Diego Poyet; Rangers’ transfer woes deepen


With news over the past 24 hours that Rangers are linked to yet ‘another young forgotten gem’ in Gus Poyet’s son Diego, Rangers fans are starting to heavily question the Club’s transfer strategy.

Or more to the point if there is one.

Poyet, 21, has had the typical Warburton player career, with loan spells at various lower level English clubs such as Huddersfield and Milton Keynes, and reaction to the story of his replacing the departed Joey Barton has been disappointment at best.

One has to look back at the big summer window, and examine exactly what Rangers’ recruitment strategy has been, where it has gone wrong, and what the future holds if that pattern continues.

The obvious start, as my colleague Richard Fillingham so adroitly pointed out, was the lack of serious centre halves with experience who came in. Yes, Clint Hill has established himself but he was not supposed to. Meanwhile Philippe Senderos remains benched, and defence remains Rob Kiernan and, when fit, Danny Wilson.

To call this substandard does not do it justice.

Indeed, Hill and attacking midfielder Josh Windass are arguably the closest to ‘successes’ over the entire three month summer period, and one of them was signed in January!

Lee Hodson remains a fringe player despite impressive displays when used (we will forgive his lapse against St Johnstone), and Matt Gilks was only signed as backup to Foderingham and gets the cup matches.

The bugbear for many fans remains the lack of defensive quality while midfield was over stocked. We saw five new midfielders arrive in the shape of Barton, Rossiter, Crooks, Kranjcar and Windass and the harsh truth is, Windass generously and injuries aside, none of these worked out. Not yet anyway. Midfield has regressed to last season’s with Halliday back in DM and Holt as the energy.

Up front is where even more disappointment reigns. Joe Dodoo was signed amidst a huge amount of hype, but has barely featured, while the big summer spend was on Joe Garner and to suggest he does not fit in is kind.

At Ross County, deep into November, Warburton and McParland’s transfer policy was laid bare. Of the 11 summer acquisitions, only three started. To question this policy is not scepticism or cynicism – it is absolutely required.

Now with the Barton nonsense and growing speculation over Waghorn’s future, Rangers fans have the right to ask what the heck is going on.

While Warburton did not have Celtic’s budget to spend this summer, he still used around £3M on transfers which is by far higher than anyone else bar the Parkhead side, and it does not include wages. And the side is, frankly, awful as a result.

Rangers fans are right to question this. They are right to doubt Warburton. They are right to wonder where this Club is going right now.

No one expected the title, heck, few even expected second, but the limp results and displays since April and summer’s increasingly disastrous signing policy forces questions to be asked of whether we trust January to be any better.

And if a nothing Milton Keynes loanee is the best we can hope for, there may be trouble ahead.


  1. Why does Warburton keep looking at midfielders??? it seems to me and many others that the whole back line—the defence, is more important
    We need three very good defenders and most of our troubles on the footballing side at least would disappear
    There is a transfer window in January why not have a look at eastern Europe clubs for players instead of always favouring English clubs

    • Why? Because he doesn't know what he's doing. Anyone who thinks they can play 4-3-3 with two slow centre backs, a slow defensive midfielder in front of them and full backs posted up the park, doesn't know what they are doing.

  2. Another excellent no holds barred summary. Signing policy is woeful, sorry to say, and how Mr McParland gets so much praise from some quarters amazes me. My other concern regarding Poyet would be his expected salary, surely in excess of 10k I would guess, worth it – I doubt it. Anyway things have to change as far as recruitment goes, and I know he is still only a kid but what about Billy Gilmour – would a step up to training with the bigger name guys not stand him in better stead for next year ?

