Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Life beyond Barton - rampant Rangers rule Queens


Preparation for tonight’s match could barely have been worse. ‘Barton-gate’ had threatened to derail Rangers in as hefty a way as it could, with the midfield anchor expressing various disparaging remarks about regret over leaving Burnley and apparently making an appearance on Breakfast TV tomorrow.

None of this helped Mark Warburton prepare for a very tough test against arguably the country’s form side and serial Rangers’ bogey outfit Queens, and he certainly was not further aided by a nasty injury during the warm up for in-form Josh Windass, which led to a last-minute shuffle of the enigmatic Niko Kranjcar taking the former Stanley creative man’s place.

And while that first half was not the absolute best Rangers have played under Warburton, while Kranjcar struggled initially to make his vision count, and the midfield overplayed most passages, there were undeniably signs, albeit subtle, that the slight progress made against County was continuing again.

Rangers absolutely dominated the first half, with 80/20 possession after half an hour. And for the first time in too long, Rangers made that superiority count – as suggested around these parts, we always wondered what effect Kranjcar’s vision behind O’Halloran’s running would have, and we got our answer when it fed Holt for a sharp finish to make Rangers’ possession and passing have a final product.

From there on in, despite the visitors making more of a fist of it for the first stretch of the second half, the 5-0 scoreline in no way flattered the hosts and gave a rare glimpse of the kind of form which made Warburton an instant hit last season.

Defence looked more stable, with only the rarest exposure in the first half (for which Wilson committed a necessary professional foul) and even in the second, Gilks was hardly under pressure.

Midfield still found itself guilty of over elaborating, with too much sideways passing and intricate one-twos, but this was a match where the more Rangers wore their Palmerston opponents down, the more joy Warbs’ men got.

True, this has been fairly consistent form in the League Cup – Rangers have 20 goals and have not conceded a single one, but this was the kind of display which sadly became an exception over the course of the past six or seven months.

Kranjcar especially was my man of the match – while 60% of his vision was wasted and led to nothing, the remaining crucial 40% found space and team mates, and he played a huge role in nearly every goal as a result. His vision for Rangers’ third to find O’Halloran out wide was exceptional, and that is his raison d’être. When he gets it wrong, it is messy and frustrating, but when he nails it, he can be as productive as anyone.

O’Halloran too had a good night, also creating assists and hurting Queens’ back line. He has certainly given himself as good a case as any for inclusion on Sunday.

But it was the overall ruthlessness that will have pleased Warburton and the fans tonight – Queens have been a tough nut for Rangers the past four years, but tonight they fielded their strongest team for many years which flies high atop of the Championship, yet Rangers dismantled them with ease.

Sure, it took a little while to get there, but it was a deserved scoreline, whether or not Forrester should have been on the field or not (he really needs to cut that nasty and ugly side of his game out, a side we have seen before and which undermines everything productive from him) – Rangers were rampant, and finally our manager has something to smile about leading into Sunday’s critical trip to Pittodrie.

Get three points v Derek McInnes’ men and Rangers will have proven they are on the right path to proving their doubters, this site included, thoroughly wrong.

Keep it up.

19 comments:

  1. Put simply, more results like this is the only way to put the Joey Barton situation behind us !

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  2. Mckay's back, Hobson terrific, Crooks looks smart on the ball, first real game in six months.Energy and quick movement from every position.This team played very well tonight.
    We played to the wings, Mckay and MOH ran straight for the bye lines,no cutting in to crowd our strikers and what do you know, five superb balls in and bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Five goals and five more very good opportunities. Our defence tonight deserves to play on Sunday. Special mentions for Messrs Hill and Gilks. Superb.

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  3. Excellent tonight, well done Warbs and the lads. I was impressed with the whole team...esp Halliday (abso outstanding), and Waghorn's finishing was top-class. Really like the look of Hodson, and Crooks too. Forrester, Holt, Krancjar (he's gonna be great for us, just know it), and MoH looked very, very good. McKay did well when he came on. I'm bored of seeing Miller, but he does his bit; he's definitely a sub when everyone is fit, not a starter. Our team is shaping up really nicely lads. We have a very good squad. The sooner Barton leaves, the better. We look more like a team without him - you can just sense that the rest of the boys get along great together, and the tetchiness of our play is disappearing with every passing day that Barton's not around. Having that whining, nagging twonk around was a hindrance to the bedding-in of our new players.

