How long will ragged Rangers labour like this for?


While Rangers remain unbeaten on their return to the SPL, and on paper a two wins two draws record is not exactly terrible following four years in the wilderness, the worrying signs from the last disappointing match at Ibrox v Motherwell not only remained prominent tonight, but arguably grew as well.

Rangers’ return to the SPL was all about showing the flowing football which punctuated Mark Warburton’s successful maiden season in Govan at one level lower could transfer to a higher plane. That the off-ball movement, the one-twos, the slick passing and the frequent goal hauls would translate perfectly to the SPL, with theoretically better players brought in to handle the step up in class.

The harsh reality is that neither the system, the management or the players in any shape or form have properly adapted to the increase in quality, and that was never more in evidence than tonight’s stale and clueless draw at Rugby Park.

Just like against Motherwell, Rangers found themselves facing a side well organised, intelligently set up, and working hard for each other.

And just like against Motherwell, Rangers’ predictable passing and impotent attack were exposed while that dreadful defence got even worse with the last-minute injury-enforced inclusion of the diabolical Clint Hill.

While Rangers did not lose this game, it felt like a loss, especially given the home side were also down a man for nearly half an hour following Taylor’s red card.

But the home truths about the failings of this team, its system and its management are becoming a real problem. People call it ‘negative’, and that this site, and others, should get behind the team and support.

Well, support we all do, but only the blindest faithful would not criticise what is evidently requiring altering and changing.

It is becoming worryingly apparent that Warbs’ system simply will not cut it at this level. It was destroyed by St Johnstone last year, and this year is struggling against the supposed relegation-fodder like Motherwell, Hamilton and now Killie.

The players, too, are simply not performing; whether they are unable to step up to the SPL, or the system is immobilising them is unclear, but the players just do not look comfortable in the top tier of Scottish football. Joey Barton has not impressed, Robbie Kiernan is a rabbit in headlights, Clint Hill a disaster, while Kenny Miller, ever present starter, is really failing to translate his latter form from last season into this.

Harry Forrester keeps driving and is the player of the season so far, not that he has much competition, and while Barrie McKay had his best match of the season tonight, it still was not exactly what we expect of him.

And Mark Warburton? Just does not have an alternative approach, does he? Whatever the system or formation is, he cannot deviate from his flowing football tactic, which evidently does not work in the SPL. If it cannot succeed and look convincing against the worst teams in the league, one only fears what Celtic and the likes of Hearts & Aberdeen will do to it.

The international break has probably come at the best time. I keep nagging Warbs via this site to change his approach – what worked last season is not this. Only he knows if he is willing to try, because Rangers will struggle to be in the top half of the table if form continues like this.

If he cannot, if this is what Rangers are to be the rest of the season, God help us.


  1. I have commented before Warburton was an experimental choice which worked out last year but the step up is not something he can handle. Everyone could see Last season the priority was defence followed by a quality striker he has failed on both counts and it is going to be a long hard season. In addition we had record season ticket sales and to much of that money has been wasted on players who may have been good five years ago but they are way over the hill with no resale value.

    • Agreed, I was totally behind him last season, he seemed to be saying all the right things, exactly what we needed, not just in the on field elevn but the whole structure of the club. In reality we didn't have a great season last and one writer on this site made it plain we had more bad performances than good or confident ones. This was what was apparent to me too going every week, after our 11 game straight wins we nose dived. it saddens me to say that I honestly believe now this man Warburton has no idea how to read whats happening on the field and make the appropriate changes to personnel or tactics. He seems to me to be a man who perseveres with the same approach even although there are no signs of it working, believing that if he sticks with it it will come good. If Davie Weir has any sort of influence it doesn't show at all. How much boring possession retention, with no effective attack, no reasonable defence and a midfield that has no shape or clue what it's trying to achieve, will it take for this man to react and change things? if indeed he is capable of such an act. Sadly, I suspect he is not.

    • Ungrateful houses the pair of you. The problem is the expectation of the supporters who if they do not wise up soon are going to crush the magic hat. This article says it but does not dwell on it but two wins and two draws and sitting top of the table is not a bad start for players adjusting to the league and in some cases getting their fitness up. If you translate that over a 38 game season that is 76 points which I think would be a brilliant return and almost certainly guarantee European football. Assuming things will get better when everyone up to speed then this tally could be even higher and the stuff of all sorts of fluffy dreams. Do not kill the goose that lays the golden egg. In Warns we trust.

