The night the 4-2-3-1 died?


No question that last night’s first half from after the goal was pretty dreadful. Quite honestly the lack of spine from the majority of the team was rather woeful, and must have given deep cause for concern for new manager Steven Gerrard if he was watching.

However, one substitution in the second half simply changed the game – sure, Rangers only walked away with a point, but had Alfredo Morelos’ finishing been better all three could have been the visitors’.

It was not until the introduction of Jason Cummings and a dramatic shift in formation that Rangers finally grabbed this match and showed some dig. It was far from vintage, it was miles off being good enough, but it was an improvement and strongly showed how poor the 4-2-3-1 has become.

When the 22-year old striker arrived, he was placed on the left of a midfield three alongside Ross McCrorie and Sean Goss, and while this appeared radical and completely out of position, there is no doubt it worked to an extent.

Cummings being on the left and cutting in and sweeping back out dragged defenders away from the right, giving James Tavernier more time to get some decent crosses in.  Indeed, he put one on a plate for Morelos whose effort was poor.

But Cummings, while his own play wasn’t outstanding, his movement was. He supported the attack to frequently turn the 4-3-3 into a 4-4-2 and that constant fluctuation of where he was gave Aberdeen too much to handle and they became exposed much more than they had been.

His deeper play was also giving Goss and McCrorie an out, and while we wouldn’t advocate this cavalier formation every match, the ability to change things up and try something different is absolutely to Jimmy and JJ’s credit.

It shows that our last three managers’ refusals to alter from either 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 apart from very occasionally was a major part of their own downfalls.

Mark Warburton used to always say it wasn’t about the opponent, it was about us and what we do. Poppycock – you manage match by match and anything else is pure arrogance. To suggest you’re above altering your setup to deal with the different challenge of different opponents is staggering.

Last night JJJ altered the formation drastically in the second half, and it really had an impact.


  1. The only bit of credit i would give warburon tacticly was against dundee @ ibrox where the front 3 rotated constantly and became unplayable, masterstroke! done it once. why? should do the same v hivs, 3-4-3 with morelos cummings and murphy changing 4 n the midddle would be mcCrorie halliday docherty back 3 would be hodgson bates holt for just this game only.threat up top solid midfield and pace at the back with protection from tav and halliday. keep candieas for change later.

  2. THe change that really made the difference was putting Cummings out wide on the left of midfield and bringing Murphy inside to the number 10 role which he played to perfection. Master stroke by JN &JJ.
    Morelos can’t buy a goal right now unfortunately – missed three chances that he would have buried earlier in the season. Despite this he works his socks off across the back line and doesn’t give the opposition defence a minute’s peace. Surely the end of the road for Goss though -return too QPR in the summer -while Holt & Halliday will never be good enough for the blue jersey.

  3. I am a big Jason Cummings fan I think he can only get better and hopefully we can get the deal done for him. I think unfortunately those bastards will carve us up at Park head allowing that Sheep Shagging dross to get a freak result just to do us !! I know it sounds paranoia but everything in Scottish Football and Media is Hate Us !

  4. I hope I never see that fucking formation again at Rangers for as long as I live. Cummings & Morelos would be deadly if played in partnership together – not just that they’d create space for another from midfield.. That was Murtys downfall I’m afraid – but why would Jimmy & JJ start that way in the first place?

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