  3. His obsession with playing 4-3-3 has been his undoing. You cannot play that system unless you have TWO centr backs who are really quick. That allows them to play up the park a bit to lessen the space between them and their midfield. Their pace gives them the ability to deal with a ball payed in behind them. You also need a quick hard tackling DM to patrol the space just in front of them.
    Rangers don't have any CB's that come anywhere near what's required. Young Rossiter and possibly Crooks look like they could fill the DM role. But Rossiter spends most of his time on the injured list. crooks was crocked too, but has never been given a run anyway.
    As said though, if you don't have the quick CB's nothing else matters. otherwise your CB'S have to play too deep to guard against the ball played in behind them. That leaves too much space for one DM, even if he's quick and can tackle, to cover in front of them. Rangers played Barton, who can tackle a bit, there against Celtic at Parkhead. But Barton is too slow, so Rangers got pummelled. Then Barton got suspended (just heard it was because he criticised Warburton's defensive set up. Imagine that?).
    He was replaced as the sole DM by the slower Halliday, who can't tackle and is a lightweight who gets brushed aside with ease. If he doesn't get pressed, he gets through games doing nothing mostly. If pressed, Rangers get into all sorts of trouble.
    Two slow CB's can get by if they have full backs who stay back to cover their flanks and TWO DM's in front of them. They must be able to tackle still and at least one of them must be fairly quick.
    Ball covered up Halliday's faults last year. That's why he was brought in. When he missed the SC final, Rangers got the run around.
    Rossiter helped Barton out early this season. When he missed the Parkhead game, Rangers got torn apart.
    Warburton doesn't know what he's doing. That has become clear. His substitutions have been mind boggling. He can't see what's happening during the course of a game, never mind how to fix things.
    His starting selections and shape create huge problems for himself before things start. Too many slow players, in defence and midfield, on the field at the same time. Nothing can be done about the CB's for now. But that problem was GLARING last year. He did nothing to sort it. Senderos is good in the air defensively but is slow. Hill gets the odd goal but is hopeless defensively. He too is slow.
    When we needed TWO quick CB's, good in the air. We ended up with four slow CB's.
    The one who is best on the deck, Wilson, and the only one who is good in the air, Senderos, are the ones who don't get picked when they are all fit. Go figure.
    The guy is out of his depth. The odd "good performance", against teams who park the bus, isn't good enough. Teams that launch quick counter attacks in numbers, or pressure us constantly, like Celtic, turn us into a disorganised rabble.
    If Warburton couldn't see, long ago, that the CB's HAD to be replaced he sees nothing. He can't even make the best of what we have. I won't even start on his midfield and attacking selections and substitutions. Discussing the "defence" is painful enough.
    He has to go. Decent man, but not a manager.

    4-2-3-1 (all players available)

    Tavernier, Senderos, Wilson, Wallace:
    Rossiter, Crooks:
    O'Halloran, Windass, Forrester:

    When Celtic come to Ibrox soon, the threat in the air will return, BIG TIME.
    Senderos, helped by Crooks, is our best chance of dealing wit that.

  4. The formation for the players we have needs changing to 3-5-2
    Senderos Crooks Hill
    Tavernier Holt Miller Windass Wallace
    (Presently Garner and OH)

    Crooks and Senderos have to get match fit. Dodoo needs a decent run. Rossiter would be in midfield when fit. McKay and Waghorn need confidence back. As defenders Tavernier and Wallace are a disaster waiting to happen but can be effective going forward.

    Long term we need better quality but Warburton has to change setup because every time the ball is humped into the box we look suspect and Halliday is getting outmuscled and over powered by teams who are mediocre at best.

  5. Fast CB's and DM's for a 433….

    Puyol. Pique. Busquets.

    Yeah. A real neccesity.

    As for the defence, without letting facts get in the way of a good story, we have conceded the 3rd fewest goals in the league… Remove the Celtic game and we have conceded 8 whilst they have conceded 7. Even if you just remove the two goals conceded after going down to 9 MEN then we're joint second best for defence with Aberdeen.

    It's very much the attack who are letting us down. We've had more shots than everyone except Celtic (179 vs 197). Our shots on target ratio isn't great, at just over 35% whilst the percentage of those shots in target which are blocked or saved is just shy of 75%….

    Keepers are playing an absolute blinder against us and defenders are packing the box and getting the blocks in.

    It's attack lads, not defense.

