Friday, 13 April 2018

Is this Rangers squad as bad as we think?

As regular readers will know, Ibrox Noise recently put out a 10-step plan to get our club back on the right track. It is of course subjective – we are all loyal supporters of this club who want the best for it, but we all differ in how we think that can be done.

But the absolute truth is that while there are endemic flaws currently in management and playing squad, the football side of the club is going closer to the right direction than the wrong one.

There are a number of players in this first team who are genuinely good enough for this club, at least as part of the process of growth in getting to where we should be.

If we think about how good the Declan Johns, Sean Gosses, Greg Docherties, Daniel Candeias, James Taverniers, Jamie Murphies, Josh Windass, Alfredo Morelos, Jason Cummings etc are, there are few who can make a strong case against these players completely.

Sure, Morelos’ finishing has been poor recently, but if a Celtic player *cough* Dembele *cough* was top of the scoring charts the country would have his value at £25M. Oh wait, they do. Or did.

Sure, Cummings hasn’t played enough, but anyone doubting his work rate, talent and clinical finishing is the type who is unlikely to ever take to him even if he brings peace to the Middle East.

Sure, Sean Goss went a bit flat of late, but the performances in his first 12 matches were enough to show the guy has a tonne of quality, just not experience.

The point? Even the players in the list we can criticise have still shown far more quality than anything anyone did last season.

The best players last season were Kenny Miller and Clint Hill. That says absolutely everything for the team we had in season 2016/2017 under Mark Warburton then Pedro Caixinha.

The further point – there IS a base core to work with here, and the personnel are at a much higher level than they were. The first two or three months this year flattered to deceive, and the team as a whole isn’t as good as that yet. Defence, especially, is absolutely horrendous and desperately needs a dramatic overhaul this summer. But the squad is much better than we have suffered in recent years.

Pedro gave us Candeias and Declan John, and Jonatan Johansson gave us, patchiness aside, Morelos, while Mark Allen gave us Jamie Murphy, Greg Docherty, Jason Cummings and Sean Goss even if Graeme Murty had to actually say ‘yes’ to them.

The ingredients are there. It lacks flavour and substance, and needs the right cook to blend it all together and bring the vital herbs and spices.

That isn’t Graeme Murty – even if he wins on Sunday. After all, Mark Warburton did the same thing and history tells us that did not work out the way it indicated. Beating Celtic once doesn’t prove anything. Murty’s had three cracks at Celtic and not won any. It doesn’t suddenly change if he gets the win like Warburton did.

But we know we have the base infrastructure to go somewhere with much of the present first team – it just needs tweaking.

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