmark to show how far Rangers had come compared with 14 months ago. That too was entirely valid.

While the defence’s failings in the match have been examined time and time again, from middle to front, at least, Rangers look the absolute real deal.

It may have taken a while for the visitors to take the lead at Fir Park, but the abundance of possession before pure dominance and obvious superiority took hold gave more than a suggestion that Warburton’s men were on the right path, but as we go into tonight’s cup match with lowly Annan, just how much did winning at Motherwell teach us about where this Rangers are?

If we are overly optimistic, we could argue midfield to attack Rangers looked like they could dispatch any SPL team with ease, with Kranjcar’s class, Windass’ energy and O’Halloran’s pacy dribbling making Motherwell, a very solid midtable SPL team, look like thorough amateurs. It certainly bode well after the horrendous run post-Old Firm win which punctuated the conclusion of last season.

If, on the other hand though, we are overly pessimistic, we could argue that catastrophic defence could so easily have put Motherwell out of reach inside 30 minutes, for a wont of better finishing. That Halliday, Kiernan and Wilson were cruelly exposed repeatedly by such a high line and Tavernier seems to have given up entirely with the art of defending.

Then if we lie somewhere in the middle there is the fact that Rangers, under the near-entirety of Mark Warburton’s reign, have not had a single proper DM holding midfield, and with one on the horizon (Barton, Rossiter and Crooks) but yet to actually start this season (which will not change tonight), that area remains a little contentious.

Meanwhile, the likes of Kranjcar, Windass et al starting later in Govan along with Hill, Gilks and Hodson gives a very different complexion to the team and hopefully the rearguard will be more secure.

We learned, at the very least, that a fifth placed Motherwell could not put Rangers away on Saturday, while a second bottom one dispatched us with ease over a year ago, and that has to count for something.

But while a comfortable victory tonight does not prove anything definitively either, it nevertheless bodes well for the direction the team is going in, with, as mention, a number of new signings still not featuring in the XI.

How do you, the readers, feel about the start? Are you encouraged by the creativity or more worried by the defensive frailties?


  1. I know Wilson & Kiernan have their flaws defensively but a natural holding midfielder will help these two no bounds, if you watch the Motherwell game again you will see that they are left two on three several times, this is because our full backs can't tuck because of the way we play & our holding midfielder is not a natural in this position, this is no slight on Andy Halliday as I think he is a great player just not in this position, think back to when we played the tottie munchers Kiernan & Wilson had arguably their best game of the season why because they had a natural in Dominic Ball in front of them & Halliday bossed the centre of the pitch, now in saying this as our manager has alluded to he is still going to bring in another centre half so let's hope he brings in a ball winning ball playing big arsed fucker & it's off to the match I go

  2. agree with what u say and mark says defence need to tighten up not give away fouls outside the area ,I think we all know centre backs need better understanding,with the inclusion of Hill and a domineering centre half I think we will be ok. ps. why do centre backs persist in going up for corners,when we seldom hit the ball into the goal area,one at least should hang back to thwart breakaways.

  3. Considering Warbs put out the same team as last year "to start" I can't have any complaints. We knew the DM and CBs needed new blood. We have that with Hill Crooks Barton Rossiter Hodgson. So we can stop the moaning about defence. They got showed up again but as I've mentioned we have addressed that and hopefully it's enough. We will need to wait and see. As for the rest of the game. I thought middle to front we were fantastic. Once we brought on the subs we just switched gears and blew Motherwell away. They didn't seem to be in our league. They are the 5th best team in Scotland and they got schooled on their own ground. I'm not judging the defence until we have everyone fit. That's when I'll judge them. As for having possession and playing proper football. I can't remember being this excited in years. I don't think I have ever been this exited. I honestly think 55 is on the cards first time of asking. I don't expect it from the club and I won't give out any grief if they don't I just have a sneaky feeling we'll do it. Perfect start for me all things considered 10/10

  4. Is it the individuals or the sum of the parts? If at least one of your two full backs are going to constantly play as attacking wingers, then even the best centre halves in the world are going to need help from central and defensive midfield. Wilson and Kiernan are not world class but they are better than they showed on Saturday – you can only judge them fairly when the system they play in is working properly

  5. Our midfield looks great, up front needs strengthening, Dodoo looks like signing and MW wants another striker so that should be sorted, defence is a real problem Tavernier, Wilson and Kiernan can all be dodgy, Crooks and Hill will provide competition but we definitely need a leader at the back. Ekstrand sounds like a gamble due to his injuries but someone like Mariaapa would do the job. Foderingham is still a bit of a worry but Gilks provides real competition unlike Calamity Bell. Overall though vast improvements all over the pitch from the dark days of Mc(spit)Coist.

  6. its still pre season come Hamilton game we will see MW best team a don't think kiarnan will play and don't give him new contract you just know that he will mess up this season make us look bad like cup final first goal for me that should have been his last game for gers, it worrys me that MW doesn't see how bad he is talking about giving him new deal fk that shit get a new CB in, but apart from that MW is class

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