    • Poor comments mate so let me see you prefer a 4 4 2 or a more defensive set up ? Ahh so when we sacrifice some possession and flair then what will the comments be ? Once we get ALL the injured players back and hopefully secure a cb then and only then can we judge in my opinion the best signing we have made in years at rangers and comments like your sir will surely hasten his exit when time comes ffs too many so called fans expecting too much too soon in my opinion get real and support the team instaed of being the armchair management critics you are …

    • Going on last season's performances things will get worse and not better…trust in Warbs if you like……

  2. I agree, but When the hell are Scotland going to get real pro Refs. Maybe Instant Replay Cams., are needed to help out these Amateurs.

  3. couldnt agree more. no organization.
    we are slow in moving the ball, barton & other older players are struggling with the pace of the SPL, its shite but fast.
    young killie players were leaving the gers midfield standing.
    and this is killie, truth is we've struggled with all spl teams and will all season, cant see us competing, even at this early stage, I've watched every game this season and its not going to get us anywhere,
    Warbs is looking suspect, its a tough job, make no mistake but he is showing no improvement. at this point I'd take top 6 in the SPL

  4. There is no point in you writing articles like this because too many people think Mark Warburton is the messiah and therefor totally dismiss you out of hand!

    Let me tell you what I think and it's something I've said since day dot! The guy is NOT Rangers quality. He may be a good coach and I'd happy have him being paid a grand or week or whatever the going rate is too work in the academy with his team, but £12,000 a week for that!! no thanks. He has no tactical knowledge, he can't build a defence after a year and 20 odd players or whatever it is, He plays Tav as a fullbackwinger whatever one of them is whilst leaving a fullback AND winger to rot on the bench. Tav is good going forward so let him be a right midfielder and play Hodson in the back. When you build one of the worst defences in Rangers history and think the best remedy is to have your fullbacks at the other teams corner flags then your in for trouble! We keep hearing deluded fans bang on about fast flowing attacking football….He hasn't played that since last year and even then often failed to get a goal. Think we had two shots on goal tonight, both from Freekicks!! He has Barton and Rossiter playing in the exact same role! He brings Halliday on who doesn't know which way he's facing. He's shelled all that money out for a striker( which I'm sure will be good ) but he's shelled out nothing on a good defender? That says enough about him for me!. this myth that plan A is the only style we will play is always the sign on a manager who doesn't have enough experience and covers it up by just running at teams. The problem is you eventually will get found out and when that happens your in soapy! 70% posession only means something if it's in the other teams box and your scoring goals…it means nothing when it's across the middle of the park from side to side and back again! Personally I'd drive him to the airport tomorrow…seen enough!

  5. Mckay has lost his confidence and shouldn't have started. Kiernan and Miller need a rest or in Kiernan's case arrested. Rangers were outfought and out thought by some very young Killie players. They were up for a fight and Rangers, quite simply were not.McKay doesn't like it up 'im, period. Tactics must be very predictable to play against. Even against 10 men we were crowded out. FFS MW can you inform your players that soaring balls 30 feet higher over crossbars are meaningless. Every game sees a ridiculous amount of these and kills the game of any pressure build up. Horrible performance by a sadly outfought team.

  6. Guy's, I have read various comments on this forum for a few seasons, unfortunately as soon as we have a few questionable results various people including our blogger are so quick to criticise the manager, certain players. I appreciate results are not what we want, but if you seriously thought we were going to step up from the championship without some hiccups along the line then am sorry, wake up. Everyone might not agree but if we qualify for a europa league spot then we have done ok. Give the guys some breathing spaceinstead of criticism at every opportunity.

    • Well said brother. We need more like you here. I'm ashamed to read the histrionics on here after every game.

    • Totally agree.People have to understand that Rangers have been in the wilderness for the past four years.Their best players jumped ship, so they had to rebuild.On their return to the premier league they will find that the opposition is of a higher standard.Give Rangers time to adjust and I am sure thing will improve.Rangers dp not have a divine right to win the title they have to work for it and I am sure they will.Follow follow.

  7. lets face it we are piss poor and the manager will not change his players …O'H might just be thinking about an escape route this transfer window as he , in my view does not get a fair crack at starting place. Miller is a rubber man every ball bounces off him, defense is non existent, Kranjcar is rotten, and feel sorry for Halliday being made scapegoat to accommodate Barton…. MISSING Holt defo

    • I was just about to mention Holt but you stole my thunder!!!

