Why Rangers are not for a novice

Article by Richard Fillingham

In 1986 Rangers took a huge gamble with Graeme Souness to manage a Rangers side that was second best to Celtic. Souness was a current Scottish international and earned his wages in Italy playing with Sampdoria. He was told that he would have a very healthy transfer budget at his disposal and that he was wanted as the new player-manager to bring the ‘Gers back to where they belonged – No 1 in Scotland – and boy did he deliver! But such a first-time success at a club the magnitude of Rangers is rare; Ally struggled, and Warburton too is finding SPL Rangers a whole new animal compared to the Championship.

For the good of Rangers in the short and long term,

I hope Mark Warburton enjoys possibly his last months at a major British club. He simply doesn’t currently have it as a top manager for any of the big boys. Perhaps a mid-table English Championship team would be his best shot to see if he could eventually become a better manager with some more experience under his belt.

Here’s a tip:

Don’t be so single minded when it comes to tactics and make sure you pick a higher standard No. 2 with a lot of management experience to help you in your next job. You will have to, if you’re going to be a success with an English club.

Warburton was a success at the start

He did very well in his first season in an average Scottish Championship league and he achieved this with some inferior players throughout his team. A fairly poor Hibernian and Falkirk were 2nd and 3rd in the title race respectively and as the season went on, the supporters started to see all the cracks in the side, especially in goal, defence and midfield.

Warburton made his mind up that Holt and Halliday would need replaced

He seemed to realise that if Rangers were to do well in the faster and much harder SPL, he would need better midfield players. What happened? He dropped them for new signings and ended up having to restore them as first team regulars – due to the failure of his bad signings.

In fairness to the management team:

It’s not their fault that they are not good enough to manage a major team like Rangers – it was a risky gamble and unfortunately, it has backfired on the fans and the new board this season after all the hype. Time to bring in the real deal, starting in May 2017 and watch this space as IbroxNoise starts to look at some main candidates in the coming months.

When to change tactics:

Especially against Celtic, (plus Aberdeen and Hearts in away matches) – play three centre backs – with two wing backs – and a holding midfielder, to make us much harder to beat. Don’t play any player who won’t get stuck in – except the talented Barrie McKay. Leicester City’s Claudio Ranieri admitted this weekend he got the tactics wrong; don’t be too proud to admit a tactical failing on your part, Warbs. And don’t single out and blame your players as you did in Germany when you landed Waggy and MOH with a couple of right hooks.

Meanwhile, we have to come 2nd this year and maybe win a cup.

Wes, the goalkeeper, has vastly improved since Gilks was signed, but he still remains on his line at free kicks and corners – which is bad coaching and a major worry to me and thousands of our knowledgeable supporters. When teams realise your keeper NEVER comes out for crosses – it makes the team extremely vulnerable at these set pieces. Another thing – stop giving unnecessary corners and cheap dangerous free kicks away in every match. Usually caused by sloppy defending.

We desperately require a quality defensive midfielder (preferably tall, athletic, can tackle and read the game), but he will cost us a transfer fee, which will be worth it for the right player.

What do Rangers have to do to earn a stonewall penalty and poor offside decisions?

Against Motherwell on the lunch-time televised live game, Michael O’Halloran was blatantly brought down in the box in the first half. The referee who I will not grace by his name in this article was in a great position to see the blatant foul and decided to wave play on. He had a decision to make – either give the penalty or to book Michael for diving – alarmingly for Scottish football – he did neither – absolutely shocking! Minutes later the assistant referee gave a ridiculous offside decision when Wallace was adjudged to have moved too soon for a goal scoring situation when the camera showed him to be embarrassingly onside!

This could have been any game at Ibrox against anybody.

Watching this game was identical to all the other games played at Ibrox this season. Ineffective tippy tappy football from Wallace to McKay, back to Wallace, inside to Kiernan across to Hodson given to O’Halloran, back to Hodson. Pass to Halliday, back to Wallace etc etc etc. What did it achieve – not a shot on target from Rangers for a full 76 minutes. I am sorry, it just is not good enough for this great Rangers support to watch the team have 68% of possession and doing NOTHING with it! The fans deserve so much more such as for their season ticket money to be spent on a higher standard of player. Footballers who can beat a man and make room for themselves before passing sideways all day is what we need – and soon!

Another sloppy goal for Rangers to lose.

