Rob Kiernan…


Robbie Kiernan was not a signing heralded with any great lustre by Rangers fans; indeed, no one actually knew who the big guy was, such had been his nomadic career to date.

The 25-year old (24 when he signed) had been the absolute epitome of a journeyman, traversing a staggering number of different clubs both north and south of the border before Mark Warburton signed him to ply his trade in the Scottish Championship with Rangers.

In fact, from 2008 to 2015 Kiernan had been at an astonishing 11 clubs, including 9 on loan under two permanent employers (Wigan and Watford), and had truly never impressed at any – he made a combined total of less than 100 appearances at all 11 clubs – an average at each of less than 10. Only at Wigan, Southend and Birmingham did he even manage more than 10 in any one spell at any one club, meaning that at 8 clubs, Kiernan could not manage even double digits worth of appearances.

And, the harsh truth is while he was average last season, with one decent spell in February, this season he has become a true scapegoat for the level his weaknesses have been exposed.

It is not fair to blame one player, so this article is not doing that – Rangers, as a collective this season have been mostly rank poor – only Foderingham, Tavernier, Forrester and probably Rossiter (with honourable mentions to Windass, Miller and Halliday) escape major criticism.

But if we are to be honest, Kiernan’s ever-presence in the heart of the defence has not helped matters, nor has his manager’s blind spot to him. Indeed, last season was the most Kiernan has ever played in one campaign, by absolute miles (23 appearances clear of his previous record, in fact), and he remained a first pick regardless of his vulnerabilities.

And this season has seen those vulnerabilities fleshed out to the max – he has been a new level of atrocious, and many fans are (maybe slightly unfairly) calling him the worst defender they have seen in the Light Blue.

Well there are other contenders for that dubious honour – Cribari, McCulloch, Perry and going back further, the likes of Karl Svensson.

But in the present era Kiernan has been ghastly – heavily at fault for all three first goals at Parkhead, he looked so scarily out of his depth it was almost tragic – and he has looked like that this entire campaign.

His normal partner Wilson has bailed him out many times, yet last season was everyone’s scapegoat, with many turning a blind eye like their manager to Kiernan’s glaring deficiencies. And while Wilson is not perfect, he is a better defender than Kiernan by some margin.

What Mark Warburton chooses to do from here on in is crucial. Rangers’ boss needs to drop the pals act (this ‘Watford connection’ nonsense has to stop) and play the best players, not the ones he knows the best.

It is so easy as a manager to go with what you know, hence Warburton’s fixation on the lower leagues in England and his own connections with Burnley, Brentford, QPR and Watford; and I for one am not going to berate him for that.

But if he is to turn round Rangers’ desperate current form, the first thing is to look beyond his own comfort zone; and that includes ditching Kiernan.

I gave Robbie every chance – even praising him here last season – but all signs of that potential are gone and in its place is a worryingly poor imitation.

Surely Warbs sees that too.


  1. Fair assessment and comments.I actually thought we had the semblings of a ball playing centre half after watching him in the semi against the unwashed. Im afraid i got that badly wrong. Entirely agree about Warbs decision making going forward. Weve all seen miriad managers sticking with players who are either off form or plain crap.Ive never understood that mentality it only leads to getting the sack. Saturday was a wake up call for everyone from the idiots to the real supporters. We are work in progress and the club need our support more than ever.However young kiernans taxi is waiting im afraid.

    • Forget the taxi, it is a bus we need. And if you put the finger on Kiernan what about doing the same on Tavernier. He was liable for three Celtic goals on Saturday. Week in week out he ships more frigging goals than Kiernan.

    • have to agree about Tavernier everyone thought he was great netting a number of goals last season BUT as a fuul back he has to defend and iam afraid he is not capable of that. MUST make the point though that with Keirnan getting injured on Saturday, surely it was natural to bring on one of the defenders on the bench? we didnt, and remember Mr Warburton has stated its about the squad no one is any better than anyone else!? Fiction

    • Absolute crap , Tavernier was not at fault for any of the goals on Saturday .Kiernan lost his man at the first, gave the ball away by passing to a Celtic player at the second and ran out of position while ball watching at the third .The final two goals were down to that clown Senderos getting sent off , that said , if Barton could jump his own height he would have headed the ball clear at the fourth .This constant attacking of Tav who has been our best player AND best defender this season makes me wonder about the motivation of some people.