    Also, how can you say only a couple of signings have worked out; windass is clearly going to be very good, gilks is great and has pushed foderingham to step up a level, hodgson has done the same for tavs, hill is steady (I'd refer back to my goals conceded facts) whilst garner is about as hard working and fearless a striker I've ever seen, he'll come good like MOH has been (minus Ross county) has been doing. Rossiter and crooks look good and have been unlucky with injuries. Kranjcar was coming onto a game and was unlucky, that was always a risk with him but he would have been a fairly cheap bet.

    The fans have no right what so ever to question Warburton. I'd point out that 18 months after getting done 6-1 by Motherwell we are currently 1 point off 2nd in the SPFL.

    Honestly you'd be better shutting your site down for a while. You've no patience at all.
    How's about a positive article about latest financials. Good progress.

    • I agree that Kranjkar was coming onto a game before an unfortunate injury and Windass is an exciting prospect. However how can you defend bomb scare defending? When a team is struggling to score it is more not less important, to not concede cheap goals, because we then only need to score once to win. The defence is a SHAMBLES!

      Also while it is true that Garner is an industrious and brave striker, it is obvious that he would be more effective as one half of a strike partnership. We should be playing to his strengths, instead of playing a 4-3-3 formation, if we want Garner to be the 25+ goals a season striker we need. This will never happen under Warburton because he is too arrogant to accept that he needs to be adaptable and play to the strengths of the players at his disposal.

      You called me a dinosaur for pointing out that Rangers are always successful when we have an iron curtain defence, but I'm being realistic. We don't have the players with the technical ability to be winners, by attempting to imitate Barcelona. However we could be competitive by playing to our strengths and Rangers have always stood for being winners. To come second is to come nowhere and we will always be second best with that idealistic loser in charge.

      We need a pragmatic manager, in the Allardyce mould, who realises that winning is more important than how the victory is achieved. A style over substance idealist is not what we need to prevent 9IAR being won by them and we need to stop that from happening at all costs.

    • Regarding James Workman's comments "The fans have no right what so ever to question Warburton and "How's about a positive article about latest financials"
      Are you for real ?? If the fans can't question the mangers inability to get a winning team on the park, then that's a pretty bad day, and for the good progress regarding financial news, are you reading a per from years ago. There is no good news, you go on in your next contribution to say "have we forgotten the last four years", of course not – and that is why it is vial that resources are spent wisely. Not on guys that will pick up the best part of £300 thousand for 8 games and then leave, or for some wonder kid that is never fit. Buy someone that can is reliable, can cut it and possibly have a sale on value. Mr Workman you really don't get it……

    • What were bad about the financials? Operating cash flow was good, working capital needs managing but as that smooths out we break even…
      I'd point out there is no spfl sponsorship in there… No retail… No added gate receipts from this years tickets.
      We need a cash injection yes, a small one (JB leaving will likely reduce that depending on what is brought in) but that is not because we are fundamentally loss making.

      It's all there in the ARs. Good progress.

      You're right, phrased that poorly. I meant the fans have no right to question MW… Yet. He had done very well, if we finish 3/4th then that is worth a question or two. If we're not progressing next season then I'd definitely question him.

  6. I would point out allardyce has won practically nothing in his career. To call Warburton a loser (two promotions and a championship playoff place – with one of the smallest budgets in the league – in 3 years of management is hardly loser form…)

    Again, our defence is pretty good… We've not conceded many goals at all. It looks a bit lairy, admittedly, but the stats do not lie.

    I really don't care if 9iar happens. What does it mean anyway, what does any of it mean. 54 titles is great, but they're shite titles. It's like having the biggest collection of 2p coins in the world.

    I want to see good progressive, technically based football played as part of a club wide movement to a better standard. The club are doing that. It will take time but I'm happy with that.

    'at any cost' have you already forgotten the last four years….

  7. Allardyce is an outstanding manager who sets up his teams to play an exciting brand of football and plays to the strengths of the players at his disposal. If you don't care if 9IAR happens then you are not a real Rangers man as far as I am concerned. Of course I haven't forgot the hell of the last four years, that doesn't make it acceptable to accept mediocrity. You really don't get it!

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