Once again an average cross is missed by Rob Kiernan when Motherwell’s Louis Moult headed home their opener in the 74th minute of a very one-sided game. Same old story I’m afraid. It was their first attack and they score from another cross. Does Foderingham NEVER come off his line to help his poor and too small centre halves? I am not blaming the keeper for this goal as it should have been dealt with by Kiernan. Rangers then needed two goals to win this Scottish Cup fourth round tie that was our last chance of winning anything this season.

The crowd were getting restless with only 10 minutes left and defeat looking likely!

The boo boys were getting ready to start, just before the effervescent Miller popped up in the 84th-minute in front of goal with a supreme, screaming header which gave us much pleasure and a well-deserved equaliser. It was set up brilliantly with an inch-perfect cross from our late substitute Martyn Waghorn who had replaced O’Halloran on the right wing.

The winner came from a huge mistake by former Celtic centre back McManus, who gave the ball away to new Rangers loan substitute who was only on the park for about 12 minutes. Hyndman delivered a precisely weighted first-time pass into the perfectly-timed run of match winner Miller to place an unstoppable shot into the far corner of the Motherwell net to give Samson no chance of stopping a wonderful winning goal.

Warburton got out of jail again, but only just. This is symptomatic of his stubborn refusal to adapt and change. He looked like he was learning how to with those excellent wins against Aberdeen then Hearts, but it’s all gone back to predictable type since then.

How much longer do fans have to tolerate this?


  1. Wes stays on his line which is down to bad coaching you say. Can you give me an example of Klos ever leaving his line ? Was that down to bad coaching too ?
    Your articles show that you obviously have issues with Warburton mate. God knows, watching our team can be frustrating at times. Warburton takes some of that blame. But there are enough flaws in his system that make him an easy target without making stuff up.
    Wes has improved and will hopefully continue to do so. The central defenders immediately in front of him are where you should be looking.

    • You seem to have missed the point.
      If Wes never comes off his line this gives the opponents a clear advantage.
      When aiming crosses the opponents know they don't have to worry about floating crosses in or playing the ball into the area between keeper and central defenders.
      He is also not commanding the defence in front of him to give the protection he needs. He has the best view and should be inn control of his box, he simply isn't.

      He is a decent shot stopper, no question. However he lets in soft goals, makes errors and the above problem.

  2. I would like to know who you would see as replacing Warburton. I hope it is not anyone currently managing in the Scottish Premiership or Billy Davies!

    I do agree that we could improve on Weir for an Assistant Manager and there are plenty of young managers that would take the Assistant's role at Rangers as a stepping stone to the Managerial job in the future.

    While I fully agree that Kiernan is poor and tends to give away a goal a game I would include Wallace in the blame for the goal we lost on Saturday and would equally be critical of how he consistently gets caught out when the ball is lost up the park and he is slow to get back into position. I also believe that he gets dragged into the centre too much and tends to back off his man. Above all, he is not a leader and we need a strong 'win at all costs' captain that can drive the team forward and lead by example!

  3. To kick off (so to speak) the discussion on who could be our new manager (as it will inevitably happen) my choice would be Frank and Ronald de Boer. Both blue-noses who know how to play in Scotland and vastly experienced as players with a respect in the world of football on the highest level.

    • yes agree with you 100 percent would love to see one of de boers for rangers davie weir looks as if he doesn't want to be there as far as I'm concerned warburton has done nothing yet theres people on here praising him for getting us into premier if he does not win scottish cup he's out .

  4. great post warburton looks lost think we will need to wait until end of the season before he goes pains me to say this don't think we have got any chance stopping celtic winning treble if only all our players had kenny millers attitude the guy had to run back to midfield and defence to get the ball disgrace our new mid field look as if they have come up for there holidays lot of people hoping motherwell beat us just to get rid of warburton he's that bad you could not trust him with any more money what a lazy bunch except miller

  5. keirnen could be at fault for another 10 goals this season and the manager would still pick him, same with tav, we keep losing the same goals week in week out whereas senderos was hung out to dry after one mistake agains celtic, jason holt goes about the park like an empty crisp packet, what exactly does he contribute? ohalloran has never been given a run in his right position either, always played wide, if mackay was sold for £6m could you honestly trust the manager with the money? 1.8 for garner???

