Written off Rangers Wright some wrongs


Mark Warburton played Tommy Wright’s St Johnstone three times and failed to win a single encounter. Graeme Murty managed it on his first go, including under the duress of being a man down.

Warburton had struggled hugely against Hamilton last time the two played at Ibrox, managing only a draw, before scraping an ill-deserved three points at New Douglas Park in December. Graeme Murty’s side put six past the same team.

While no one would pretend Murty is the answer to Rangers’ problems, in the past two games Rangers have displayed, over the course of all 180 minutes, all the attributes fans would expect from a Rangers team, whatever its quality.

Against St Johnstone there was actually some good football in a first half where frankly the home side was in control. If the visiting manager was in any way auditioning for the Ibrox job, his performance was underwhelming at best. While not exactly a gulf in class, and while Rangers still had many players not delivering what we need, they showed a touch of quality in places not to mention the right attitude and work ethic to earn the two goal lead.

Unfortunately one lapse led to St Johnstone pulling a goal back before a bizarre new trend of stupidity on Rangers’ players’ parts (more on that later) saw Rob Kiernan sent for an early bath after an absurdly crude challenge which earned him a straight red. St Johnstone then predictably equalised but the home side finally started to fight for their corn, and Emerson Hyndman’s late winner saw a Battle Royale go the way of Murty’s men.

Then today we saw more hard graft – it was far from pretty on the eye at times, and Hamilton had over half the possession in the first half, but as we know from our last manager, that is far from the be all and end all. 6 goals for the day, even if two them were deflected and one was never a penalty saw Rangers deserved winners on the day even if the score was considerably flattering. And Rangers’ work ethic and running was much more like what we expect, even if the quality on the day was lacking.

But it was Joe Garner’s bizarre assault on Dougie Imrie that brought the most attention; the ex-Preston man simply ran up to the Hamilton flanker and kicked him in the leg, before laughing about it. Even more bewilderingly it was only deemed a yellow card, before he then ironically went onto score a hat trick. In any sane person’s eyes it was a blatant red, but the only eyes that mattered were John Beaton’s.

In the end that is now two wins in a row for a Rangers team who have been rightly under fire recently. With nine goals in 180 minutes, it is certainly a small answer for their critics, even if it more papers the cracks over than rebuilds the wall.

Rangers now need direction; whoever the new manager is and whoever the Director of Football turns out to be, a proper structure needs to be in place that works for the SPL. But if the players at least continue to show the application they have in the past two matches, it will be something to work with.


  1. Murty has brought back belief in the players. His enthusiasm can be seen throughout the team. He has brought in Garner,O'Halloran and Forrester. Dodoo hopefully will be brought into the scheme of things.The tippy tappy shite left with Warburton. We have aggression and more long ball penetration. Lets hope we take it forward for next week.

    • While respecting the obvious enthusiasm shown by our temporary manager I feel it has to be said that a similar and sincere enthusiasm, coupled with the bleeding obvious re- tactic changes would be shown by any bear picked out of the ibrox stands as every single one of them would, as a no brainer, bin the Warburton pissing about philosophy and with the greatest respect the extremely flattering result yesterday against a defence that appeared to have had been served some crack along with their orange at half time does not herald a new dawn or indicate to me any significant improvement and the selfish, immature and plain stupid attitude which has been shown from day one by Garner is nothing, at the end of the day, but a major liability to our teams progress, he is an average at best striker and has no future at Ibrox, as for the rest I suspect, like a lot of other bears that O'Halloran, who is a decent player, is somehow almost destined to fail at Ibrox for some reason and feel that Forrester flatters to deceive and simply isn't good enough, as for Dadoo, talented boy he may be but he is far too lightweight to progress or survive in Scottish football

      Under current circumstances, if we can walk away from their midden next week with a draw I would be more than satisfied but unfortunately in reality I doubt if that is going to happen, we need an experienced manager asap as a matter of urgency and it appears to me that all this Director of Football pish thats floating about is an added burden we cant afford at the moment as it appears to be muddying the water re- getting the right man in and ironically do we want a Rangers Manager who is content to play second fiddle,

      The more things change the more they stay the same eh!

