January neglect means board must address this critical issue immediately


Few Rangers fans were disappointed with the January business done at Ibrox. We here at Ibrox Noise were delighted with the likes of Jason Cummings and Greg Docherty arriving, and both of them have lived up to the hype, albeit the former more sparingly.

Overall the work in that time was very good, and we supported the notion of loan players on a literal ‘try before we buy’ basis. Ergo, Jason Cummings and Jamie Murphy are certain to be made permanent this summer. Sean Goss’s future is less clear but we will see in good time.

However, despite the fine additions made at the start of the year, we cannot help wondering why the weakest part of the team, defence, was essentially entirely neglected.

Only one signing was made, itself a gamble due to the player’s age and lack of favour at his parent side. Russell Martin was completely frozen out at Norwich and few were sad to see him move on, and while his age promised experience, the reality of his performances at Ibrox have vindicated Daniel Farke’s call to ditch him from Carrow Road’s first team.

But the bizarre oddity is why he was the only one brought in for an area which has been a real Achilles heel for Rangers ever since Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin Goian left.

Furthermore, Mark Allen, for the fine work he did otherwise in the window, and he did do extremely well, appears to have made a real mistake letting Danny Wilson go and not offering him a new deal.

Rangers made the decision that inexperienced and unconvincing David Bates and Russell Martin was a good enough pairing at the back, and decided equally that Bruno Alves and Fabio Cardoso were adequate reserves.

And having decided to ditch Wilson (he formally signed for Rapids at the very end of the window), reckoned Martin was a sufficient replacement (he’d signed on in the middle of the month).

Just why was only one (risky) defender brought in?

Rangers went absolutely bonkers last summer and January with midfielders, signing up Docherty, Jack, Goss, Pena and Dorrans, to add to McCrorie, Halliday, Holt, Kranjcar, Rossiter etc. Ten players for effectively two slots.

And yet over the past two windows have only signed three central defenders?

Why was (and is) the backline neglected?

Rangers just about got away with it this calendar year thanks to the free-scoring attack, but the Hamilton debacle was a worrying sign and two defeats on the trot suggests the ‘luck’ at the back dried up. Along with the option of David Bates thanks to injury.

It is imperative the free agent market is looked at immediately, and with Niko Kranjcar gone wages have been freed up to get a couple of decent centre backs who can help provide quality competition and depth.

We have provided a tonne of options who are currently available, and the sooner management brings more in, the better.


  1. I think you have this wrong.At the break the club would have anticipated that Alves would be fit. On his salary and experience he would have been expected to be no 1 choice. With him would be a choice of the promising Bates , Mcrorie , Cardosa( still promising then and expensive) and a no doubt cheap but experienced Martin. Wilson was never Rangers class so we probably saved money by letting him go when we may well not have needed him. 2nd place should have been in our grasp and we would h ave time to assess the youngsters. In summer Martin would go and Probably Alves. Then we could decide. But injuries, as with midfield have stuffed up options.I think you are being hard on Board. Hindsight is easy but Rangers have had particularly bad luck with injuries as well as refs this year. New money on its way. Big clear out and onwards and upwards.

  2. In terms of going bonkers on midfielders, Goss was brought in on loan when Jack had already been ruled out for the season, and Pena left on loan so none of them are in competition, Rossiter hardly kicked a ball in 2 years, we couldn't rely on Nikos fitness, and Dorrans had been out long term too, McCrorie was a defender until injuries led to him being deployed in midfield. Also think your castigation of Martin is a bit harsh, he's had a lot more EPL and Championship experience and more Scotland caps than Wilson, so he is an upgrade. Celtic have had years of Champions League money and they still can't attract a decent centre half despite it being an obvious weakness. I haven't read the tonne of options you have suggested but if they are willing to ply their trade in Scotland then there will be reasons why (failure elsewhere, fitness issues, inexperience, or age getting the better of them).

  3. I think central defence has been a problem. The board tried to fix it last summer, with Alves and Cardoso added to Wilson, Bates and McCrorie. It didn't work. So in January they have added Martin, giving us 6 CBs for 2 jerseys. This was reduced by Wilson going, which personally I think was a mistake but accept he may have decided he wanted to go.

