A growing problem for Rangers?

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We had been quietly impressed by January signing Russell Martin, if far from blown away, in the sense that Rangers have not been conceding too many goals overall in this calendar year.

But we must be honest and admit that close inspection of his performances does not exactly back up our thoughts, and the past two matches especially have seen fans reacting a little more negatively to him.

Indeed, four goals conceded against Ayr and Hamilton is actually a pretty concerning number, and if we are equally honest, David Bates too has looked a little shaky.

And the less said about the increasingly poor Wes Foderingham the better.

But 32-year old Martin was brought in to secure the backline, a spiritual replacement for the underwhelming Bruno Alves, to lead those around him, and there’s a growing feeling that the defence which previously had so much potential is starting to look like Rangers’ weak spot, albeit many fans already thought it was in the first place.

In fact, before this transfer window, we at Ibrox Noise were actually happy with it, with captain Danny Wilson helping to lead the line and forging a half decent partnership with David Bates.

Since Wilson left, however, there have been murmurs of discontent about how effective the rearguard actually is and four goals conceded in two matches is not really good enough going forward.

Both Martin and Bates have been guilty of mistakes recently, and while it is only a fledgling partnership, and should be given time, it must be remembered that Bates was ditched by Scottish Championship Raith Rovers and Martin was abandoned by English Championship Norwich.

Of course we got Slim Jim from Raith too, but that was us plundering a smaller team for their best players, not taking lower league teams’ cast offs.

For now, midfield and attack are doing very well indeed, even if some quarters of the support complained about Greg Docherty’s performance on Sunday. Hence failings at the back are being compensated at the front.

But we have expressed concerns about the depth in fullback, their positioning and the form of Foderingham – well, it seems the central berth is becoming an issue as well.

Thankfully Saturday’s opponents Hearts’ overall form is not great with just two wins in their last five, but they do have an in form striker in Kyle Lafferty who has four in four.

It’s not the biggest problem Murty has ever had, but he’ll be hoping his back five get their act together by the weekend, especially in light of Rangers’ troubling form at Ibrox.

15 COMMENTS

  1. I know there's been a couple of defensive mistakes but I think our main problem is the midfield, there's nobody there to take control of the game, nobody protecting the back 4, making themselves available to take the ball from them and turn and dictate play. We need a Barry Ferguson type player. I think mcrorie was doing great in that role and even Jack previous to that showed glimpses. The last 2 games we have let teams dictate and pressurise us into mistakes before we react. Against better teams we can't give them that kind of start because we won't be able to turn it round. I'm delighted with the way things are going bit that's my biggest worry right now.

  2. Murphy & Goss have been tickety boo,
    Martin & Cummings need to up there game big time.
    Our present manager and the 4 above might not be at Ibrox come next season, absulutly everything's pure speculation.
    Win every game possible between now and the end of the season must be our only aim right now.

  3. I can't stand the negativity, 9 points behind a team with so called millions and a free run for years against a young inexperienced manager.In my day we would have roared the gers on to victory, we can fuckin DO this f ibrox is rocking every week. KEEP BELEIVIN!

    • absolutely. the tims are worried. they can see which way the wind is starting to blow. this season has a long way to go

  4. The quicker alves gets back the better.
    Only one goal against his side of the park in all matches he's played, and that was a deflection off him.

  5. I keep preaching for us to play 3 at the back with 2 holding midfield players and everybody else bursting to score goals to try and win all our remaining matches.

  6. We should have hung on to Wilson!
    Dont Buy Martin Permanently after Loan
    Let Hodson Go
    Sell Fodringham and Alnwick

    Summer Shopping List …👌
    2x goalkeepers
    2x centre backs
    1x striker/centre forward

  7. After watching for many weeks our goalie throwing the ball out to players around the 18 yard box where they then tend to get caught out with the opponents playing a high line–why not kick the ball out and let the other team try to deal with it.
    I also watch Tavernier at a throw in throwing it short to get a return then having to clear the ball in a hurry –why not throw the ball as far as he can forward to our player.
    I reckon we need 2 no nonsense defenders to clear the ball out of the danger area

  8. We are in danger of over-egging the pudding here. There is no defensive crises. True, I am not a fan of Bates and Martin gas his limitations. But I'd stick with him. And once young McCrory is back that, to me, would be an effective partnership. I think there is more of an issue re the defensive midfield positions, currently. Goss is a fine passer of the ball is not attentive enough when it comes to the defensive aspect of his play. I'm already a big fan of Docherty but he was never a defensive midfielder for Hamiltton and, long term, that's not how we'll use him at Ibrox. In an ideal world,I'd use Jack and McCrory there but we need the latter for CB. Defensively, the return of Jack and McCrory will tighten up matters considerably. And I'd stick with Martin. Bates? Not the boy's fault, but he's just not Rangers class – and never will be!

  9. I would like to hear murts saying we can definitley can win this, rather than listening to mc' Iness accepting 2nd or lennon tellin us as a rival to celtic also that they can still win the league, why fuckin bother. If i were dempster or milne id be saying pack yer bags, yer here tae win no compete. wit message dis that send to players. imagine fergie or walter acceptin 2 nd best!

  10. Russell Martin was the main instigator for two of Hamilton's goals. He also needs to keep his hands down and stop gifting the opposition penalties. I just hope it was the surface that cause this poor performance from him. That said, I would pair Martin and Alves(if fit). Bates just isn't good enough for the blue jersey, albeit he is an nice fella. Defence is very concerning!

  11. Might make me unpopular but Bruno Alves should be in the Rangers lineup when he is fit! – It's as simple as that. Yes he's made a few errors like everyone else but he is solid, has presence and given time to get his stride after a couple of injuries he'd probably be head and shoulders above ever centre back in Scotland. Bates is decent as is Martin but both have been erratic of late…For me Alves is a starter when fit and captain.

  12. I agree with Stevie – we are missing McCrorie, or in his absence, Ryan Jack. Mid to front of the midfield, and the attack is compensating for mistakes at the back. That's OK against Ayr and Hamilton, but it will have Rodgers and Lennon licking their chops. Even the sheep will soon start fancying their chances.
    Bates is a good defender and he's quick. His distribution is patchy, but that's ok – if in doubt, hoof it. It's Martin, John and Tav (and the goal-line anchored Fod) that really miss having a McCrorie in front of them. The first goal against Hamilton was a Docherty and John double mistake (more Ant and Dec than Doc and Dec) and Martin gave Temps way too much space on the 18 yard line for the second goal.

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