  2. As usual Ed, you make several great and accurate points in your interesting article, but I still feel it is only papering over the cracks and all the old problems are still with us. Too many bad to average players in the squad with almost nobody in the side who can actually win the ball consistently. The tackling is almost non-existing and the midfield is wafer thin at defending and good teams will murder us with this lot. There is no tenacity in the team, however, we have turned the corner for scoring goals just now, but still such a long way to go and it is a start.

  3. Does anyone think Rob Kiernan might be better employed as a defensive/holding midfielder? I thought we were at our best when Dominic Ball played that position last season. I believe that we would have been Scottish cup holders if he hadn't been suspended for the final.

  4. Pleased for Murty as having been reluctantly thrust into the spotlight he is slowly growing into the role. You can start to see that he is beginners by to change things – better movement at corners, getting the ball forward faster, and overall more aggression. It will still be a big ask at Celtic Park though – no place for a rookie manager. Time King sorted out a new Manager – it borders on neglect to be going to Celtic in our current manager less state!

  5. For once I disagree with your analysis of the game today by far. Whereas Garner was missing for most of his second half appearance apart from the hattrick his foul on Imrie wasn't that bad. Right in front of me by the way. Today the team showed spirit and indeed some good football. What was obvious was no leadership on the field as was shown when Mckay was robbed of the ball but all in all, well done Rangers.

  6. We're scoring goals!!!
    I like the way we're pushing forward at every opportunity
    rather than tippy tappy side passes.
    That was the first match I've enjoyed for a long long time.

  7. Well, I must say it is nice to wake up on a Sunday morning and at least feel at peace with the world, for however long it lasts I care not, I am just relishing and enjoying a week that has at last ended with some praise and less grumbles, for those Sheffield readers they will know the Saturday Night after match phone in *Praise or Grumble* which is a platform for all fans from all teams around Sheffield to air their praises or slag their own team off….so its nice for once that the praises are outweighing the grumbles.
    I am not for one second trying to say we have turned a corner or anything of the like, but what I am saying is that at least our caretaker manager has managed to get through the thick skulls of those players that they have a responsibility of duty, trust and above all commitment every time they are picked to 'represent' us on the football pitch, something successive managers seem to have been unable to.
    I can only go by reports and by what I read but it does seem a bit of steeliness turned up on Tuesday against St J, and is usually the case with this team, disappears again next time out, but it seems while not pretty yesterday there was something in them driving them on, despite the antics of some, but strikers need to be scoring goals to gain their sharpness and steeliness in front of goal, so perhaps we will start to see more from our expensive striker.
    We are far from turning this around, but when a juggernaut is careering into a wall, there are a number of things required to slow it down, turn it around and prevent it righting off…could this, even at this late stage of the season be one of those steps? I hope so and I hope Murty gets the thanks and praise he deserves, for taking on the impossible role he was thrown into, and for at least getting back to back performances and results out of them…hats off to you sit 🙂

    We still have a long way to go and I will never stop pointing my finger at who I blame for our current state, but this weekend its nice to rightly praise where praise is due…so well done everyone at Ibrox this week for giving us a weekend where we can at least discuss the positives.


  8. I'm not to worried about the performances right now. I'm more worried about the noises of the Portugueser as our next manager. Such a stupid gamble when we're in a mess as it is. We need stability and we need it fast. I really hope it's not true. I would be delighted to get Derik M on board. He's a rangers man and he has been at Aberdeen for 4 years apparently. He is a no-nonsense manager

  9. I also see the news is picking up that Ashley may be back in to buy the club, for me, that is the best thing I have heard all weekend. The alternative is we stumble from crisis to crisis with no hope of ever regaining our status…believe me if this happens, our smug city rivals will not be so chirpy….this man has money and isn't scared to use it, while I know he is no saint…he is businessman of considerable wealth and is someone we should never have ostracised….the alternative at present I am afraid is a very bleak and unsure future with admin 2 a distinct possibility.
    We need to be wary and not simply roll over if this is true, but the future of our club is at stake here…lets not make any more mistakes as the next one may be terminal…



  10. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that in the last two games, since the omission of Halliday, the midfield has been more energised. Although certainly not the finished article they have actually been quicker to move forward and have taken a little of the pressure off the dumplings at the back. Credit to Murty for spotting the weak link in midfield. Now if he can also sort out the defense we might have a chance of finishing second.