      Jason Holt covered more ground than any other Gers player last year and he provides the energy that has been lacking so far. Add the fact he is very neat and tidy with the ball, and weighs in with a fair few goals, I think we will see a big improvement when he is back. Totally underrated in my view.

  8. there is nothing to say.
    no different to previous spl games or tail end of last season.
    all you yahoos who were chanting bring on sellick, keep your gubs shut for fear of embarrassing us further.
    miller was passed it when he joined sellick, let the guy retire with dignity before he stains his whole career. barton, wallace, hill, kiernan…..well off SPL pace.
    The modern game is about fitness & speed and our better players dont have it.

  9. yep pretty brutal to watch Barton and Rossiter can't both play in the side we don't need two holding midfielders, no pace, no power anywhere on the park and Wes isn't the greatest either gets beaten too easily with shots from any distance…..its gonna be a long and not a great season

  10. I'd say that makes three of us but I suspect that there are many more who feel the same…the man is, unfortunately, clueless.

  11. Poor!! Last seasons team was better get all the new players out n get last seasons team bck together n gradually feed in the new players n if they deserve to stay in team on merit fine. Barton for me is just not up to the pace he cost the goal tonight cos on the half way line he Cudnt keep up to put a challenge in to stop the attack not Jst that he's looked very average in all the games so far at best but he's looking like a favourite of the manager. McKay for me is another passenger who can't get by better players championship class. Team is far to slow in middle of park need some youthfulness energy n imagination in there. Aberdeen n hearts will beat us comfortable at this rate but I fear the manky mob will destroy us. 4 games in n an average of 1point dropped a game n conceding goals doesn't look well n it's the manky mob next in league we will loose at this rate which will average a baw hair off of 2 points a game dropped which is relegation form. Warbs get yur act together get the strongest team on park forget about favourite or wer they've played before n please get a plan b in place n get the defence sorted!!

  12. This rangers team is dire,they only looked good against Peterhead, the defence is rotten , the midfield is 1 paced and lacks imagination and up front is terrible ,I remember where we were 2 years ago but I knew we r not ready,my brother thinks rangers will win the league easily but I don't k ow what planet he is on u pay for what u get ,we lack quality big time

  13. Much like Kris Boyd's hair,we were flat,limp,abysmal up top and a shambles at the back.Get it sorted now Warbler.

  14. We haven't got out of August and all the doom and gloom merchants are calling for heads.If we were bottom of the league I would understand why your all going to put your heads on a railway line.

    • Huffin' and Puffin' and Hopin' ain't gonna cut it in this league. That is what I saw tonight. Killie's youngsters had our team by the throat.

    • Killie had us by the throat? What fuckin game were you watching mate? Kilmarnock were clinging on for dear life for most of the game. Infact, apart from the boyd goal I cant think of another shot on target they had.

  15. did you muppets really think you were back coz a few past-it english players agreed to take your money?

  16. Personally I hink the whole season will be like that,u pay for what u get and rangers have spent peanuts ,we r a middle of the league team

  17. One of the mhanks has posted about a dozen comments or more on here. I suggest you get screening or your site will be getting a by pass from all Rangers supporters.

  18. Im not going to knife no Rangers player or management but we were pish poor last nite awful infact. I honestly think the problem stems from our defense, Everyone of us can see it so im pretty dam sure MW & DW can also see it.
    Hodson RB Tavie Further forward with Crooks Senderos and young Bates chasing CH positions will change everything. MW is not stupid he knows as well as us that its not working and will be trying to resolve it.
    Mind if we beat the unwashed in 2 weeks some people on here are going to look really silly methinks!!!! Its only August and were unbeaten keep the faith and keep calm!!

