Reprogramming the Rangers


If today’s hard-fought victory over stubborn Morton taught us anything, it is that it will take a fair while for any new manager, likely Alex McLeish, to imprint their philosophies on a squad which has been borderline programmed into playing the way it does.

The majority of this squad has known nothing but Warburton’s generally impotent 4-3-3 tiki-tika for the past 20 months, and that psychologically has been completely imprinted onto the players’ DNA in a way today’s win demonstrated.

Even with their former manager just a memory now, the picked XI played exactly the same inefficient way they have since 2015, with the same incoherent defending, overpassing around the box and tactical approach.

Sky Sports’ Neil McCann was critical of substitute Michael O’Halloran for not utilising the flanks and space, and instead coming inside at more acute angles. And the man was making a valid point. Unfortunately the portion he forgot is O’Halloran, like the rest of the squad Warburton assembled, has known nothing else for approaching two years, and this dysfunctional autonomous squad badly needs WD40 and a few new cogs, otherwise it will just keep on playing like this.

In short, Rangers’ next manager has to completely re-write the code of this Rangers squad from the ground up to change how they play. And that will take some doing – Uncle Walter worked miracles doing it in 2007, but, as much as Rangers fans respect Big Eck, he, like most of the other mooted candidates for the vacancy simply are not Walter Smith and fans will have to account for that.

To put it simply, whoever comes in will need more time than Walter did, because they have a misfiring circuit to completely rewire with existing components.

Mark Warburton made an absolute mess of this Rangers squad – looking at how Andy Murdoch quietly dominated the midfield from deep today and broke repeated attacks through the middle up shows just how better off Rangers would have been to have kept the young man – he has toughened up and has benefited from maturity, and his release was just one of many mistakes Warburton made with his misguided belief he knew better than everyone else.

I for one will give the new man a good couple of months of completely free time. He will need eight weeks to reshuffle this pack into a more effective Rangers unit, and hopefully that will give him the time to assemble a system which is much more Rangers. Maybe he will need more time, maybe he will need little, but it is fair to give him the space – and maybe second place is beyond us too, such is the damage inflicted by the previous regime.

But as long as I see something resembling the Rangers I know and trust, something which fights for every ball, which uses it efficiently, and which honours the jersey, I will cut plenty of slack.

That said, if Eck, or whoever, manages to sort it all out before the next fixture, I sure will not mind that either!


  1. well said wasn't impressed today couple good points waghorn getting a start ,mckay had a good game we need central defenders badly .we need to try and recoup some money for certain players were not keeping cannot keep letting them leave for free . happy days no w and w

  2. I can't believe the clamor to return to the dross football Mcleish brought. He was successful with more money then we have now with a team he inherited and been an absolute disaster everywhere else he's been. This is the man that hired Kevin Muscat, Jerome Bonnisel, Dan Eggen, Nuno Capucho, Paolo Vanoli, Henning Berg, Emerson, Egil Ostenstad, Hamed Namouchi, Gavin Rae, Barjim Fetai, Marc Kalenga, Dragan Mladenovic, Olivier Bernard, Gregory Vignal, Bojan Djordic, Sotrios Kygriakos, Ronald Watterus, Ian Murray, Jose-Karl Pierre-Fanfan, ,Francis (Fox In The Box) Jeffers, Federico Nieto, Danny N'Guessan, Filippo Maniero, Moses Ashikodi. He spent 9 mil on Benitez down at Birmingham. We are broke, with no money!

    The football Warburton played is the right way moving forward, with the wrong personel. He grossly underestimated the Scottish League as many managers do! Going back to Mcleish would be a disaster.

    • Aye, that's right. No money. So the players we have is the right way forward. Get real. There is nothing exciting the way we are playing and a half decent manager whoever that may be may help steady a sinking ship. Rotten Warburton gone and so has his site system.

    • I don't disagree with Warburton going, he's been shown up far too often and the signings have been terrible. Is that his fault or the area of the market we're working? We have no scouting system in place still! Warburton come out and said players in the Eng Champ are getting far higher then what we're paying. Who did you want him to sign?! We dominated the scots champs as that is our players level. We couldnt recruit players of a higher standard!

      No matter what system we're playing it'll make no difference as the players are useless! Mckay, Miller and Hyndman excluded.

    • I'm not a massive fan of McLeish either, most of his signings were poor. Bringing him back is the cheap option and he's not my first choice. But it's not true that no matter what system we play won't make any difference, to our results. Most of the players are not useless, they just don't suit the tippy tappy style. If we start to clear our lines and defend properly, with two up front we could turn this season around. I'm still hoping that we give the job to Stuart McCall.

    • We were told that Dragan Mladenovic was similar to Zidane when he signed and he was garbage. McLeish has a poor track record when it comes to signings. I just hope that Andy Watson isn't on his backroom staff again, I don't want to see him leaning on the dugout looking suicidal when we're losing. Once was enough!Please not Andy Watson!

    • I agree that long term, Macleish isn't the answer but it is pretty clear that in the short term we need someone in to steady the Ship, and given that we are unlikely to get Souness or Smith until the summer, we might just have to make do with him. Whoever gets the job short term will have their work cut out for them given the shambles that is our central defence and holding midfield. It was quite embarrassing to watch young Murdoch play well in the Holding Role for Morton while, yet again Halliday looked totally lost and contributed to Morton's goal along with our dodgy central defence!

    • I agree with you Tom, McLeish isn't great but we might have to make do with him, until the summer. Murdoch should never have been released and we should bring him back in the next transfer window. How Warburton couldn't see that Murdoch could play the holding role and we didn't need Barton, is a mystery.

  3. Not everyone of those players were bad watterus was a great keeper berg was past his best before we got him but a good defender same as the big Greek lad wish we had him the now. Maybe McLeish can do a job till the end of the season I'd rather him than some of the other names flying about. Frank de Boer is who I want but honestly can't see it happening tbh

  4. Yet again today and for months it is apparent Rangers are leaderless on the pitch, off the pitch and arguably at boardroom level.
    There is now a huge void at Ibrox, the empty seats a siren call to a bigger one forming unless drastic and immediate action is taken.
    There are large shareholders pulling in different directions who are effectively tearing Rangers apart.
    I wouldn't expect Ann to Budge from Tynecastle but she has implemented a chain of command that is exemplary for a new approach at Ibrox.
    A new manager needs to obliterate any tendency in players that hold to Warburton's inclinations.
    Every fan has their favourites and can surprise many others with them.
    For me I would not play Senderos, Halliday, Tavarnier, Waghorn or Forrester. I would play Wilson, Hodson, Garner and Dodoo simply because they have never been given a chance to play to their strengths. O'Halloran would be another.
    Murdoch and McGreggor should never have been let go and too many players brought in have been smothered on and off the park this season with stupid tactics and favouritism.
    Graeme Souness is a name I'd like to see involved at some level within Ibrox. Even as a shareholder on the board.
    Changes need to be made, new blood from top to bottom. Simply cannot go on like we are.

    • fuck off. an inexperienced under 20s coach had 2 days to prepare his team for a cup game that Greenock morton had nothing to lose in. and your criticising. two days after a big change was made we are in a transition period right now and your criticising. The performance wasn't great but Greame Murty deserves a lot of credit for what he done today but no your still coming on a forum being a negative prick. Ann Budge get a fucking grip hearts are 4th ya nonce so there not exactly flying. way fans like you why would anybody want to invest in the club.

    • I've always liked the look of Murdoch, hopefully whoever the new manager is will bring him back. Holt and Halliday are shite in comparison to Murdoch.