Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Rangers star dividing opinion

 Article by: Ibrox Noise

Something surprising has begun this past transfer window. Kenny Miller, vaunted by all and sundry up till the tail end of last season, has started to become a tad maligned.

Without quite going as far as ‘hero to zero’, the lad definitely has much less stock in the eyes of many fans than he did only a few short months ago.

If we look at his record last season, he was Rangers’ top scorer, pitching in with 11 strikes, and was directly involved with 18 goals in total. It is not woeful, nor is it stunning, but he did score momentarily big goals, such as the opening goal against Celtic in December, and the winning goal against Niederkorn.

Indeed, it is perhaps a reflection of how God-awful Rangers were that a 37-year old was our most reliable scorer, even if Ross County’s Liam Boyce scored over double his tally.

It has almost become something of a running joke in commentators’ eyes that ‘yet another big goal from Kenny Miller’ has gone in, as if it is a bad thing Rangers just scored.

But is it fair to say his popularity is on the wane, or does Kenny have as big a role as ever?

The shift in mood towards him of late has been noticeable – when his name was included in Sunday’s starting XI the groans from fans were quite palpable. Most sentiment was to wonder where Morelos was, or why Kranjcar was on the bench.

Few fans, despite Miller’s clear contribution last season, seemed chuffed with his place in the starting XI.

Yet, once again Miller popped up with the second goal, a fine strike against the Hillsborough side to contribute yet another big goal for commentators to have a giggle about.

It says much for how well Miller has looked after his body and his mind that he remains as good now as he did when he was five years or even ten years younger, but the paradox is how he seems slightly untouchable and a curiously guaranteed starter, much to supporters’ chagrin.

The overriding question from many is why sign Morelos if you are just going to stick with Miller? What chance does Joe Dodoo have if Miller will just start anyway?

And if we are critical and honest, Miller’s all-round play of the past couple of months has not been his best. He is still scoring, but many commenters have an axe to grind with his lack of positional discipline – for a striker, he comes very deep, very often, which arguably breaks flow when his presence is needed higher up. His lack of positional stability is a recently-acquired issue.

He also seems to have gained a bit of an irritable temperament, allowing anything and everything to wind him up – if Miller is one thing, it is not being shy to express displeasure.

And yet the lad is still scoring, still contributing, and still far from a washed-up has-been.

It will not stop groans when his name is on the team sheet, but this author sincerely hopes the slight discontent now does not turn into widespread frustration. Kenny Miller does not deserve to be booed or similar, like McCulloch experienced v Falkirk all those years ago.

Do not mistake me – I was miles off McCulloch’s biggest fan and wanted him out the XI like most of us, but booing one of our own was not pleasant, even if I did agree with the opinion behind it.

Miller ditched a cushy number in Canada, a well-paid gig to come back and help out his team in League 1. He has certainly earned respect. He has been part of our journey and a huge reason we are in the SPL again.

But Pedro Caixinha is on tricky territory here – he has to manage Miller properly, not overuse him or saturate fans with him, because inevitably supporters are a fickle lot and before you know it a few bad displays and the fans turn on you.

Keep him as a highly important yet sporadically-used striker – bring him on if and when the team is in trouble. Start him in a number of the lesser matches. And maybe some of the big ones.

Rangers do still need another striker, hence interest in Steven Naismith, Louis Moult and the like – once one arrives, hopefully the reliance on Miller will dissipate and he can be used when needed. Until then, yes, it is likely we still see a heck of a lot of Miller.

And that is not a dreadful thing.

NB: Ibrox Noise is staggered that an article defending Kenny Miller from some of the detractors in our support is itself being attacked by those defending Kenny Miller from detractors in our support. Ibrox Noise would urge the critics to actually read what is being said rather than scanning looking for something to be offended by. Kenny Miller is a huge part of this club and Ibrox Noise has always defended him. Unlike some of those attacking this article.

15 comments:

  1. Can't believe negativity against King Kenny.....the guy has been nothing short of a rock for us..he pitches in with "big" goals and yes,he does drop deep during games but I don't see the manager out shouting,telling him to stay up top??....so it must be something that's practised in training and talked about pre games!!.....until Morelos beds in and starts looking like he can score goals we MUST look to have Kenny in or around the starting 11.

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  2. Kenny is still a class act, still capable, still contributing and as reliable as ever. Under no circumstances should this guy ever be booed! (No Gers player should be booed by his own fans- if your going to boo then stay away) every other striker we have has to earn the right to take his place! 1st old firm game, 1st goal?? Get yer money on "OUR KING KENNY" WATP

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  3. It's all about opinions at the end of the day. And in my humble opinion, Kenny Miller is an integral part of our team. He does score big goals in big games. He is still fit and contributes to the team.
    It's the managers decision at the end of the day and he watches Kenny every day at training. If Kenny wasn't producing it in training or in games, then Pedro will drop him. I'm a great fan of Kenny and have admired his game for years. He gives us 100% every game for Rangers, and I love it when he shouts at other players if they are not producing the goods, shows he cares for the club. Good job Kenny.

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  4. "...his popularity is on the wean..."?
    Only among the weans mate.

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  5. I was unaware of any collective negativity towards miller. If so, it seems very harsh. I think we will eventually move on from miller in the next couple is seasons, as age will eventually catch up on him, but I haven't seen anything yet from our new strikers to think he will be dislodged from the starting line up any time soon. The new boys obviously need some time to bed in but I would be surprised if they ever scale the heights of king Kenny!

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  6. Unlike the three previous comments, including from my namesake, I agree entirely with the basis of the article. Kenny is committed, works his socks off and, amongst a very ordinary bunch, has been one of our few decent performers in recent seasons. However, his inability to maintain a position, and his mindless meandering all over the place, not only disrupt the balance of the team but can often leave other strikers isolated.