  19. Fothers,hudson,new signing/crooks,wilson,wallace..midfield …tav,holt,haliday/rossiter,ohall
    Forrester and garner/wags 4 4 2
    We might not stop leaking but plenty pace all over park and hope to god the 2 up front start finding the net.
    Wee barrie is battling with the physical side,barton.kiernan,hill,kranj,Kenny all too slow and windass/dodoo/gill havent seen enough yet.
    Its only 4 games in but unless warbs gets this team playing with pace and creating chances for the strikers it could be a long season fellow bears…follow follow

  20. Okay, okay, let's rip up our season tickets, burn (if we had them) our shirts and plan mass walkouts during matches!! Get real, we have not lost a league game yet and people have chucked it on this site. Yes, we are not playing our free flowing football that we were used to last year. I think we miss Holt in the midfield, however, I also think the players are feeling the pressure from the fans. There seems to be no spring in their step, or smiles on their faces.
    Listen, we will be fine this year, maybe not top of the league, but we will consolidate and improve every year. Four years ago we were almost looking for a new team to follow, let's never ever forget that.


  21. There is no magic hat,just a well payed manager being found out at this level..he looked good against lower level teams but the step up is too much for him…time to bring in a real rangers man

  22. True supporter's support their team through the good /and bad times. The same critic's will be on here praising the team manager when they hit a run of form.Don't cherry pick, you are a true supporter or not.

    • yes eddie but your manky mob are not supporters,,theyre bile ridden scum who are going to get pumped in big league,,any comments on sectarian singing last night,,celtic are 10000000miles in front of the newco,hahahaha

  23. What the hell do you expect? MB has worked miracles in my opinion. He has little support from a board who fail to invest as promised.
    As I have written many times on here the answer is to invest in youth and a 5 year plan. This need to win the PL now is driving the wrong type of investment. It smacks of desperation to keep up with Celtic who are in a different world in terms of income. This will go down as another season lost in terms of rebuilding. There are no long term signings, no vision, no business plan or strategy. The fans have done their bit for 5 years and let down by dreadful decision making and wasteful investment driven by a desperate need for success. This has stunted slow growth and development of a long term sustainable business plan.

    Does anyone honestly see these players being around any longer than a season? No…what does that tell you?

    No point blaming MB, root cause is down to the custodians who do not know how to run a football club.

  24. Whilst I would like to give the team a chance to bed into the SPL I would at least like to see the manager display a realisation that the defence urgently needs surgery and that the midfield is too static with Barton and Rossiter playing together. Barton hasn't impressed thus far and has shown that he has no defensive nous. Niko has class but no pace and on first showing Garner is all hustle and little quality. I know it's a bit unfair to judge someone who has been thrown on to save the game after arriving the day before but if you take the money……Warbs I implore you to learn a Plan B or admit that your defence is a shambles at any level.

  25. I think it was all wrong last night from team selection to formation and tactics. Firstly to move McKay out of position to accommodate miller is a joke. Miller should be on the bench. Also don't need both Barton and rossitor. Should have been the back four, rossitor in front of them then halliday and krancjar.then McKay on the left , dodoo up front and Forrester or ohallaron on the right.

    Miller should only be brought on when the opposition is tiring nothing else. Our best game this season was Peterhead we had attacking , fast football and penetration and possession.

    Was just all wrong for me last night I was listening in the car driving up from england and me and my pal both couldn't understand this set up.

    Why buy garner then stick with miller.

    • Hill against anyone fills me with dread. He should be nowhere near Ibrox. He would have struggled to get into a McCoist team! The guy is a total waste of a jersey

  26. It was shite but you've got to remember we've not been beat since hibs in the final! And we have 10 new players who are obviously still trying to gel give it time! In warbs we trust…. As for the likes of last years players Miller McKay even Lee Wallace hasn't produced the good so far this year but form is temp class is permanent it will come good and we will finish at least in a challenging position (couldn't bring myself to say at least second lol but it's better than the nonsense you've wrote about smuggling to be a top half team!!)

    We are the people – even a sh*te rangers team has Celtic running scared because if we win the league embarrassment wouldn't even touch the sides for them!!

    • Aye, that's all very well but hibs put 4 past Motherwell preseason and we are struggling. Meanwhile Celtic comfortably beat Aberdeen and hearts. I really can't see us winning this league this season. Warburton has shown himself to be short of ideas.

  27. 2 problems I can see from looking at Rangers.

    A. We conceed first goal every week so teams sit in and we are then impatient and unable to play to our game plan/strengths. Its hampered our whole season. When we played dundee we played a good first half because we had the 1st goal and no pressure.

    B. Warburton thinks tinkering every week is ok, nobody is settled theres no starting 11. He's Too worried about upsetting players if they want to start they need to perform better.

    Actually 3 points, Rob kiernan is still playing for Rangers!!!!!

