Ok, ok – the DEFENCE…

 Article by: Ibrox Noise

For every transfer story we bring you, for every analysis of the state of the SPFL we compose, and for every time we twaddle on about formation, the one comment we keep on getting back here at Ibrox Noise is about the defence.

It has been the most enduring theme of this transfer window, and while we have raised it in the past, we shall do so again by public demand.

We first mentioned our concerns many weeks ago, and were faced with a barrage of criticism and a touch of abuse for our troubles, but then we suffered the farce in Luxembourg and the support by and large saw what we had been banging on about.

Marseille was good. It was really good. We witnessed what effect a top-class defender can have on even the most modest of defences, and we may even have seen the birth of a very decent partnership at the back in the form of aforementioned top class defender, Bruno Alves, obviously, and his younger colleague Fabio Cardoso.

Having a genuinely top class stopper allowed the rest of the defence, and the rest of the XI, to trust themselves more, knowing a marquee centre back was protecting everything and overseeing the whole picture.

That psychological safety net really did give the others around Alves room to express themselves maybe more than they have done for months, and tonight’s win over Watford is also another step in the right direction, but the worries readers and commenters have expressed to us is the same thing we alluded to way back when – there is simply not enough depth at the back.

When Alves went off on Saturday, the defence definitely sagged. With him absent entirely v Niederkorn Rangers’ defence struggled.

On a good day we have Tavernier (maybe with a new lease of life in the Alves era), Alves himself, Cardoso and stalwart Lee Wallace.

Unfortunately the backup crew is not the embarrassment of riches Rangers arguably need for a long season in the SPL, and even more curious is the strange lack of names being linked to fill those positions.

Manager Pedro Caixinha has indeed gone on record to say he is happy with his five defenders – but surely any manager always wants to make his squad stronger? He will surely be seeking further armaments for the back.

And a fine afternoon v Marseille and a win over Watford while undeniably inspiring also does not absolutely prove the back line is sorted long term. What of injuries? Loss of form? Suspensions? Unexpected January bids for key assets? Unexpected ones before the end of this window?

Rangers are a little light at the back, and while Lee Hodson, Danny Wilson, David Bates, Ross McRorie and Myles Beerman are all honest pros, few fans can feel completely comfortable with them as the only deputies.

We are surfing on the crest of a wave of optimism following Marseille and supplemented by a decent win over a very credible EPL side in the Vicarage Road outfit (on their patch, incidentally) – but in order to cement the good things from those performances and results a few additions at the back would probably help.


  1. A number of the back up are still under 20… u might want more pros this season, but I honestly think this is the time to bring on these players. He have a solid 1st team defence, and having such young players as back up they can only get better while training along with the rest

  2. It is still a good win and 2 goals away from home is refreshing to see. Well done. I would like to know the team that pedro picked and who the subs were.

    Candeias and Waghorn were the scorers.

  3. I'm still worried about the fact he likes David bates I'd have Kieran over that useless fuck all day and I despise Kieran also you guys spelt Ross mccorie as Ryan and I'd also like to point out you missed out on young Aiden Wilson who I thought looked good in the games at the end of the season rather him than bates

    • Are you suggesting we sign the Celtic left back? Or do you mean Kiernan? Wouldn't waste £10M on a Celtic player and definitely don't want Kiernan anywhere near Ibrox again. Might be a nice person, but is not a defender. Makes Bates, Danny Wilson, McRorie and young (Aidan/Aiden?) Wilson look like Arsenal's Invincibles!!

      Very important when picking someone up on their spelling that you try to get your own right 🙂

  4. Good realistic article. We need to sort this defence cover now, we really do. Wilson, Bates and McRorie are just not good enough. We need at least 2 top level centre halves to cover our Portuguese pair.
    What else frightens me about Wilson, is his attitude to goals against. In his interview on the defeat against St Johnstone, on the goal, Wilson said these things happen?! Same again when he was to blame for the goal against Marseille, all he had to do was step out, but he was ball watching as usual, no awareness. Bates just doesn't have it, he is slow, weak and not confident at the back at all.
    We cant afford passengers at the back this season folks, we need men of steel as back up. This defence will crumble if anything happens to Alves, mark my words!

  5. Alves is the type of character that younger players will look up to and admire. I think given time, his inspiration will enfuse within the youth and we'll see the effects in the coming months. Bit of patience required here. Pedro isn't looking for another defender by the sounds of things so we should appreciate what we have for now.

    Also worth noting that Jordan Thomson will be cover for LB now, presumably this means Beerman will be considered cover for his natural position of RB. Bates and McCrorie both ahead of A Wilson, it seems he sees more potential in those guys as CB cover beside D Wilson.

  6. While I do not disagree with the comments her, Rob Kiernan aside, if we want to be a developing and selling club, which we have to, then we have to develop young players. They will start off not good enough and need to be carried. They will make mistakes, as Beerman did last season. We have to accept that, but expect them to learn and not make the same mistakes time after time.

    But if we only play people aged over 25, then we will not develop young players, so they won't come to Ibrox and we won't make money developing and selling them.

    We have to be brave, take a chance, and make it work. While still winning. That is the challenge for the manager. People like Burt, Hardie, Beerman, Jordan Thompson, Jamie Barjonas, Zak Rudden, Serge Atakayi need to play if they are going to get better.

    Be brave

    • Well said, play some of the younger players in the cup games against the smaller teams (if we get any). We need to develop these players but not all to sell on we need to make some of them into first team regulars who will show our own kids who have a dream to play for our team that it can be done, onwards and upwards here we come.

    • Yes, give those youngsters game time, who cares if shellic bury five more goals at Ibrox, who cares if the beggars get 10 in a row, who cares about getting beat or drawing against all the teams in the SPFL next season,,, as long as we develop the youngsters.
      I've seen enough of Bates, Wilson and McCrorie that tells me they will not make it at the top level, therefore there will be no sell on value, they will go to teams in the lower leagues, Wilson maybe back to the tarts.

      I'm all for beating the east end mob getting that 10,,9 even,, and we will not do that with an inferior defence. We need solid cover for Alves.
      I am also for developing players, but only those who show the potential, and the only one that has shown me that is Beerman. The rest should go, we will not profit from them!

  7. 2 good performances against decent quality teams definitely lifted our spirits but have to agree we need another quality CB, but, it will be difficult to get someone happy to come in to sit on the bench. In Pedro we trust! The future is bright! WATP

  8. Good price lads. Spot on! Think you are correct. Good players cost money unfortunately unless we get a shady gem from somewhere? But encouraged nonetheless with tonight. We are light in defensive area though.

  9. Surely now we have to offload Danny Wilson after yet ANOTHER dismal peformance against Marseille….

  10. Bates weak?lol The boy is an absolute monster.He may have a lot to learn until he masters his art but weak he is not.

    • He hasn't got the strength, stature or bottle to take Rangers forward. Watch the goals against last season when he was CB,, utter useless!! If anything happens to Alves next season, we are fecked, it will be the same defence as last season. If Progres can score 2 against us without Alves, anyone can, and that's an alarming fact!!!

  11. I think Bates has the makings of a decent player , he needs guidance and confidence . I also agree with the Ed and Richard Filligham we need another couple of fullback/defenders with some experience to cover. The rest hopefully will take care of itself ….WATP

  12. Apart from the obvious benefit of Alves PLAYING for us, we have the additional benefit of his influence on the younger guys. With any luck he'll stay on for years to come.
    On another note, stop the fn whinging on here! This team is a million miles better than last year…
    All good for me. If you want Warbs team back then stand up and explain why.

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