    McCrorie was never meant to be a midfielder, we were just missing Jack and Rossiter. I think he will return to CB. I hope we don't keep Martin, Alves or Cardoso. I would start with McCrorie, Bates and at least one experienced quality addition. But they don't come cheap. Man City won't sell Stones, we can't afford him. Same for many other good CBs. We need a quality which is outside our budget, so we are relying on Allen to find a hidden gem. That is one good reason for resigning Bates if he doesn't get too greedy. He is not Raphael Varane, but he can do a job. We need experience to mentor Bates and McCrorie though and the Scotland team shows there is very little about. Our best national CBs are people like McCrorie, McKenna, Souttar. All young, so we are short on mentors.
    In conclusion I agree with Alan Calder that you are a little harsh. there are few options out there, they tried and failed last summer, they tried and failed again in January, they understand that there is a small to non-existent pool to fish in.

    Fingers crossed for the summer that Allen works some more magic

  4. Spend season ticket money on 2 centre halfs built like Amaruso and field them with a mobile experienced player who reads the game well and organises players around him (not just the defence). Any other signings will be a bonus.

  5. Mark Allan should use his Man City Contacts to get us a defender or two?
    😃👍…like the look of Adarabioyo

    But in the summer Defence is Key!

    Apart From Tav, McCrorie, John and Wallace …Whole New Defence Needed

    Bin : Alves, Bates, Martin, Cardoso

    We should have kept D.Wilson!

  6. Firstly guys we must get rid of all the deadwood brought in by the previos incumbents with no disrespect to murty he has done a good job at a difficult time we need the board to find a manager that will challenge celtic next season which will give the new incumbent a chance to build a team of professionals and no egos who only play for money they need to put the club first we should only have players who want to play for the club first and foremost.

  7. If we are being realistic there are 2 things that are probably true:
    1. We are better under Murty, especially after the transfer window, than we were before.
    2. We probably won't win the league next season regardless of who is in charge.
    That leaves the Board in a dilemma. Do we stick with Murty and hope to improve again with another window. Just imagine we could keep scoring at the same rate and sort out the defence with a couple of commanding centre halfs. Or do we bring in a new Manager and almost start again with the risks that entails.
    I suspect with Murty we will get better but will it be enough. With someone else we could take a big leap or things could go belly up.

  8. I hope the board club don't take any of your suggestions on centre halves. It'd only be a waste of money for a short term fix.
    I'd much prefer they invested the money in a proper fix in the summer.

  9. Been saying for years our defence is mince! Danny Wilson is a greedy money grabbing average at best player! Bates is the same, demanding more money for his average services!
    Out this season should be Alves, Cardoso, Bates, Hodgson (and Martin is on a shoogly peg, not convinced).
    I'd keep Tav, John and Wallace, the rest can go.
    Mark Allan is going to be a busy lad this summer, but priority must be a new manager!

    • Jimbo.
      Martins a big No No also, for me his legs have started to go and that's why his parent club want well rid.
      They can all go, this must be our priority come the summer to go along with a quality Manager

      Ps. Watch the skint man pull 11M out of nowhere, he's pretty dam good at that shit!!!!

  10. Agree with most comments , the CH position is a worry we lack a clear leader with the quality and fitness to stay and play for most of the season . I think in hindsight Wilson would have been retained till Alves or Cardoso could have been offloaded. but we will never know the whys ? I would like to see us get in some quality form abroad with a view to sell on /enhancing their career it is the way to go . The Rotten Mob have done it very successfully with Van Dyck etc. Hopefully we bring in more than 2 and offload all of the rest including Bates who seems to be stalling on his contract , which I find strange as the boy was going nowhere till we picked him up ??? Martin is not any kind of answer at all and will be a significant wage we don't need to be spending.

  11. a couple o centre halfs the quality of amorooso or a moore or even bougherra, european football next season too atleast till christmas finals o two cups if possible, all thatgames two or three backups for CH. how much does that cost crazy thats how much. keep bates cost fek al, cardoso keep one more year he cost money nobodys gonna recoup wat he paid abt 700k i think no decided on martins yet but alves can go.weir was well older than martins dont see how he couldnt keep playin

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