Eleven (yes really) things we learned v Thistle

Eleven (yes really) things we learned v Thistle

Yesterday’s fine win over a very solid Partick Thistle side was enlightening on a number of levels.

Naturally we should not take these overly seriously given it is an interim manager who is extremely unlikely to be given the job permanently, but nevertheless when it comes to food for thought, the 3-0 victory at Ibrox certainly gave some.

Ibrox Noise takes you through the things we learned:

1: It took the ex-manager six months to manage two league matches in a row with 3 goals scored or more (Hamilton 1-4 then St Johnstone 0-3). Graeme Murty has managed it with ease against Hearts on his second debut and now against Partick. If ever there was a case for a manager failing to get the most out of his charges, that would help the evidence.

2: Ross McCrorie is developing into a truly excellent defender. He has made a healthy number of appearances now and only looked slightly vulnerable against Hamilton. He has excelled against Celtic, Hearts and now Partick and there is every case this lad could become a first pick. He is completely at home in this company and absolutely deserved his excellent goal. He can only get better.

3: Rangers did not miss Bruno Alves. Despite the positive stats from the Portuguese as we brought to you yesterday, nevertheless his absence was no weakness to a Rangers defence which completely nullified Thistle. Remember how Conor Sammon was such a threat in the two successive fixtures and actually troubled Cardoso and Alves? He was invisible yesterday.

4: Speaking of Alves, Graeme Murty showed cajones in having no qualms about leaving the defensive titan benched. Why change it from Hearts, essentially. He stuck with McCrorie at the back and the youngster did his manager proud. Again.

5: Jason Holt has had a new lease of life. This is one we will credit Pedro with – he did bring Holt back into play after the wee angry guy lost form and his place, and Holty has really sprung to life. He now finally looks comfortable with the SPL and is arguably one of Rangers’ best players right now. Big Hugh Burns quite rightly gave him Man of the Match yesterday and it was completely justified.

6: Daniel Candeias is such an interesting player. Great crossing, and can score, and has pace to burn against everyone other than Celtic, the Portuguese has been, overall, the ex-boss’s best signing. He works so hard in attack and defence, and his assists and goals are starting to become indispensible. We really like this guy.

7: Alfredo Morelos might be goal dry but he is such a workhorse and terrier up top – even when he is unable to find the onion bag he is working off the ball to help everyone else. It actually hurts to see him fail to score because he deserves to get back on the score charts. But the lad’s got the heart of a lion and even managed to hugely reduce or even eliminate that little touch of play acting he has flirted with of late.

8: Kenny Miller’s form is howling. Yes, he scored a big pair of goals in Edinburgh but he was otherwise poor in the match, just like he has been all season – and yesterday was no different. We are huge admirers of the lad but he is badly off the boil and has been since July. We hope he can get his form back.

9: Josh Windass continues to be blah. Yes, he has scored two in two and you cannot argue with that, so we will not, but his contribution elsewhere is sincerely lacking. He does not assist, he does not create chances, and while his workrate has improved and he is defending more, and we like that, one gets the impression his days in this team are numbered. Even Rangers TV’s Tom Miller did suggest he is only there till the captain returns and Declan John gets shifted into wide left midfield.

10: Graeme Murty is doing a stellar job. Yes, the match went off the boil after the restart, but the damage was done with the first three goals. Job finished – we would have loved to have seen our lads go for the jugular, but sadly it was not to be and we had to content ourselves with the trio. And Murty gets every inch of credit. He has been a real touch of class – speaking well about the club, speaking well of his role, and admitting that while it would be hard to reject the job full time, it is not his aim to take the role. And we are fine with that. We are in safe hands under Murty’s charge and we trust him with the youths when he likely returns to them in the near future.

11: Unless he is injured, and especially if he is not (he was at training this week), Carlos Pena is probably finished at Ibrox. Murty has excluded him from both match day squads and that speaks volumes. It is hard to see how a new manager will take to him. But, hey, crazier things have happened.

There is a feel good sense right now, with Rangers strolling their last two matches in a way we are frankly not used to – it shows how with better organisation and no caravans, barking dogs or Vegas, this squad is able to deliver closer to the sum of its parts than it has at any time this year.

And long may it continue – under this manager and the next.