  28. My worry, over and above the early season performances is what really is our strategy, still no King money, signed plenty of players, wage bill already starting to highlight a possible return to past financial issues and that is before we even begin to think about qualifying for Europe or winning the league, no chance with the recent purchases.

  29. The team is out of its depth in the SPL, or so it would appear. So far we have played against four teams that will be scrapping it out in the bottom six and we have dropped four points. The same frailties that were there last season are manifesting themselves even more in this league. We don't have a decent centre half on our books and what in God's name possessed Warburton to bring in Hill. He is one of the worst Centre backs I have seen at Rangers in the past 55 years! Just to add to our problems, we don't have a leader. Wallace just simply isn't a captain in the mould of previous Rangers greats. Midfield might gel, Barton might actually start showing that he is a player and so might Krancjar, but it is all maybes. Up front Miller is done and why did he spend most of last night playing in midfield. As things stand right now we have no chance of winning this league. If the form team wins in our next game then the calls will go out for Warburton's head but you can only do the job with the players you have available. If King wants to avoid the embarrassment of finishing bottom six he will acquire two decent centre backs in the next five days. If we fail to do this then I fear that it is going to be a long and painful season!

  30. Who ever signed Clint Hill needs shot he must be the worst CB in the SPL slower than a week in the jail , and we got rid of Gasperatto he must have one leg and been blind to have been worse than Hill

  31. According to warbs he has always said he hasn't been given a budget but if he needs a player or two desperately n they wud add value to club n squad he wud n backed by the board. So time to prove it you need 2 decent quality defenders get them in asap!!

  32. Who ever signed Clint Hill needs shot he must be the worst CB in the SPL slower than a week in the jail , and we got rid of Gasperatto he must have one leg and been blind to have been worse than Hill

  33. Can see where both camps on here are coming from but I keep hearing about this massive gulf that we have stepped up from the championship bt is it ? Or are the players underperforming ?
    For me the only consistant players are fody ,tav and waggy ,buying hill was a mistake and the man should be realeased ,I'm soz to say big mouth Barton has under estimated our league and its ferocity bt should come good ,as will rossiter who should play when Barton doesn't ,kranjkar looks like another past his best who wants time on the ball ,how many lightweights like him have we seen ? With the big names letting us down its hard judge dodoo ,ohalleron and the rest
    I feel we can come good bt feel we should adapt to a 4411 ,fody ,Hodgson ,senderos,Wilson ,Wallace,tav,Barton holt, dodoo,windass or kranjkar if ever fit waggy ,or Joe d

  34. Warbs has said on a number of occasions that the board have backed him all the way.

    So eleven or so new signings, identified by Warbs, Weir and McParland.

    It's already looking as if half of them are not up to the job………don't start me on Clint over the Hill!

    It's laughable that some posters think all will be well when Windass and Crooks, the Accrington Stanley galacticos are fit and in the team.

    A point behind the Tims, make that 4 with their game in hand, 7 after our visit to Parkhead and we also have an away date coming up at Pittodrie.

    We will be in a dog fight with Hearts and the Dons for second place' and as a result of taking points from each other the Tims will have the league sewn up by Xmas. They look a good bet to go through the league season unbeaten…………..the £35m in the bank will help.

    I'm more worried at the lack of financial transparency from the club and King……surprise, surprise.
    The ST monies will be gone by Xmas, where's the money coming from to see out the season.

    Expect to see less and less of the holding company Chairman over the next few months and as the fans realise that King has taken them for a ride, at their own expense, the criticism will start to mount.

    Warbs is thin skinned and does not react well to pressure……defeats at Parkhead and Pittodrie will be the final straw as even Level 5 resources will be unable to prevent the media having a field day……..yep, the same media that has for months printed puff and good news pieces at the drop of a Level 5 hat.

    This is not going to end well.

  35. We knew half way through last season we needed at least a Centre Back n Striker instead we brought in Midfielders, 2 boys from accrington both injured, barton n krancjar to slow, when Graeme Souness managed us he said you built your team from your goalkeeper to striker through the middle of your team look at ours, goalkeeper so so, clint hill 37, barton 34, miller 37, so what do we expect we are slower than last year,

    • Couldn't have put it better myself. What is more, watching Clint Hill toiling and being beat for speed by Kris Boyd really causes me to ask why on earth the guy was signed. He is a total waste of a jersey. Not only are we slower than last year we are totally disjointed!

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