Why Rangers need to look ahead

 Article by Greg Roots

Our return to the top flight has been the subject, and will continue to be the subject, of much excitement for all of Scottish football for the foreseeable future. Our match against Hamilton on Saturday promised so much, after all an “easy” home tie was the perfect opportunity for us to re-stamp our mark on the top flight of Scottish football after an absence than spanned almost half a decade.

Sadly it wasn’t to be. A mixture of sloppy passing, loose defending and a lack of match fitness meant that we ended the game with a share of the spoils at Ibrox. Fair play to Hamilton, they gave a good account of themselves, but I am sure they will be there or thereabouts in a relegation battle come May.

It is also fair to say that a lot of our fans, myself included, greatly overreacted to our result on Saturday and perhaps prematurely wrote off our chances this season.

This season was always going to be difficult. The fans’ expectations would always be high, because after all we are Rangers and we are normally in a position where we find ourselves on the winning side. However, we suddenly find ourselves in a division where with whom we are familiar, but our circumstances within it are far from so. The mantra of our squad is totally different from 11/12 – we don’t have a squad of winners like we did back then. We display great football and are easy on the eye – but there is no grit and determination to be seen like we had under Walter Smith, big Eck and others.

What this means is that we are not often going to be able to grind out results this season. If we play our best then we will pick up the 3 points anywhere, that’s a fact. However, what concerns me is that we may not be so fortunate on our bad days. To turn this view on its head, it isn’t necessarily about changing the mentality of the team. Warburton has instilled a fantastic mentality within our ranks, and one which I am sure will be a total winning attitude when this Rangers team picks up its first major trophy since 2011. What it is about is bringing in some key players that can turn a poor Rangers performance in to a winning Rangers performance. Today we saw Celtic outplayed by Hearts, but their extra quality allowed them to pick up the 3 points despite them having an off day.

For us to reach that level, we need to shore up the defence and bring in a clinical centre forward who can thrive in this division. That would comfortably see us turning poor performances vs Hamilton into comfortable wins as well as giving us a great chance of taking this league by the scruff of its neck when we are at our level best.

Dundee next week will be Warburton’s toughest away game by a long distance in my opinion. They have been a good attacking side for a while, and of course we are a different story when we go away from home – that is where the league will be won and lost. We didn’t manage to beat Falkirk or Hibs away last season, so if we are to fulfil our ambitions this year then we must give a better fist of it away from home.

It is still early days, plenty of playing time left and I am confident we will bounce back from Saturday’s disappointment – however we may need to readjust our ambitions for the coming season if we are to avoid bitter disappointment. I think Europe should be our primary aim this season, as well as a domestic cup. Anything extra is a sheer bonus.


  1. Keep In mind we were playing with 10 men for 10 minutes. It was unfortunate and might have turned out differently. Bad day at the office onwards and upwards with quiet confidence! 🙂

  2. What this result showed that we have a bit to go and it will be a long time before we get back to the standard of player that we once had , in fact it may never happen.The way everyone has overreacted to the signing of Niko Kranjcar and ignored how poor he had been , just because they wanted a "name" shows how desperate we were .I am not writing him off as he may well come good once he gets fit , but he should never have started in front of Harry Forrester ,who has been a shining light since he got himself fit and playing regularly.Sometimes we have to make our own heroes not just go for reputations. Miller should not have started either as his pre season form has been poor also.

    • I totally agree with your comments but I think windass should have started but defence is a problem ,all the fans see it so warburton weir must see it to

    • Yes I agree, Miller and Kranjkar are off the pace. We need a much more direct approach to our game. Rossiter, Holt, Hardie, O'Halloran and McKay all have the capabilities but tactically we only see it in spurts. Too many balls are passed through too many players to get from A to B and sometimes back to A yet again with sideways or back passes. I really like the guys i've named but their isn't a Mark Hately type among them and I think that is what our team lacks. At times I think our buildup from the back is too obvious and predictable. The fullbacks are spending more time with the ball at their feet than our strikers. That needs to change, and quickly.

