Can Warburton turn this mess around?

Article by Richard Fillingham
I don’t think that Mark Warburton actually does have a ‘Magic Hat’ and it is a real shame that he doesn’t have a ‘magic wand’ either. If he did, he could turn his free transfer and inexpensive signings into better players.

Is the manager operating with one hand tied behind his back?

In fairness to Mark, he doesn’t want Rangers to spend money they don’t have and Celtic have Champions League money to add to the profits they made with astute transfer dealings over the last few years. He has resisted spending his way to close the huge gap between Rangers and Celtic, which has now become apparent to everybody associated with the Ibrox club.

What is Warburton’s biggest mistake since coming to Rangers?

Not signing 2 or 3 taller better centre-backs who can tackle, win headers and pass the ball out of defence. Everyone recognises that this should have been his No 1 priority….
And it still is!

Did Warburton sign too many midfield players?
Without a doubt he did. He obviously didn’t rate Halliday and Holt highly enough to play regularly in the Premier League and now they are both back in his starting X1. I am confident that Crooks and Windass will be long-term assets for the club.

On the strength of Barton’s form with Burnley it would have worked out better if he had been fitter and fully match fit from the start of the season. Kranjcar’s match fitness was the main problem before his new long-term knee injury. Rossiter is a very talented young player, but unfortunately, seems to be injury prone.

Why does Brendan’s Celtic look much fitter than Mark’s Rangers?

In both Old Firm games this season, Celtic have looked as if they have more players on the park than Rangers. I think that they are actually fitter in every department than we are and they are definitely more accurate with their passing. Our players pass the ball back or sideways too often and always look for the easy option pass. No wonder we never score too many goals.

It might be hard to take, but look at the positives.

He has brought in a lot of players at minimum costs and there is potential with most of them, especially when they all settle in at the club and gradually get fitter.

Unfortunately, the one thing you don’t get at Rangers is time.

New players with big transfer money to their names often take time to adjust at new clubs and Mark was hoping his new guys who cost us close to nothing, would acclimatise quicker than they have. Since returning to Manchester United, £89m Pogba is still trying to impose himself after playing 11 games. This shows that shelling out big money is not always the solution.

Is MW being too loyal to certain players, who were much better last season?

On the right hand side, we have Tavernier and Waghorn and on the left Wallace and young McKay. They were all in much better form last season and produced superior rewards for the team. Whoever has been picked for centre-back has disappointed as a unit or as individuals. Barton, Kranjcar, Hill, Senderos and Crooks were not fully match fit to start games when they arrived at Rangers.

What should be his next move to win more games until the end of the season?

The players look to me as if they have no real faith in his TRIED AND FAILED, naïve ways of playing in the Premier League.

I don’t have a ‘magic wand’ either, but he MUST change from his too attacking line-up of 4-3-3, to a more fluent and harder-to-read tactic of a 4-1-3-2 set up, for games played at Ibrox. A more confrontational and very aggressive 3-5-2 team will give Rangers a far better chance of beating Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts, if we are to end up in the top 3 to qualify for European football next year.

Why is his 4-3-3 NOT WORKING in the top division?

First and foremost, the better managers have sussed exactly how to combat this easy-to-read tactic. Rangers are now playing against much better defenders and more mobile and far superior midfield opponents who are adept at closing our team down. They are fitter, quicker and forcing our side into making too many mistakes, which often get punished with fast attacking breaks forward and more often, with our full backs out of position.

If Rangers don’t win their next two games?

With Rangers now currently sitting third in the league 11 points behind Celtic who have a game to spare, we will soon be 14 points behind them. We have only five wins to our name and this is the fewest league victories from our opening 12 league games in about 30 years.

Why is Warburton being so dogmatic regarding his 4-3-3 way of playing? If he doesn’t change this system, it will eventually cost him his job.

Personally, I would settle for a top 3 finish this season, as I am starting to lose confidence in Mark Warburton and I never thought I would have said that. I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread shortly after he arrived – a breath of fresh air back then, but not now.


  1. Lets thank Warburton for getting us back in the top flight. But let us recognize that his strengths lie within a classroom environment because on a practical level he has not got what it takes to take Rangers to a challenging position. Forget the performances just look at the results they are shocking considering the amount of money he was given compare his budget to the rest bar one and he has wasted money.

  2. Mark Warburton is not solely responsible for the present situation. He has become the focus of discontent, but where is the criticism of his assistant? His board, his chief scout? There are many things not being made clear. E.g. did he want to sign the big wage, no sell on value players? Is it coincidence that Barton Krankedar and Ponderous had QPR links? A manager cannot do it all by himself, that poor naive idealist, has been hung out to dry. He is the scapegoat for the lack of investment, and the decision to settle for second with the prospect of maybe possibly some Europe money in 2017. Oh bye the bye there is sod all money in the Europa league. In closing it is plain that the words from Ibrox do not match the product. Tell me of a top club which gives 48 week contracts. Rangers slag off Ashley for stitching them up, how can that be defensible when the damn players are on short contracts. The board are a disgrace they have taken loans from true blues and squander it away, for they were not prepared to make the kind of investment needed to put things right.

  3. We all know where Rangers as a club were a few years back, we all know what King has promised and we all know that for a year now the team has been underperforming' How long does Warburton need to turn things around. There are a lot of experienced managers in the Scottish leagues who would love a shot at turning Rangers around. Get one in and Warburton and co out and let's try for second place this season.

  4. Get real everyone……if we'd taken 1 of the 6 gilt edged chances on Sunday we'd have been 2nd in the league!…MW can't put the ball in the net…end of!!….have faith ffs!!…..el furer king has a lot to answer for!…yes we've shelled out on wages but there's been £9 million in St sales!!….and to let the nugget that is "Joseph" Barton leave now with a wedge in his hippy makes no sense whatsoever??…keep him till Jan then flog him for 200/300/400k….pay his wedge then sum!!….Dave King you asked us to trust you??….but since st money was in you've been awfy quiet??….time to dig deep and prove your a man of your word!!!

  5. In think we should be trying for second or third nothing less the we get into Europa league £1 million,group stage £2 millionplus bonus'ss
    Europa League Bonus
    €200,000 for first qualifying round, 
    €210,000 for second qualifying round,
     €220,00 for third and €230,000 for play-off losing teams who won’t qualify for group stages
    Participation Bonus
    €2.4 million (Guaranteed) for each 40 teams who play in the group stages
    Performance Bonus 
    €360,000 for every win & €120,000 for a draw
    Group Stage Bonus
    €500,000 to group winners and €250,000 for group runnerups

  6. I said before the weekend that it was a game that would make or break him, and sure enough he messed it up. Its getting hard to see what they do all week at training, maybe less sports science and more basic training would help them actually kick a ball.
    And for anyone saying its not his fault and the board are backing him, theres reports that rangers wages budget is 3x the aberdeen one, not including that his trasnfer budget was almost 10x what aberdeen had, hes had plenty of money to have 2nd place secured

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