  6. Firstly i'm still behind warburton as our manager and imho be given at least another season,after this one,to try and close the gap,to challenge celtic!Of course he has to finish 2nd this season to be given the chance next season!Now hypothetically speaking IF warburton had to go as rangers manager i wouldn't mind a gio van bronckhurst as manager/head coach,with an experienced assistant beside him!Another would be frank de boer like papillon said with his twin brother ronald de boer as his assistant!Michael laudrup would without doubt be another with brian laudrup his brother as assistant!To finish another 2 names i would consider,harry redknapp(if he'd come) & alan pardew!What do you think fellow bears???

    • robert i like most of yours posts but warburton another year don't think we can hang about much longer watching same dross under warbs if warburton is to stay he needs to give us fans something to shout about i think it will be the celtic fans doing the shouting think we could lose all sorts of records against them under warburton . terry butcher

    • Stevie1,thanks for your kind opening comments mate!Imho i wouldn't want terry butcher anywhere near our club as a possible new rangers manager!Just don't rate him highly to be given the rangers job!Its all about opinions my friend,and you obviously would like terry butcher to be our next manager!My choice if warburton were to go would be frank de boer!!

  7. I see there is more talk of Jason Cummings as a summer signing. I for one would not be enthused about that. He's a championship striker for me and my money would be on Greg Stewart already proven in the Premiership and does not come with the same baggage.

  8. I think the article is spot on.If Barrie is worth 6 million under Warbs a better manager playing a goalscorer breathing on opposing goalkeepers could turn him into 20+ million. We should be scoring dozens of goals from Barrie's skills but Kenny or Joe Garner seem to take over a half back position for 98% of the game. Celtic are +40 goals Rangers +7. Says it all for me. Warburton is all about possession and Scottish football is about AGGRESSION. Andy C mentions a player going about the park like an empty crisp packet, well there are others who are so light weight they couldn't tackle a balloon.

    • Alex i couldnt agree more, rangers have always been an agressive club, always had an agressive edge to their players and now we are weak and lightweight all over the park, if keirnen and tav had been more physical we would have won the scottish cup last year, every winning team over the years could mix it physically when they had too even the great dutch teams and barca!

    • Alex and Andy I agree completely, every great side has a physical edge to their game, why on earth was Andy Murdoch not given a chance by Warburton? Unlike the lightweights Holt and Halliday, Murdoch can tackle and has a grit and determination to his game that our tippy tappy midfielders sadly lack! It wouldn't surprise me if Murdoch bullies our midfield in the Scottish cup tie and Darren McGregor was also discarded by MW without getting a chance. These were our two hardest players! We will always be a tippy tappy soft touch under Warburton and your right Alex, Scottish football has always been and always will be about aggression!

  9. ive been keeping a close eye on developments on the attitude of posters on IBROX NOISE…you all seem to behave like sheep and follow the leader…quite frankly it makes my stomach turn…there is only one or two who speak their own inside thoughts…ime 68 years old and have followed and loved this magnificent institution since I was old enough to pronounce its name…WAKE UP FELLOW BEARS!…its time to stick together and be fu–ing positive…after all is said and done we all aspire to the same outcome…If we really have to have a change in management then in my humble opinion there is no doubt it should be STUART MCALL to finish what he started…He is an accomplished football tactician,,,he loves rangers as we do,,,he is a proven manager in the scottish premier league…and most of all he has a winning attitude.

    • That's a wide brush you are painting fellow bears with. I have seen many articles and comments that I certainly don't agree with. I'd rather not comment and insult them just because I disagree. On other occasions very perceptive points are being made and on a regular basis and kudos to these fans.
      We all want the best for Rangers and don't necessarily have to agree with your ideas or anyone else's as to how it should be done.
      PS. Many thanks to Ibrox Noise for giving fans like me the opportunity to comment on your articles. An up or down tick would be nice and would amplify what we as a group think of each others comments.

  10. Stuart McCall? Naw no for me. I think we need someone who knows the scottish game aswell as the European game. We need a manager who knows all different markets and a good scouting networks.

    We need to be doing a celtic although it pains me to say it. Someone that can spot a player from Scandinavian leagues, lower spanish and even south American leagues, we have to have a network in place to cover the globe.

    I do believe warb

  11. Would not like to see Warburton given anymore money to spend before he is SACKED…. His transfer/loan dealings have been a DISGRACE… Our best players were at Ibrox before MW and DW arrived. (WALLACE, McKAY and lesser extent, MILLER)… We play Celtic again 7 or 8 weeks, if we keep playing Warburtons "Plan A" style, then we are heading for a FOURTH EMBARRASSING GUBBING….

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