    • Windass is injured so couldn`t play and yes I would take a Mark Hateley type of player in a minute but we can`t afford anyone even near to Marks standard. We have settled instead for Daly and Kyle and no-one wants to see these types ever again at Ibrox.I wondered about a guy like Anichebe who is on a free and is physical but has touch and pace , problem is he doesn`t score enough goals.

  3. It's far too easy to spout off about our team right after a game that we've not won, saying things that are really just anger and hate filled, instead of taking a deep breath and calming down before making a mockery without even really thinking of what your actually saying. Ive got a feeling this own be the last time I see more of the same this season if we have a slip. RTID

  4. All about levels we're no were near good enough to challenge that mob' miller Halliday kiernan simply not good enough! How many of this current team/squad would get in our title winning team of 2010/2011

  5. Kranjcar is done, he's unfit and lazy just as he has been wherever he's played over the last few years.

    A couple of strolls in the park against part time opposition flattered him and the rest.

    Dundee indeed could be a real toughie next week…..anything other than 3 points will put Warbs and the team under severe pressure.

    A couple of bad results and the September game at Parkhead could be make or break.

  6. On this site we are trying to make out that we are better than what we are really are,Celtic has a real billionaire running there club a bigger squad, more money to spend we need to get real

  7. Actually we've turned in one good performance in months. SF against celtic. We stuttered over the finishing line last season then got even worse. The free flowing, slick passing game that tore opponents apart fizzled out before xmas. The defence, who are simply hopeless at actually defending drain the confidence of the team and they will ship loads of goals. This is not a reaction to one game.

    • Totally agree my friend and ignoring that fact, as many appear to do with their blue tinted specs, will mean we will be bemoaning a very poor season. it isn't just the players, this only Plan A nonsense needs to be addressed. To see our team huff and puff, playing keepball with no hint of an end result, week in and week out is totally disheartening. The others in the SPL must be rubbing their hansds in anticipation and who can blame them. Point is we, if we were honest, would love it if this was Celtic we were watching play like this.

  8. Not a chance that Niko should have started in front of a few players who are all fit, none.
    WILL Nico ever be the player that he was ? I doubt it but time will indeed tell if I am right or wrong ?
    As for our midfield, Halliday was easily twice the player in that first half than Barton who mysteriously was handed the MOTM award …. go figure.
    Tav although guilty at their goal along with Nico and our Captain who actually is shown to have feared away from the fella's shot (not quite correct for a Rangers PLAYER let alone our Captain to do) and for me, Lee looks again like the rather very ordinary Hearts player that we signed…. not a chance he should be The Rangers Captain, no chance…. he's too scared for that position imo.
    I'd now simply hand the Captain's armband to Barton as he is a shaker and a mover and isn't afraid to shout out instructions and speak his mind. (Alan-63)

  9. Ffs get real, we were playing one of the relegation favourites, a club totally reliant on it's Academy for bringing through players.
    If people think that there has been an overreaction to the result, wait till next week if we don't get a result at Dundee!

    King's gibberish about spending money is just as expected…………..invest further for European football?

    There won't be any European football if Saturday is anything to go by, especially if Waghorn is out for any length of time.

    In a couple of months financial reality will start to bite as the ST monies run out.

    There is a shortfall of £8/10m between income and expenditure for this season, no wonder King's face was tripping him on Saturday. Perhaps Gilligan or Park asked him what the plan was?

  10. Lack of feckin match fitness…………whose fault ' s that?

    Out pre season schedule was a joke with a 10 day jaunt to the States and one single game game against semi pro opposition.

    I wonder who arranged that and if any financial guarantee was made to the club?