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  1. El Buffalo is suffering from ploughing a lone furrow up front, even if he doesn't let it get his head down.
    For all the KM dramas, I would argue that yesterday he was as empty a shirt as Pena.
    Awful, just awful. If that had been Pena or Niko, the fans would have been roasting him alive.

    Which means Holt has to work twice as hard. Luckily for us, the wee man loves that.

    Windass is clearly a confidence player and we can see that growing match by match.
    When Wallace is back, I'd have him and John on the left and Windass instead of KM, just behind El Buff.
    Until Dorrans is back.
    I would still love to see us with two up, 3-0 win or not- not to put a dampener on the joy, Hearts and Thistle were both bowfing..

    • I agree with your summing up Doug of where we are at the moment, including your end point in Tistle and Hearts were woeful. In the last 35 minutes againt Partick, a better sidelight have gotten back into the game, as they created many chances, but let’s look on the positives.
      Moreles works his socks off, he just needs a break, another goal, would ease any frustrations he might have, but is definitely performing well enough.
      Miller was dreadful, you can’t criticise him though as other fans around you become hostile, but he is currently the cohesion ensuring what Murty wants in his set-up, acted out on the park. Could this be a position Moreles could play, with Herrera through the middle. Although the result didn’t go our way against Kilmarnock they did link up well.
      Holt works so hard for 90 minutes, I bet he sleeps well after it. His movement, one-touch play and energy is outstanding; he is by no means the finished article but should always be either a starter in the team or at very least be available on the substitutes bench.
      We have a glut of midfield players to pick from and my personal opinion should be one of our strengths; the already mentioned Holt, first half against Thistle yesterday outstanding but faded later on Jack, Dorrans, Krakjaer, Barjonas, Rossiter, if ever fit, Windass, Candias and potentially McLean from Aberdeen, you could include Tavernier, John, Beerman with Halliday and O’Halloran if they were to return. Midfield is where we lose out, overpowered and bossed by Celtic, Hibs and Aberdeen, surely whoever takes over the club will ensure we beef up and utilise our creative midfield players we have at the club to do that.

  2. maybe just maybe Kenny Miller has spot to do with the feel good in or out the team always liked Kenny and delighted he's with us

    • Need to clarify, as I have done many times- I am NOT a Kenny hater. I talk about him a lot because he drives me MENTAL. As a senior figure at the club, he obviously tries to do more than he's capable of and he clearly has the ear and respect of many of the players.
      He was never, ever, a midfielder, though- he doesn't have the skill. Never has had. What he is a worker who gives 100% every single minute he's on the pitch and that is priceless.
      If he did that work in the last third of the pitch, I just feel we would be far more threatening.

      I don't know about "rats" and him being an ex-Celt- I just care about the players in blue on the pitch and what they do.

  3. Wish Kenny would just hing up his boots. As U say he's been gash all season, his head knows what to do but his body won't comply.
    He must have done his coaching badges by now, time to catch that bus Kenny boy.
    Windass can drive the bus!!
    Apart from that beat pish poor opponents well enough.

    See McInnes kept his 59% strike rate up against Hamilton yesterday.
    Would rather stick with Murty than have him or some of the fannies getting aired.
    Would be nice if Mr Allan could get the appointment done this week!!

  4. Think it's worth noting Kenny slid in to win some 50/50 balls and turn over play on a few occasions. Was disappointed he didn't play in Holt on the break in the first half.

    • Glad somebody Noticed what Kenny does that`s good. When he scores he`s a hero and when he`s working his ass of with good and important touches nobody seem to notice.

  5. I would rather we didn't make a decision this week. Give Murty two more games and see if he can do something Pedro never managed, 4 wins in a row. If he can, give him the gig until January. Then, if he takes 4 points out of Aberdeen before Jan 1, why pay for McInnes?
    Signing new players isn't Murty's job, we have a Director of Football for that. Leave Murty as 1st team coach and DoF can do what we all know needs done – sign McLean, Walker, Moult and Morgan(Lewis of St Mirren) on pre-contracts. Then see if any of their clubs want a toke sum to release in January.

    That would be half of next summer's work done already, leaving a few months to identify any other gaps and fill in summer. But, tbh, excited about some of the youth so would be happy to promote another couple of them instead. Need to decide whether Hardie can make it up front for instance.

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