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  7. If you listen to pedros interview last game he was on about how the players have to suffer for the good of the team in certain moments of the game. He gave an example of kenny dropping back to help jack n dorrans, kenny is a clever player hes been asked to read the game by pedro and drop back when he thinks its needed.

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  8. For me, Miller is a better player than Dodoo, but I'd like to Kenny feature more as an impact sub than as a starter. His energy and enthusiasm is unquestionable, but - since we're essentially re-building the team - his positional sense and shots-on-target ratio (around 50% if I'm not mistaken?) do deserve scrutiny in 2017.

    I'd also say that the unease some fans - including myself - feel at seeing Miller on the teamsheet every week is partly psychological. Miller has a contribution to make, no doubt, but he is a part of the old guard. And after the few years we’ve all had, a lot of us want to see the old guard gone and a new one come in. In that sense, it’s nothing personal, but at the subconscious level we probably don’t want to be paying to watch the same players we had in League One. That’s not a criticism of Miller or his considerable achievements.

    An employee’s loyalty or service to a club shouldn’t mean that they’re immune from examination of their performance. If we want to reward loyalty, I’d assume there’s a tea lady at Ibrox that has probably served the club for 40 years - is anyone suggesting she should be given a berth in the starting 11 every week? Surely she deserves that, after everything she’s done for us?

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  9. How can you be critical of his positional sense when you have no idea of the job being asked of him? The midfield struggled to create anything and he was willing to come wide and deep and as mentioned was frustrated in general and probably with this as well, no striker wants to drop deeper. Kenny Miller knows full well what position he needs to be in more so than anyone in the league. Goal tallies are directly linked with the service and quality behind him. Kenny Miller should be the first name on the team sheet until someone shows more composure and ability in front of goal. Coaches see players in training and if Morales has the ability to score more he'll be playing.

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  10. I dont see how my fellow Rangers supporters cannot see that Kenny's dropping deep seems to have coincided with the change of formation from Pedro.

    I dare say dropping deep would not be the natural preference for a striker and when you couple that with the fact Miller is generally positionally aware points to deliberate instruction.

    Also to boo a player for being picked is a joke.

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  11. I am surprised to hear that there are doubting voices with regard to Kenny Miller and I must add I have not heard any, despite him being played out of position last season. I accept he is coming to the end of his career and we should be looking to use him sparingly and have suitable and better options ahead of him but he can still play a pivotal part for us this season. My fear or complaint is not with Kenny it is our reliance on him which is not his fault. We must get some flair up front and a goal scorer, Morelos has not shown too much presently and Herrera does not appear to be a 20+ goal a season man although I hope I am wrong. We should have or still should go in for Moult, if he can score 18 with Well what could he do for us. My message is lay off Kenny he has been, is and will continue to be a class player, leader and goal scorer and someone who has earned our respect and deep gratitude.

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  12. I think that we can all agree that Kenny has been a good player for Rangers. The disagreement that has now been ongoing for quite a while is also understandable. It stems from the fact that Rangers have NOT HAD A GREAT STRIKER FOR A VERY LONG TIME, NOR HAVE WE HAD ENOUGH CREATIVE PLAYERS WHO CAN MAKE THE KILLER PASS FOR A FORWARD TO TOUCH IN. Because of this, we find that Kenny has saved us from embarrassing results on a number of occasions. However--those that say that he is not all that we want in a centre forward are correct. He is now a bit slower, and he comes deep too often--not all his fault when in a bad team--but you cannot score from deep. So I believe the best answer is to use the other forwards more often--BUT--if they are NOT DOING THE BUSINESS--bring on Kenny and TELL HIM not to come too deep. As we now have a much better midfield, there is no need for him --or any centre forward,to come too deep. We have NOT BEEN SCORING ENOUGH GOALS FOR YEARS, SO IT IS TIME THAT WE STARTED TO SEE WINS OF AT LEAST THREE GOAL:S--instead of the 1-0 or 2-1, where we have been scared of the other team equalising in the last minute.

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  13. Kenny has saved us on numerous occasions.

    If you are young and good enough for the team, play him.

    If you are an older player and good enough for the team and scoring important goals, play him.

    Keep the goals coming King Kenny!

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  14. Kenny has Carried us since hes came bck n always plays with his heart on his sleeve, last year was our best player, top scorer n he's still scoring so y shouldn't he start he's still got the legs n hes meriting it by giving 110% n scoring goals. Y all of a sudden cos new players are in he shud sit on the bench n used sparingly n only use him to get us out a hole ,that's aw the guys done since he's came bck. Players play on merit n Miller merits it. Also heard coming out caixinhas own mouth on Sunday he had specifically ask Miller to drop bck so mayb he asks him to do that more than we kno. Miller must start wen in form that goes for all the players.

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  15. The article is written with conjecture and is requesting an input, not degrading or refuting Kenny Miller's contribution, efforts or impact within the team as it is at the moment. I don't for a minute think it is an attack on him personally and I for one accepted him for his 3rd signing for the club and maybe without his contribution we might just not be where we are today.
    I do like what has been written, both in the article and some comments. Kenny seems to have been asked to do a role, similar to the 'new number 10' role, supporting or Moreles, but at times he seems to be toiling and things aren't quite working out for him, hence being substituted.
    Kenny has a role to play for Rangers this season, but it might not mean a start in every game, although I do want him to start against 'them' when we play them next week.
    We should be using him sparingly, as it has been said, being brought on as an impact player he can make a difference especially playing further forward.
    Like the article demonstrates, we all cannot tee 100% all the time, but we are Rangers fans, who are all entitled to their own opinion, that opinion is to support the club 100% and never ever boo any Rangers player, leave the booing to referees and those opposition players who antagonise and detest us.

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