Why Rangers fans can’t take much more of Kiernan & Wilson


Rangers fans have been debating over the defence for as long as we can remember. Under Ally McCoist post-admin, complaints about Ross Perry, Darren Cole and Emilson Cribari were common-fold, before they became about Lee McCulloch and Bilel Mohsni.

Now those defensive demons are back again with the threadbare selection being currently between Clint Hill, Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan, none of whom have filled the support with much confidence apart from fleeting glimpses now and again.

While Matt Crooks returns from fitness (by all accounts he had a decent night for the unders v St Mirren slotting in at central defence) he remains a non-option, but he could be a possibility a number of weeks down the line as he regains match fitness.

Until then, though, and with no guarantee Philippe Senderos will don the Light Blue any time soon, Rangers fans face the worrying concept of defence continuing to be Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan.

While, at his best, Wilson is arguably the better of the two (with his UCL, EPL and SPL experience compared to Kiernan and his notorious five-year loan spell at eight different EFL clubs and one SPL as he struggled to impress anyone), nevertheless both simply do not work together.

There is no understanding, no blend, no communication, and the number of times we see opponents chipping an easy lob over both players’ heads to get in behind the rearguard is frightening.

Many argued the system did not help them, and that is true for last season; as the anchor, Andy Halliday did not grasp playing as a defensive midfielder, reading the play and protecting his defenders especially well. However, the defensive problems persist, despite deep-lying ball-winners like Joey Barton and Jordan Rossiter now in the side, so evidently, the issues lie deeper than just who gets selected at DM.

Warbs’ initial solution was to place Barton deeper, for example against Hamilton. It did not work – pure numbers did not rectify the ailment. Then we saw Barton higher against Motherwell, playing more as a box-to-box mid – but still Rangers’ defence creaked despite the excellent Rossiter in front of them.

No, whatever the tactical ‘yes’s’ and ‘nos’ of Warbs’ approach, unless Rangers secure Senderos quickly, fans face the frankly awful inevitability of Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan being the defence for the foreseeable future.

That is a backline that will simply not cut it. It barely did last season, and only got a get out of jail card thanks to the lower standard of opposition – and even then, it got exposed many times, especially by the higher calibre opponents.

It is worth remembering that Rangers have only beaten ‘better’ sides away from home three times in 90 minutes under Warburton – Killie, Dundee and Motherwell. And in the losses (and even the wins) have seen the defence frequently exposed, both by the system, and the calibre of our CB pair.

Surely Mark Warburton knows this only too well, and is as desperate for Senderos to sign up as soon as possible.

Because no one wants another season of Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan.


  1. Agreed. We need a player like Davie Weir. Most baffling thing is that Big Davie is coaching these guys !!!

    Drew Renwick

    (Season Ticket Holder, St Andrews)

  2. Spot on. A frankly awful pairing evident to all and yet actually fixing what is our biggest problem has been the last thing Warburton has done, and it remains to be seen whether we actually sign Senderos, or indeed anyone of any quality at centre back.

    Kiernan is very clearly (and inexplicably) a favourite of Warburton, hence making him captain in Wallace's absence, the contract extension and the willingness to sacrifice Wilson instead of Kiernan when playing Hill.

    Without a centre back we aren't ready, it's as simple as that.

    • Jonny you are spot on with each and every point you've made….Warburton has a blind spot for kiernan and its goin' to cost us our chance of winning the league….and maybe….

  3. It always seems to be a midfielder scoring against us is that the 2 CBs fault not for me when tav and lee bomb forward not enough protection

  4. A lot of negativity at the moment. The fact that we've won two and drawn one would be outstanding for any team that's just been promoted. And the fact that we're at the top (albeit Celtic have a game in hand) is a good thing. Yeh were not playing well, but if we can play badly and still be winning then what's happen when our team finaly clicks… If we had won the last two matches but 4/5 goals no one would even care about the goals that we are conceding. We still have a number of players to come bk from injury and when that happens I see us winning by more

