Monday, 30 January 2017

The way forward for Rangers



Last season Celtic won the title with just 86 points and a record of 26 wins, eight draws and four defeats. That gave Gers fans cause for optimism going into the 2016/17 season as Celtic were dominant but fallible. They had enjoyed a stranglehold over the top flight since Rangers were expelled from the league and banished to the Irn Bru Third Division following 2012’s administration, but they had not had a proper rival. The league had always been two-horsed, ever since Alex Ferguson left Aberdeen in the 1980s, and the other horse finally got back into the Premiership following years in the wilderness. With proper opposition they could be beaten.

But instead the opposite has proved true: Celtic have stopped sleepwalking through seasons and simply going through the motions. The presence of Rangers has given them the jolt they needed. Signing Brendan Rodgers, who nearly won the EPL at Liverpool, was a real coup, and signings like Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele have taken them on to new levels. Nineteen wins, one draw and no defeats from their first 20 games is worrying form for Rangers and they even made a decent fist of their Champions League campaign, securing a draw with Pep Guardiola’s Man City.

The gulf looks especially wide right now. A review of the lines on Betonline and other sportsbook betting sites shows that Celtic are 1/1000 favourites to win the league, while Rangers are all the way out at 100/1. That makes sense because Gers are a good 22 points behind and have no chance of closing the gap on their fierce rivals.

It was a tall order to expect newly promoted Rangers to win the league on their first season back in the top division. Even for a club of Gers’ stature, having won the league many more times than any other team, Celtic included, it would have been a phenomenal achievement. Perhaps second was the best they could hope for. If they finish second it will still be a massive achievement, angry as that will make sections of the fanbase. Gers are locked into a battle with Aberdeen for second place but should win it and are the 8/13 favourites to do so, with Aberdeen back at 6/4.

But going forwards settling for second place will not be good enough. Gers need to make it a two-horse race again come 2017/18. How much of the gulf in class between the two sides could have been closed thanks to better transfer business by the club?

Celtic have the larger war chest, obviously, but their spending was intelligent. How they managed to sign Dembele, one of the hottest strikers in the Championship south of the border, for half a million beggars belief. Rangers ended up with the perennially-injured Jordan Rossiter, who cost £250,000 and has barely played. Signing ‘veterans’ like Matt Gilks and Philippe Senderos is surely not the answer.

Why not take the money reportedly being dangled by RB Leipzig for Barrie McKay and spread it out by investing across the squad? If Gers got £6+ million for him, they could theoretically buy 12 players of the calibre of Dembele and really go for it next season. Or six players for £1 million each, or it could go on wages for some free transfer signings from the EPL.

Finding them isn’t easy, but the players are out there. If Rangers’ scouting network scours the continent for future stars rather than washed-up veterans, it could pay dividends. Leicester signed Riyad Mahrez for £400,000 and he won them the EPL. And the signing of Scott Sinclair is another blueprint for Rangers to follow. Players like Tom Cleverly have moved on free transfers recently and for players like that, joining Rangers could offer them a real chance of silverware.

7 comments:

  1. It's being reported that Warburton was given a grilling at board meeting last week. Hardly surprising given his recruitment record.

    I can understand why board would have expressed concern over his recruitment.

    However this doesn't really help us catch Celtic, the board have to show the one thing they have failed to provide- leadership.

    If we are to mount a serious challenge next season (which I doubt) then the board has some big decisions to make. Either they have to gamble and back Warburton in transfer market, or they gamble and change management.

    Even the most blinkered of fans must surely realise the current squad is simply not good enough to challenge Celtic.

    Loans are a short term solution but one that causes a long-term problem for team building. If they work out we end up losing whatever that player brings without any transfer income. They also block "a route to the first team" which was apparently open to all our younger players.

    Either the board decides Warburton can be trusted and they back him. Or the board agrees with my assessment that he is the wrong man at the wrong time, and acts decisively.

    This current stumbling along doing neither one thing not the other is not benefiting the quality of the team. If the board can't find the funds then they should step aside.

    Beyond the doubts of the manager's recruitment there are massive problems with tactics. It was very telling on Saturday that it was Kenny Miller that was providing most of the direction, not the manager.

    I for one will continue to argue for Kenny Miller to be the next rangers manager, he may lack managerial experience however he seems far more tactically aware than our current management. Perhaps along side Billy Davies who could provide the experience Miller lacks.

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    1. I had heard that too. Sounds like they are fed up with him and are waiting to replace him come the summer, out of all his summer signings none of them has worked.. crooks sums it up. A player who came in that we needed. We still need a dm but crooks the only one we have, had one good game
      In the cup and then in his second was hung out to dry by warburton being played behind the strikers and then dropped and sent on loan.. all for the price of 250k 😒

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    2. I do agree the current squad are only a second best they may or may not win a cup and if Kenny Miller was not playing I fear we would lose even more games as for next manager not yet, loan signings I hate them I want players that will give there all for the fans and club.

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    3. Spot on assessment brother.

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  2. £6m+ for McKay from Leipzig .. Come on .. Why would they pay that..? If you are only club intrested, offer 500,000 everyone knows you are desperate for cash, so why would any club offer that kind of figure.. If he goes you will be lucky to get double what his value is on well known websites which is £500,000.. You need to fix your roof ( good chance you will have to rent another stadium) so where is all this money coming from to challenge Celts next season..? Celtic signed Dembele & Sinclair because of Rodgers & Champs League football at the moment you have zero chance of spelling that to any decent footballer so you need to build slowly on solid foundations .. If you win league in 4-5 years you will be doing well, anyone that says or thinks otherwise is deluded ... The reason most other fans laugh at you is because of the pie in the sky comments that surround your club & fans in recent years....

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  3. Ignoring a CFC view we are in trouble as to how quickly we can compete for the league. The current transfer policy is shortsighted, then perhaps this is all we can afford. The present squad is not giving a huge feel of optomisim and finally we are not being told the full financial predicament, we appear to be back lurching from month to month with Mr K and his financial support in oblivion! J

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  4. Why do Celtic fans post on rangers sites? Do the other Celtic fans not like you or something?

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