Assessing Rangers’ summer window; verdict


I was about to begin this piece by suggesting how eventful this summer transfer window had been, certainly in recent memory, but then one only has to look at 2016’s, 2015’s and 2012’s to know Rangers fans are depressingly used to our team being ripped up and started again because the last one did not work.

And this summer has seen exactly the same. If we look at the outgoing, it is an almost comical level of departure, highlighting just what a poor job Mark Warburton did of both building a team for the Championship with one eye on the SPL, then ripping it all up, trying again that following summer and making another mess of it.

This summer has seen the exits, of both loans and permanents of:

Clint Hill, Philippe Senderos, Rob Kiernan, Joe Garner, Jon Toral, Emerson Hyndman, Barrie McKay, Martyn Waghorn, Andy Halliday, Michael O’Halloran, Joe Dodoo and Harry Forrester.

Effectively an entire team.

The incomings have been:

Bruno Alves, Fabio Cardoso, Declan John, Ryan Jack, Graham Dorrans, Daniel Candieas, Dalcio, Eduardo Herrera, Carlos Pena, Alfredo Morelos, and Aaron Nemane.

11 in, 12 out. Another summer of significant turnover.

How do we assess the players we brought in?

Alves has not quite set us on fire Carlos Cuellar style, and indeed has been exposed a few times, but quality is quality and he will surely get right up to speed soon enough. Some think he has been exceptional – we reluctantly disagree a tad.

We have been more impressed by Cardoso, whose positional sense, pace, energy and work rate have been excellent – he was a prized asset by former club Vitoria De Setubal and we can see why.

Ryan Jack has slowly grown into the role expected of him with increasing authority. He has been one of the stand out performers over the past two matches and we expect that trend to continue.

Graham Dorrans
initially looked the absolute part but has maybe been a little quieter over the last two fixtures. It was a complaint some Norwich fans had of him, that he could be a little anonymous at times. But when he has been on his game, his contribution is without question.

Daniel Candeias
has done better than many, including us, expected. While hardly Arjen Robben, he has worked hard, looked willing, and defended as well. He is a little inconsistent with his final ball though, but has a mean free kick.

has been axed from the match day squad through utter incompetence and few know why we brought him in.

has not stood out on any level, with a poor career scoring record. His enterprising displays in pre-season did not carry over to the SPL and he has been on the outside looking in more often than not. Hopefully his goal against County will kick him on.

Pena is one who still seems out of sorts and not ready yet to make an impression. He made little of one v County during his cameo.

Morelos has just got better and better. Props to Jonatan Johansson for scouting him and Pedro for trusting him. The Colombian striker is a natural born scorer and as long as Rangers make chances, he will bury them.

Naturally we cannot remotely say anything about the latest two, Nemane and John.

And of course no Steven Naismith, no Kenny McLean, no Louis Moult, and failure on deadline day to secure Jamie Walker when it seems Hearts became willing to deal once Rangers’ upped their offer to cash plus player.

Overall was it a good window? We would have to take the fifth on it. On paper we got a lot of shiny new players, yes, but central defence especially remains lacking depth, and we are a few quality wingers short too, while full back options are hardly inspiring.

But central midfield looks very promising, and attack definitely seems better with Morelos around.

The proof will be in the pudding. After the international break, Celtic aside, Rangers have a rather negotiable September. Partick Thistle, Hamilton and Dundee all lie in wait and those kind of fixtures are the winnable ones Rangers need nine points from in order to start climbing up the table. Hamilton away is the toughie, the New Douglas Park side having a fine start to the season with two wins from four and a very solid fourth place. Anything from the Old Firm clash is a bonus.

Once we are into October, where Rangers are and how September went will be pretty much the best clue about the prospects for the season. One brutal match, one tough one, one modest one and two theoretically ‘easy’ ones – a good selection of matches to identify where Rangers are going under Pedro.

We will know at about 10PM on the 29th of this month just what we have here.