    • Stuart, first of all we are rangers, not just any team that has been promoted! Second, we have so far played no one of any relevance; chances are that Hamilton, Motherwell and Dundee will all be scrapping it out in the bottom six at the end of the season. Whether we should have won the games by five or six goals is open to debate, we should certainly have beaten Hamilton! Although we still have a number of players to come back from injury we are threadbare in terms of defenders and we don't have a quality centre back on our books! What is more, we haven't had a quality centre back on our books for a number of seasons now, it is our weakest link and as we have seen in the past, to be successful you need a strong spine to the team. Potentially now, we have that in terms of midfield and attack but defensively we are poor. It is our achilles heal. W need at least one quality centre back and for me money needs to be spent to secure the best player available.

  5. Absolutely, no debate, this pairing simply does not work and never will. Whether Wilson would be a better player with someone other than Kiernan alongside him is questionable. Hill is most certainly not the answer, he fills no one with confidence. For me we need two centre backs, money will need to be spent but most likely it won't be and even with Senders, (which is an improvement on Kiernan), we will still have problems. Put simply, we need a Butcher, a Gough or an Amoruso or a Davie Weir. If we persist with Kiernan then I fear it will all end in tears!

    • Don't know if you remember Tom, but Amoruso was a walking disaster in the beginning of his time at Rangers. I'd put any money on it that you were calling for his head at that moment too. If you want the club to fail just so that you can be proved right (about a player or players), keep going. I, for one, will support the team. That's my job.

  6. Clint Hill was signed as the CB we needed.

    He was dropped after the Accies game because he was hopeless. We only signed him because Barton recommended him.

    That's what you get with free transfer pick ups, hit or miss.

    • Totally agree. Joey Barton wanted his mate there. Somebody has to talk to Joey to do his talking in the park not off it. Claiming SCOTT BROWN is not in his league, well he is right BROWN is in the champions league.

  7. Rossiter and Barton cannot protect against a lob over the centre backs heads. They have definitely bolstered the defence against quick attackers running at the centre backs. That part of the problem was definitely due to the set up, Andy Halliday's complete lack of pace and inability to tackle. He's a lightweight and just gets brushed aside in a joust for the ball.
    Two in front o the back four has helped with that problem. The ball played over the top or in from the wing are the problems.
    Our two attacking full backs leave gaps for opponents to get down the flanks, so that was down to the set up. Rossiter and Barton have helped there too but they cannot cut it out completely without it affecting their ability to shore up the middle of the park.
    If Rangers are to be successful and continue with their attacking game we need TWO quick centre backs wo are also very good in the air. We must also continue to use TWO instead of one in front of the back four. Barton isn't quick but he can tackle. Rossiter has reasonable pace and put in a tackle too. They both look more than capable of going forward when it's on as well.
    We might still do well if the forwards start sticking the majority of their chances away, but with the current centre backs and set up we are going to lose a right few goals so we better get used to it.

  8. I think when crooks is fit and adds some height and strength as the defensive midfielder that will help big time especially defending set pieces we can then let the attacking lads get on with what they do best we need to be patient and get behind tha lads in warbs i certainly trust

  9. As usual the over dramatic headline to stir up the moaners .The calls for a Butcher ,Gough or Amoruso are ludicrous not withstanding the fact that Amo gave away more goals than either of our current two , they cost millions of pounds that we don`t have .You are judging Hill after a couple of games , when he was not match sharp , so we don`t know what he will bring and the reasons he played with Kiernan and not Wilson is that Wilson was suspended and even if he wasn`t they are both left sided and managers tend not pick two left footers together.I am concerned about our defending which must improve but its not just these two who are needing to tighten up.Marking at corners is not just the two centre backs responsibility and even in the cup final , were the goals scored by the two they were marking ,were they marking O`Hara against Dundee …….I don`t think so.These guys are Rangers players , how about a bit of support !!