    • Tavernier should be played at right midfield or not at all – he simply cannot defend – it is ok against lower league teams but not in the top flight. Also there are an awful lot of guys who are becoming superstars by not playing due to the dross that is on the pitch – do you not think there is a reason that these guys are not playing? Kiernan is far from the worst, always gives 100% and would be one of my first names on the team sheet every week but supporters getting on his back is actually the reason he may become a bad player or rather a player lacking in confidence playing badly. Sickens me how one person is being made scapegoat.

  2. Kiernan was at fault for the first 2 goals i hate critising any Rangers player but he is a guy who needs to drop out the team and he can take Kranjar with him.Iam still behind Warbs but he has to pick the best players.

  3. I was scathing on Kiernan the other day & remain so but you are correct you can't blame one player for a whole teams failings but you can certainly blame a manager who persistently picks a player who continually let's him down & his team down, let's get a couple of things out here about Danny Wilson last season he was not dropped he was given time off because his wife had given birth to their first child & Dom ball was playing fairly well so kept his position early in the season, now this season I was at one of league cup ties at Ibrox, Joey Barton played a cross field pass which he was unlucky with just missed it's target met with generous round of applause, Danny Wilson same game same half played an identical pass except it reached it's target met with muted applause, now I am not saying Danny Wilson is the next baresi but he sure is fuck isn't the next Rob am the managers love child Kiernan, let's be clear about another thing here if Rob Kiernan is fit for Saturday's game after his alleged injury at the piggery then when he makes a mistake remember WHEN not IF then he will not be missed by our supporters after that performance

  4. I agree totally I felt sorry fir my fellow bears on Sat to sit through the pain mw has to really look at this team and bench all that don't stack up

  5. I totally agree that he has to go come Jan Kiernan is defo not a footballer of the standards we need behind Warbstow all the way but Kiernan is out of his depth

  6. I agree Kiernan was very poor on Saturday but if you watch the first goal again it was not his fault, he was marking another player and no one was marking the goal scorer,why I don't know.

  7. Oh well I don't agree at all !Perhaps i have a blind spot like warburton & Davie Weir. I have to be honest I am baffled by some Rangers "supporters" open hatred & criticism of him. Personally I think he has shown himself to be Rangers best and most consistent centre back.I agree he has made some mistakes, But far less than anyone else. I am really not sure what people are watching. I encountered the same issue with Andre Gray at Brentford fc where fans slagged him week in and week out. He made one mistake at the weekend, which led to a goal. But certainly in the first 20 mins when Rangers were under the cosh he made countless important tackles, some last ditch and he cleared the danger very well. He lacks confidence and i would like to see him be more consistently aggressive. But if he reads social media comments, and many players do its unsurprising he lacks confidence. Of course he also keeps danny wilson out of the team. who many rangers fans seem to surprisingly adore.

    • I agree i would play kiernan and wison (if both fit) on sat and keep senderos on the bench. I think he needs to play and get through this difficult period and remember he and wilson were excellent against septic in the semi final.
      As a chelsea fan i can say that possibly the worst centre half i've seen in prem league was senderos, every time we played arsenal drogba used to terrify the life out of him.
      I just wished warburton didn't 'go for it' on sat as we were never going to get a draw and he should have taken 3-1 as that way we wouldn't have got half the pelters we are getting.

  8. Hard to judge defenders when the team doesn't show enough structure in midfield and attack. There were just too many spaces on Saturday for Rogic and others to exploit. Seemed to me the manager believed the hype that RFC were back and ready to sweep to the title. It is not impossible but would need hard work, humility and a will to win from front to back.

    No evidence of any of this, and too easy to blame the back line when no defenders in the world can cover up for a slow and weak midfield.

  9. Here we go again, Kranjar fat useless bastard cant kick a ball, everybody having a go brilliant fingers on a keyboard cant kick a fucking ball, wake up you shits, put your yourself in the managers shoes,sorry you are all gutless and fucking clueless, stand back and taking the fucking job,ask McCoist all the swallies in the world we have no money ask Mr King, Celtic are guaranteed £20 million already without kicking a fucking ball, lets get real that is what we are up against,simple if you disagree a million pound donation might help

    • dave king says theres 30 million to spend so it must be the manager who won.t spend it he should spend 5 million on a good centre half and the same on two full backs in king we trust

  10. Said before season started that Kiernan would cost us goals & points & ultimately the league. No joy in being proved correct he needs to go & should take a few others with him before the damage is too great & we miss out on Europe again.