Let us hope it is good.

image polls


  1. Sitting only 3pts behind Celtic it is inexplicable that Rangers didn't push the Walker deal over the line, especially as it's clear that Hearts were willing to sell. If Walker will improve us next season (via a pre contract in January) then it is here and now that we need him. Further compounded by letting Dodoo go to Charlton leaving us seriously short in the wide areas. If Candieas picks up an injury who replaces him – Dalcio! Sadly it seems indicative of where Rangers ambition lies this season rather than any belief that they can challenge Celtic. With Celtic involved in European football, Dembele injured, and one or two such as Armstrong out of sorts – the addition of one or two quality players could have given us an unexpected but fighting chance of taking Celtic all the way. King could have personally bankrolled this. But maybe in his heart he knows that Pedro will soon be gone and another summer clearout is on the cards!

    • To me it shows the lack of any strategy at the club. We could of got a very good player, for a position we need some quality in. Instead we made bids we knew would be rejected.

      Why? To fool gullible fans? To keep Pedro happy? Because people in charge are clueless? Because we sell out talent below value and expect others to make same mistake?

      All of the above.

  2. Well done to Rangers not being bullied paying an over inflated price for Walker. Now we can either get him for a realistic price in January or get him for free after a signed pre-contract. Hearts have been very foolish not accepting what Rangers were offering, they cut their nose to spite their face, especially as they need the money, very foolish! Hopefully Walker can just get on with his football and prove that he is worthy to be a Rangers player in the coming months. I feel for the lad after all the media speculation, but he needs to get his head down and stick a few goals in, especially against the beggars.
    Rangers always get held to ransom for players which has contributed to our downfall in the past. Walker will be a Rangers player next year, and we have saved hundreds of thousands. Only time will tell if this squad can do a turn. Now that the transfer window is closed, lets get on with the game.

  3. It would have been good to get walker,his situation at hearts is similiar to barrie mckays was at rangers.

    apparently pena wants to use this move to rangers as a stepping stone to the english premier league.he better kick on.I hope if he steps on any stones he doesn't break them!

  4. We have to remember that it is almost impossible to change an entire team in one transfer window. I think most of the positions have been well upgraded and while there are a few positions I'd have liked to see upgraded (GK, RB, LW) I think we will address these in January or next summer.

    If we lack cover in certain areas then it creates an opportunity for a youth to step up, and we need youths coming through. If every position is well covered then the road is blocked. Pedro seems willing to give youth a go.

    Let's give this group our support while they continue to gel and improve.

  5. Ok. The window is closed and we are where we are. Dodoo is gone for 4 months 8 but at least he'll get some game time to prove himself, which he wouldn't have been likely to get from Pedro. And by January If things don't go well for us then he might come back to a new manager. We don't have Walker just now so we get on with it and make the best of the squad we've got. On that subject, would we get an improved Wallace if he was relieved of the captaincy. He's been carrying an immense load on his shoulders under the management of the loaf and now Pedro
    . A break might do him good. Mon the Gers

  6. From what I have picked up Hearts STILL wanted £1mill for Walker. Personally I think the club did the right thing by not giving in and waiting!! Pedro does give kids a chance so if Candeias gets injured he will probably look at that option. We have the nucleous of a great team now, as and when they all click we could habe something special!!! 8/10 with room to improve thats how I see it!!

  7. Did Rangers intentionally keep the Hearts / Walker deal going to the very end of the transfer window to stop him going elsewhere at this time?

    Knowing that they can pre-contract him in January for nothing or a cut-down fee for the last part of this season, depending on the points difference with Celtic.

  8. Sorry but I disagree with most on here. The time to strengthen was now. I believe Celtic have been a little complacement and haven't really strengthened over the summer. Next year however they will have another £30 million in the kitty courtesy of the Champions League + a likely windfall from Van Dyke. If Rangers have any belief they should have strengthened the team now and went all out for a proper challenge. £200/300K is nothing in the overall scheme of things. Fact is Caixhina has now left us lightweight in a key area. We don't seem to play hardball to quite the same extent when it comes to bringing in overseas players or selling
    our own. My feeling is that Herrera & especially Pena will become Caixhina's albatross. We did spend serious money on these players and we needed to spend that wedge on players who were fit and ready to contribute. Poor judgement ( in a long line of poor decisions) from Pedro.

  9. Walker will never be a rangers player now, it's astonishing arrogance to think we will simply sign him on a pre contract.

    How do you think the player feels? According to my pal who knows him, Pissed off with both clubs.

    We unsettled him and put in bids we k we would be rejected. Why? To fool the gullible fans who have been fooled – "oh we tried, but won't be held to ransom".

