Sunday, 8 April 2018

Seven things we learned against Dundee

Yesterday’s badly-needed victory over Dundee may have been ugly as sin, but it got the job done even if the scoreline flattered the home side.

Here are seven things Ibrox Noise believes we learned from this one:

1: The 4-2-3-1 is at the end of its useful life in terms of exclusivity and Graeme Murty is in danger of completely turning into Mark Warburton in terms of refusing to alter it. It’s fine to have a favoured formation, but Murty only has one formation. And teams are exposing it every match; the manager must manage and find alternative strategies.

2: Rarely has a 4-0 scoreline failed to even remotely reflect the events on the pitch to this extent. Dundee only managed two less shots to Rangers’ 14 and had noticeably more of the ball, plus better use of it. Kamara and Deacon in the middle especially dominated Rangers’ currently-misfiring engine room (more on that later) and it was worrying to see how the third bottom team outclassed Rangers in every area of the pitch. Thankfully besides putting the ball in the back of the net.

3: If Rangers keep playing like that, and frankly, over the past two or three matches, they have, they will deeply struggle to take much from the rest of the season. The top five remain, and while these sides are cancelling each other out and taking points from each other, you know damn well each one of them will be on their a-game when they face Rangers. Rangers have to play better and be better prepared.

4: There seems a systemic all-round malaise engulfing this club right now – the management is bizarre at best, it doesn’t make good use of the squad (any more), the fans are losing patience with mediocrity and most of the players just aren’t doing the business, one or two aside.

5: Daniel Candeias really was a shrewd piece of business last summer – Pedro’s best signing without a single shadow of a doubt. He scores, he assists, and he works as hard in attack as he does in defence. He is the single reason James Tavernier is having his best season as a Ranger. The only thing the Portuguese lacks is blistering pace.

6: Alfredo Morelos’ finishing is utterly atrocious. Sure, he scored with the only chance in his life that was actually easier than the Celtic miss, but this guy’s magic boots have deserted him and he’s missing many more than he’s scoring. Sure, Ally did the same, as is always the comeback to that one. And it’s a fair point. So we won’t argue it. Other than to say Ally never missed the big ones, the ones that truly mattered.

7: Ross McCrorie struggled at the back, having not played there in a long time. Moussa had the measure of him (and Martin and John), as did Murray, and but for better finishing Moussa would have scored a hat trick. We like McCrorie a lot but we just don’t think defence is the best slot for him. He’s best deployed in DM, for us.

Yeah, not a lot of positivity we can come out with for this one. We know we’ve been coming across as grumpy negative old goats, but performances like yesterday’s don’t do a lot to lift the spirits.

Cheer us up and put in some chirpy comments for us to smile at.

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