  10. christ, if we had any spare money, we could buy who we wanted. Give these guys a break. This site is becoming to negative.Why not spend a bit of time filtering out the green and white shite trolls instead of consistently slaughtering our players.We don't have access to the money they have down south. That's why we have the team we've got. I for one accept this. WATP

  11. Both of them are absymal and it's that simple. Kiernan has no pace, no power, no presence, no composure, can't pass. He is absolutley NOT Glasgow Rangers quality! Danny Wilson is a better player with a ball at his feet when he wants to be but he has the heart of a mouse! he is totally uninterested, can't win a header,has no pace yet struts around like he is some kind of Rangers legend! And now he is saying he wants back playing for Scotland!? – The boy has his head in the clouds and is in for a rude awakening. Together him and keirnan are as bad as Mculloch and Mosni who weren't even defenders at the start of their careers!. Got to blame the manager. He has totally made a shambles of his defence. And Weir who is a Gers legend and Centre half captain obviously doesn't have the adeptness to help him. Even more worrying is the way Warbs seems to think Kiernan is a top player, giving him the armband when Wallace was out, playing him more than anyone else. But then again to be quite frank, when it comes to building a defence Warbs has been an abject failure and has now left us scrambling about the market on the last week trying to sign someone….WATP

  12. The defence is a shambles but with no money to spend its hard to think of any cbs out there who we cud go for, I look at every spl n can't see any that I wud b comfortable coming to do a job for gers, down south it's too pricey so apart from yur Donald Duck shopping in the freebie basket there's not really any options cos for all the comments on here of how bad our defence is which I agree I've yet to see people with suggestions who they fancy.

  13. Hate to say this but the way we play we don't need great football players as centre half we need two big solid game readers who stay deep and stay on the right side of the ball and know when to commit themselves ,Davie weir bocanegro ,Marvin Andrews ,surly these skills can be taught ? Although I've always thought Wilson too small

  14. Give young Bates a chance, he can't be any worse than Hill or Kiernan. Warburton's should practice what he preaches.

  15. Seem to remember 10s of thousands of Rangers fans calling Craig Moore a waste of space, a whalloper, a plank etc. etc….only for the guy to pull through and put in some outstanding seasons for us at the heart of defence. There are some seriously short memories around here. Support the players, no matter how good or bad you think they are. With support and encouragement, a bad player can turn into a star.

  16. Totally fed up of the negativity on here!!! How short memories some people have… We are just into the second year of a complete rebuilding project. If you think we should be competing for the title this year then I'm sorry, you are deluded. If we manage to split Hearts and Aberdeen this season then that will be a success. This is not the 90s anymore! We don't sign multi million pound CBs. We've just come up from the lower leagues – the standard is much higher regardless of whether it's Hamilton/Dundee etc. Get some perspective, get behind the team and stop moaning!!

  17. Now we`ve moved on from wanting players of the standard we had but can no longer afford to wanting guys of the standard of Bocanegra who was a good guy because he stayed but was a terrible defender .As for give Bates a chance , I bet the guy who wrote this has never seen the boy play .Posters on here just get worse and worse .

  18. Guys we haven't got a Gough or a Butcher. We are in bargain basement territory. King won't bail us, Sanderos is not the answer but we need to show some solidarity. Take stock January, bit of luck and some injured players back we will be in ok shape. Let's judge then.

    If King is not doing it then well let's make that known because anther start to the season like this without a European option will be the last resort.

    Europe attracts players too, we deserve to be there..

  19. I love this site, but I struggle to read anything Richard Fillingham writes – it's almost like he tries too hard with his vocabulary, when he could just keep it simple, like the professional journalist do, rather than trying to cramb in as many big words from the dictionary as he can find. I do, however, agree with many the points he raises, I just find it irritating to read his articles. Keep it simple, Richard, stop trying so hard with your vocabulary. WATP

  20. I hope & pray Sendeross signs so we can put this bickering to bed, he isnt brilliant but FK me he is better than the 2 we have.
    looking forward to tonight & hopefully garner will get some game time & hoping Forester is in a goalscorin mood

  21. Crooks is not a centre back and warbs has already stated that he wants to sign another centre back, because he wants 4 centre backs. So forget about Crooks as a centre back. Crooks has stated that he is not a centre back and clearly, warbs does not see him as one.
    Get off the players backs and give them some support.

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