    Held to ransom? No. Hearts wanted a realistic fee for a player who I'm contract is worth 2-3m easily. We could have agreed a compromise but we offered less than previous bids with players added that hearts had zero interest in.

    If walker has a good season he will follow the same example as Patterson, another player we could have signed but arrogantly thought we could get him in a free. Player though otherwise, so will walker.

    Big deal? some say, however the reality is our side is imbalanced and lacks quality out wide, particularly on the left. This is where you can unlock teams sitting deep and this is why we will struggle. Windass if he is fit can make an impact there but all other players we play there are not wide men.

    I'm angry because we have missed out on a really good player and one we needed. Sorry but third is where I see this group finishing and under a new manager. The ONLY explanation for this is that board have major doubts about manager, just like everyone else (except the people who aren't mature enough to accept any criticism, despite it being valid).

    • E chef you are the most negative, paranoid one trick pony who posts on this site. Its all about Dave King, Dave King and the board. Going by your particularly obsessive rants today you obviously know all about magic beans.. Mon the Gers

    • Agree with Alex Bev E Chef has a thing about our board do you want to go backwards to Green et al NO so please try and be positive

  10. Of course Pedro must prove himself. But I think boards strategy is correct. We are building for future. We have some good new players. I believe Pena will come right. I am not so sure about Windass. He could be good but must put in more effort. We want to encourage youngsters. When we don't fans moan but when we played them last year they failed. Aberdeen should be our target this year. I wouldn't rule out 4 wins in Sept. Mclean at St Johnstone missed a golden chance to put them 2 up against Celtic. I believe Celtic are overrated and will not do so well this year. Fortunately they are still in Champions League which wil see them travel a lot and suffer some heavy defeats. Not good for morale and if Aberdeen and Gers hang in the league may not be a formality. Next summer will see a big change at Ibrox. In Europe , Floors Direct gone, a new share issue and it will be a new ball game. So support team this year. Pedro was a surprise appointment as was Warburton. And remember fans loved Warburton at end of his first year. Dave King didn't. We now know all this. Hopefully Pedro is ok but who would you choose? Remember Scotland is a Micky Mouse league now. And would your choice come? This, above all years is Year to get behind team.

    • Alan, what strategy are you talking about? Serious question here as I don't see it.

      What I see is the Board hiring a new manager and giving him a transfer budget and carte Blanche to do whatever he wants with it. Which, okay fine, you have to back your manager. Except Pedro's plan is to rip up everything the last manager did and start over. Not saying that's a bad thing as Warbs made a complete hash of things, but what happens if/when we fire Pedro because the results aren't good enough? Does the Board then repeat the same process with whoever is hired next and the current squad completely ripped up next summer? Because if that's the grand 'Plan', it's no plan at all! And it's definitely not building for the future. Yet sadly, that's undoubtedly what will happen because the Board has hired a manager with no consideration as to whether his plans and ideas mesh with what we're about as a club. And you can be sure the Board is going to want to change direction if/when Pedro is fired and whoever the next guy is will have totally different ideas of what will take this club forward.

      And don't even get me started on off the pitch issues the Board has completely botched. Yes, it was good to get rid of Ashley, but even that excercise reeks of rank amateurs. The new home kit – same as the old kit. The rumored away kit is a joke. And while the 3rd kit looks decent, it just reinforces how badly the home kit launch was completely screwed up because of the litigation with Ashley. Clearly it had nothing to do with deadlines to registering new kits with the league as we supposedly were able to register both a new away kit and a 3rd kit? So why not a home kit?

      And one last thing: there's zero chance that lawsuit was settled for the terms Dave King explained to us all. Ashley signed that deal for the same reason he signs every other deal he does – because it put some money in his pocket. This wasn't a charity excercise for him, and yet we're supposed to believe that we got everything we wanted in that deal and Ashley got nothing? There's something going on here, and King isn't being honest with us. King is no better than Green IMO. He's just making us feel good about it when he fleeces us.


  11. Im really pleased we didnt pay the prices for young Walker I believe he will be ours for nothing next season .They had the audacity to offer £300,000 for Cadden at Motherwell then ask us for a Mill Fuck off !!!! Which proves its about US ..nothing else

Comments are closed.