  11. King is clearly not gonna find any money for further team investment this weekend alone he has stated that we have a squad capable of winning the league, then it was competing with celtic, now it's finishing second. We will spend in January, we will spend this summer, we will spend in january and this summer. Made great progress on commercial aspects over past 2 months, this a few days after new strips go on sale. He wants a new venture for strips and would prefer if it was with Puma but he may go it alone? Do these statements not worry folk? He is just gonna rip up contracts (not try to diplomatically resolve things) but effectively rip up contracts with the 3rd largest sports retailer, Europe's largest sports outlet and a large betting firm. He is making out Ashley is running in fear cos he replaced himself on the retail board with more experienced men. We are small beer to Ashley, King thinks he has made this personal with the billionaire when all he is doing is dragging the club down. We do not have the backing to legally dispute these contracts against some very astute businesses who have depts that fight these fights for a living. King can say all he wants in the papers, he keeps things vague enough. King is in this not for our club but for himself. We will not hear or see anything of him for another few months, at least that is something.

    In the meantime the team need to get back to winning ways. Piss poor end to last season, piss poor pre-season and start to this season. We need the players to stand up and be counted or gtf out.

    • Spot on mate, welcome to those of us who are living in the real world and not the one presented by Level 5 through their media slaves.
      Another couple of poor results and the sh*t will hit the fan with Warbs and King in the firing line.

  12. Let me correct that for you

    Let's give Dave some time and he will come thru for himself…..ffs did you read his statement. It's a complete pile of p*sh and not one of the Level 5 paid for media asked him a question.
    Puma and SD have us firmly in their legal beagles sights……God knows how much that will cost and you can forget this crap that the club, in partnership with another supplier, will issue new replica material mid season………….eh.
    Does anyone for a single moment think that King has a supplier who is going to take on Puma and SD……………oh Lion brand, don't make me laugh.
    Our only sources of income are ST monies and the 1872 contributions …………..the ST money will have gone before Xmas, ask yourself what then?
    What do Gilligan and Park think about the situation? Will they pony up funds to help see out the season….perhaps a hack could ask kne of them?

  13. £8/10 million shortfall? Don't talk rubbish. If that was the case we would be in administration by Christmas. Do you honestly think DK and the Board would allow that?

    • listen andrew,,dave kings a joke n ask yourself why no bank will go near club as long as he,s in charge,,he pulled a fast one putting supporters clubs together then threw his south african buddy gough onto board now has club1872 exactly where he wants them,,,in his pocket,,thats your bank,,no his monopoly money he deals in,,when he goes he,ll have left us broken again,,

  14. we will stay up top six and am happy with that not untill we can pay 10/15/20/30 grand a week will we catch the tic toks so till those days live by our means and just be glad where we are nowadays it could have been grim so why bust the bank and go back four years no way.

  15. Can someone tell Barry McKay to turn left, get to the line and cross the ball. Stop turning right going inside and hitting traffic then losing the ball. I'm a fan of Barry but I'm not sure he's going to make it…

  16. King said: “Mike Ashley went off the (Rangers Retail) board so he kind of cut and ran, I suppose, when the going got tough. He’s disappeared, we don’t deal with Mike Ashley at all.

    “He went on the retail board to try and impose himself on Rangers. He failed miserably and he has cut and run. I guess he has bigger problems in life right now than worrying about the retail relationships with Rangers.


  17. Yep, Christmas is about right……though perhaps the Club 1872 cash will eke it out for another couple of months.

    Our last audited accounts showed annual revenue of £19m, assume a 25% increase on that for this season, that's £24m……?

    King's latest ramblings include a reference to the wage bill being significantly higher, therefore expenditure will be a minimum of £30m per annum.

    That's a £6 m shortfall before the legal costs of fighting SD and Puma are taken into account and before a penny is spent on the stadium……,which again King has referred to in previous statements.

    If Celtic qualify for CL proper that will add £25m to their revenue…..they will be out of sight for the forseeable future.

    The Dundee game this week is already a must win or Warbs and King will have the fans to answer to.

  18. I think if it wasn't for king & Co we wouldn't be where we are now and as for Ashley you couldnt trust him as far as throw him let's get real 1 dire result and everyone wants heads rolling is 1 game folks lol

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