  11. Svensson that's who kiernan reminds me off… I couldn't remember his name cheers.

    Yeah worst ever, hopeless, useless, terrible. Sorry dude I hope you don't read these but would maybe explain your pass to Celtic for the goal on Saturday. Total lack of confidence and ability.

  12. I hope Rob isn't reading this, poor bastard. He gives his all for the shirt, and for that reason deserves our respect. I don't think he's half as bad a player as we make out, and I'd happily keep him in the squad. But I agree he is not a first choice.

  13. my perspective is that we all have too big expectations out of our boys, look back on saturday and see thatwe played well actually and at the beginning of the second half we pushed tims all the way with mckay shot just wide. it could have been 2-2 at the time and we started to gather momentum. stupid red from senderos killed the game. we are now playing full time opposition, for 4 years we played part timers for the most part and we just cannot expect us to challenge tims for the title. time to get real and stop and let go of these delusions. our annual revenue is 25 million pounds, tims have close to 90 based ontheir cl qualification. we have problems with puma, no merchendising income, no european income, we have only season tickets money to fall back on.

    we will fight tooth and nail for a second spot with hearts and aberdeen and maybe in 5 years time we could build a strong side to challenge tims. warbo is actually doing a decent job he has close to none support from the board, only garner cost a fee rest are no fee signings, free agents etc.

    we should not get dramatic, we are only 5 games into the season and forget about challenging celtic for soe years, the financial gulf is too great to overcome.. for now. we are just suffering repercussions of financial mismanagement of last 20 years and since everything in life moves towards balance, we can expect a good few years, maybe a decade to live in the shadow of the tims. thats brutal reality and we should get over it and support the team.

  14. "It is not fair to blame one player, so this article is not doing that" lmao, your article is 90% a Kiernan hate-fest. Krankjar is hopeless, Tavs cannot defend and Barton, well don't get me started. All a waste of good money. That trio costs us more than £70k a week..!

  15. I hear there is a bill for circa £167k coming from parkhead for the toilet trashing. That and the bill for Hampden is gonna hit us for close to £500k,ffs!

    • Tell em to shove it where the sun don't shine. We want a written apology first for all the hatred and bile that we had to endure at the piggery. WE NEED TO STAND UP TO THIS LOT yet they seem to be able to do as they want. I am sick of it and the tim loving mhedia.

    • You can get a written reply saying that people are sorry they offended decent Rangers fans, but does that mean that scum like you will apologise for all the sectarian bile that you spout at every game ?

  16. The defence need protection from a decent midfield and that has been missing for ages now. Crooks next to Halliday (or Barton if he can sort his head out)

    I would cut Rob some slack. For a CB he is still young. Maybe playing DMF might help him as his distribution is good?

    I would also say bringing free agent Bougherra back is now a no brainer as he understands the club and the league and would instantly be the best CB we have (i admit he is not perfect but hey!!!)

    • Keirnans distribution is good? Please watch the game again and remember passing to the opposition to score does not count as an assist!
      As for Boogie? Another liability that is not needed.

  17. You can almost predict that every corner we concede is going to result in a goal for the opposition. It has been a problem for too long now and must be addressed soonest.

    Barton and Niko have offered nothing additional over last seasons midfielders (Halliday and Holt).

  18. 1) first goal he was covering two players. you can see him screaming that someones not covered their man.
    2) he is not a ball playing defender. he is meat and potatoes. he cant make the long (or short) pass. thats why we have been training the keeper to play sweeper. Like a Ronald Waterreus. even Gilks can service a ball better than RK.
    3) i think all confidence was gone for him by the time it was 3-1

    you can see both defenders running to the ball man on goal three. two seasoned pairs wouldnt have run into that problem.

    Also, we attacked celtic a few times. we scored, Mckay just missed the far post and a couple of shots wide. their defence did not look good. I really dont think they did.

    we can all be backseat managers. the pace that windass, mckay and O’Halloran has should be the key. forrester, dont rate him. scrappy, good, but I would rather invest playing time in O'halloran.

    then the midfield….

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