Shock return for Rangers fringe player?

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Following a worrying tackle by St Johnstone’s Matty Willock, Jamie Murphy is a big doubt for next weekend’s Old Firm crunch.

It is a grandiose concern, such is the form the 28-year old is in, plus the highly-efficient ‘symmetry’ formation Graeme Murty has been using to such good effect – John and Murphy on the left, Tavernier and Candeias on the right.

Thankfully the latter two remain fit, but with doubts over John (we’ll deal with that separately) and Murphy now for the next week or two, Michael O’Halloran may be getting an unexpected chance to finally prove he’s worthy of a Rangers shirt.

The winger has been completely frozen out under Graeme Murty, for right or wrong, and no one could argue a case for him playing over the excellent Murphy previously.

But with a big question mark hanging over the on-loan Brighton man, O’Halloran (once again not on the bench last night) may have a big chance at last to allow Murty to continue the system he’s been employing to such good effect the past few weeks. Some may argue a case for Jason Cummings in Murphy’s place, but left winger is not exactly Cummings’ known forte.

O’Halloran’s absence has certainly been curious, if strangely unimportant. The starting XI has been doing the job, and while options on the bench have hardly been brilliant (only Jason Cummings had stood out as a worthy sub till Bruno returned), it has been odd that O’Halloran has been training as normal but unable to even get a place on the chair.

Is he a worthy replacement for Murphy? Frankly in our squad there’s no left-sided winger capable of replacing him, which is why we proposed a return move for Jordan Jones (albeit we could not have foreseen the need for such a player quite so soon), but with the only valid options should Murphy not make it being O’Halloran and Miller, well, you do the math.

Does O’Halloran deserve a chance? Sure, why not. Murty has shown no interest in him, but may be forced into considering him if he wants to keep up the archetype of his system. Kenny Miller will not offer the roaming skill of Murphy, nor the pace, whereas O’Halloran is probably one of the few in the squad who could actually do a job there in the 28-year old’s potential absence.

And yet we still hark back to why Murty is not interested in the ex-St Johnstone forward – be it ability, attitude or anything else, if Murphy is definitely out for the next while and MOH still does not get the call, he is as finished under Murty at Rangers as he was under Pedro.

Maybe Pedro got that one right?

10 COMMENTS

  1. Is unbelievable that another of our players could be badly injured because of failure to get protection form the referee

    If we lose Murphy for the game v Celtic, the only option is to play Windass to the left of the 3 with Cummings in the centre of the 3 with Candeias to the right. It’s not ideal because Josh has been great in his current role. But it keeps the form players in the team and doesn’t upset the balance

  2. I don’t understand why we didn’t leave OHalloran at Saints. It would have saved us money. I think he is perceived as being lazy and doesn’t work hard in defence. ( see his last game for Saints- he lost possession and trotted back. Saints conceded goal). That would explain his current status. But why bring him back?

  3. simple one for me, offer him to saints and use the money to fund a move for jones or offer him to killie as a swap and or cash deal? the guy will never feature and his career will suffer, not to mention the weekly wage. i beleive at least another six could follow him and fund a move for goss. pena's situation wll need looked at.I wuld look at moult again and bring back barrie mc kay under murty only.

  4. How about 3 CBs, with 1 given licence to step forward.
    Goss and Docherty flanked by Tav and John, Wallace, Halliday, someone, anyone, depending on who is fit and on form.
    Windass in behind Morelos and Cummings. Very attack minded, quite narrow which would be a problem. I like the formation, but probably not against them.
    But I have faith that Magic Murty will solve the problem.
    WATP

    • We did consider 3 at the back, but it presents issues. Firstly we don't know John will make it, so we're preparing for that. Secondly, is it really the match to drop Candeias for? Tav and Candeias cannot surely play together in that formation. And if Candeias IS (crudely) to fit in the 5, someone else has to go. Goss, Docherty, Tav, Wallace/Halliday, Windass/Candeias? Tricky one!

      But that's why Murty's on the big bucks.

    • Key players should have been subbed on the 60-70 min mark. we were cruising at this point and with the weather conditions and the violent treatment ongoing throughout the game we should have been looking to protect and rest the key players like Murphy, Windass, Goss or Dochery, no need to have kept them all on knowing we have the manky mob coming up in less than 2 weeks.

    • I agree that 3 at the back presents its own problems, and I don't think Celtic is the game for experimenting.
      So we potentially need backups for John and Murphy.
      John's are 1)Wallace, 2)Halliday and 3)God knows but not Hodson. Decent at RB, bombscare at LB
      Murphy not so easy, it is a problem position. We have the young guy who arrived in January, I keep forgetting his name, but that would be a little risky. Could try him against Falkirk though. Or have Windass and Cummings float between left and centre, or play Miller or O'Halloran there.
      I would be tempted to play Miller in behind Cummings against Falkirk with MOH and the young boy gettinmg 45 minutes each, to see who is on song before making a decision.

      If it comes down to it, Miller will run all day out wide for us against Celtic. He will scare them more than MOH, who would be better suited to playing at the Piggery where they will attack and leave him with space

  5. Let's not be so gloomy. Nothing is confirmed re potential absences. Re Murphy, it's, apparently, an injury to his toe. Will that keep him put for a fortnight or longer? Doubtful, so let's wait and see. John? According to Murty, his absence last night was just a precaution. I think it's highly likely that Wallace will given a runout against
    Falkirk at the weekend. He's fit again and just need match practice. Re left wing, Murphy won't be risked at the weekend . so, although I'm not a fan, I would give MOH a run-out against the bairns. I also think its a certainly that Miller will also play, again to give him match practice in case he's needed against the Tims. And, although many will not agree if the choice is MOH or Miller a week on Saturday, I'd go with Miller every single time!

    • Indeed Davie.
      He's got a bruise in his toe ffs not a broken leg!?
      Miss the Falkirk game and play in the OF game surely!!

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