    We don't need to demand a win at Pittodrie in order to see we're on the right track. Winning up there was a big ask even when we had Gazza, Laudrup and Albertz in the side, so let's cut the boys a bit of slack. A win would be great, a draw would also be a good result.

    10/10 to our fans tonight...we were immense, singing non-stop even when things were a little tense in the first half. With the decibels of the singing rising, you could actually see the confidence being transmitted to the players in a matter of seconds...they played with a zest, they wanted the ball, and they were brave on the ball. In the first half, a few slack passes and silly mistakes were made, but the fans seemed to sing louder and louder through it all. The players sensed it, and they rewarded us by turning on the style. Superb.

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  4. Barry McKay the very one that you have been agitating in recent weeks to have dropped was the one who turned things around when he came on in the second half!

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  5. Ex-squad player Joey Barton in the Guardian - 'Barton takes a bite out of a mid‑afternoon sandwich in the well‑heeled neighbourhood of Bearsden, six miles from the centre of Glasgow, and thinks about his move. “Knowing what I know now?” he says, chewing thoughtfully. “Reflecting on it, would I have made the same decision? Probably not."'
    The guy gets more stupid by the day.

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  6. Let's continue this good result,forget barton let's talk about football now WATP

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  7. Yes, I'm glad we are through to the next round,,, but sorry to piss on your parade gents,, but its papering over the gaping cracks that are riddled through the rangers walls,, QOS is the level we are at and thats the truth as we have struggled with the premier league so far,,Aberdeen will be a totally different game and Warbuton will pick the wrong team to play and we will struggle once again,,So please, keep your feet on the ground,, id rather have the league than any shitty league and scottish cup!!,, god listen to yourselves,,creaming over a win over a first division side,,aye fucking brilliant!!!,, have a look at our scores since beating celtic last season,, we havent improved much!!

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    Replies
    1. love your use of "WE" and "OUR" almost had me fooled...almost ;)

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    2. We did tonight. Your post was like a script from the Reverend I M Jolly.

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    3. Thing is though, its all about the games,
      the more they play as a team the more they will develop & get better.
      I agree we have been shite of late & it was only QOS but you gotta be in it to win it.
      So just keep going & lets see where it takes us,
      FFS look where we have been & where we have now,
      Niko Krancjar plays for us as opposed to Kevin Kyle,Sandaza etc
      Its been a long road & this year is just another series of steps on it, but we'll get there

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  8. Just had a chuckle...."Sutton "spoke to a few bears today.....what utter pish!....don't know 1 bear who would talk to that utter obsessed bitter knob!!.....boycott the daily rebel till that wank gets sacked!!!....scumbag...in Warbs we trust!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. In fairness he spent last season putting the boot into Celtic

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  9. That's more like it me ole china. whallop, what a performance, outstanding result, glad for MW to finally get a win under the belt for the team moral. I can see us going on a wee mini run, clock up some points in the league, got a funny feeling we are going to demolish the Dons and show everyone were back.

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    Replies
    1. Mini run, we beat Qos. Demolish the Dons. Put down the cheap wine. We are poor. Head in the sands craps Luke this makes us look stupid. Furthermore is King going to pay off big mouth Barton. No, we can't afford to.

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  10. Let's put the brakes on guys. Yeah, it was a good result and a relief and hopefully a bit of confidence for the players after weeks of struggling, however we need to remember it was against a championship team - that is our level right now. Pittodrie is going to be completely different, Warbs will start with the wrong team again and it'll be a struggle up there even though Aberdeen haven't exactly been brilliant so far. I'll take a draw right now. I do agree tho, we're far more settled without Barton.

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  11. We were v good & i think if krancjar can just get a bit more form [ sometimes he looks flaky] then we can do well.
    The only downside for me was that whingeing miserable bastard sutton
    i just turn the sound down when hes on.
    I would love to see a few more shots on goal instead of the nice wee flicks & passes, Hopefully the boy Windass will have a quick recovery & we can see a few more Power shots.
    And Waghorn was never offside that Lino was shite

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  12. Bring on celtic. I want them at home in the draw the morra.
    get revenge big style. beat them 5-1 see how they like it.
    Imagine knocking them out again, 2 years in a row. MW would be an icon if he managed that, denying timmy a place in the final of another big cup. I bet you any money we get morton though, at home.
    Luckily we have the luck of the draw when it comes to home games in the cup lately. Then when we get to the final we can smash Aberdeen, for the 2nd time after we beat em this weekend. 4-1 to the gers my prediction for sundays game up north.

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