Friday, 20 July 2018

Is Steven Gerrard addressing a major Rangers problem?


This morning Steven Gerrard has been linked again with Liverpool’s Ryan Kent. The 21-year winger is said to be close to a loan move to Ibrox, with Gerrard most likely interested in his ambidextrous versatility in being equally adept on either side.

However, with yet another attacking player potentially arriving, should this area of the side be the priority?

Without doubt, creativity is lacking at Rangers – just two goals scored in 180 minutes and a slight lack of good opportunities in the second leg must be addressed, and few can complain when our manager works on doing that.

His admission following the turgid draw in Macedonia was the concession a real lack of quality existed up front, and to his credit he is trying to address that by bringing in guys like Kent.

But, there is a risk of another position being saturated, if it isn’t already.

In defensive midfield Greg Docherty has already asked to leave on loan due to excessive competition for one, maybe two slots. Ahead of him the young Scot faces Jordan Rossiter, Ryan Jack, Ross McCrorie, Lassana Coulibaly and bizarrely Andy Halliday for the deep berth. Six players for a single position does seem a little extreme.

And its counterpart on the wing is a little scrappy too – secure Kent and Rangers will have Ryan Kent, Josh Windass, Daniel Candeias, Scott Arfield, Jamie Murphy, Ovie Ejaria and Glenn Middleton to name just seven options for the wing areas, which again seems a little over the top.

Meanwhile defence remains much improved with three clean sheets in a row but for now still only furnished with two decent centre backs, while striking options continue to be at a premium.

The squad balance clearly needs work – a bit overly thin up top and at the rear, while individual positions elsewhere get arguably saturated with one too many options.

If Kent does arrive he is another decent option for the channels, and his CV sure isn’t bad. We were sceptical about Ovie Ejaria’s arrival and so far he’s made us look stupid with great displays.

We’re also sure Gerrard is working hard behind the scenes to get men in at the areas we’re weaker in like defence and striker. But currently the balance of the squad does seem a little…odd, to put it that way.

16 comments:

  1. Can't wait until the day we just go and spent a decent amount of money on a striker who will bang in goals, fed up with these loan prospects coming in!

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  2. Windass, Arfield and Ejaria are not wingers or won't be used that way moving forward. So really we currently have Candeias, Murphy and Middleton as wingers. We need cover for Candeias on the right so that's where Kent will fit in. He's apparently pretty good so maybe he will replace Candeias?

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  3. Imo Middleton Candeias and Murphy are the only players I'd consider for the wider areas. Would much rather Arfield Ejaria and Windass were used more centrally. Kent could be our 4th option for the wings.

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  4. Greg you took the words right out my mouth. Never been a fan of singing young players on loan, especially when they can’t get near their own teams squad. I especially have little confidence in a young loan signing being able to get the goals required to get us challenging. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a manager to succeed more than Stevie G, but I’m afraid if he doesn’t demand money for a proper striker it will be an incredibly difficult season for him.

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  5. If he wasn’t good enough for Bristol City he’s not good enough for Rangers!

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  6. I am a painter and decorator by trade and have been for over 40 years and there's nothing that frustrates and irritates me more than customers passing judgement or criticising my workmanship when it's clearly not finished. However, I am not infallible and I am prone to making the odd mistake here and there but more often than not the finished job vindicates the preparation that went before. I think what we are witnessing this close season is something similar, Gerrard is identifying the areas of weakness in the team but recruitment and offloading takes time and doesn't necessarily mean that all areas of the team are strengthened at the same time due to umpteen different reasons. I agree with Fulhan John that Arfield and Ejaria are not remotely wingers and I see Gerrard gathering a good mix of offensive and defensive midfield players with two options for every position. Halliday appears to have more lives than a black tabby cat and he may well be sold or loaned out as well and Rossiter and Dorrans appear to have the fragility of a paper aeroplane so I am not sure if we can genuinely count them in the mix but I feel the squad is shaping up quite well considering that we haven't even see the most recent loanees yet.

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    1. Good Analogy. Agree that it'll take time to get the squad to where it should be. But we do need a more experienced striker, which, will likely be another loan. Strikers wont become available until nearer the end of the window when the top leagues have their teams settled.

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  7. We don't need more wingers. We all know Tav can play right wing if Candeias gets injured. Candeias should be 1st choice on the right. He had the highest number of assists last season. If we must go for a loan lets go for someone older, we're relying on too many young players as it is. Even Ronaldo's form was patchy at 20/21. We should be looking at experienced strikers who aren't starting at their clubs, Defoe, Ings, Hernandez, christ even Ross McCormack

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  8. I only wish he had the foresight to bring back steven davis to captain the side and run the midfield, a i stated before moult & maine would score more goals with us wth the right service.They have all the attributes that we want, spl experience, maine will run all day and can play the loan strker role or paired with moult both would be a handful for any defence including celtic. pity it ain't happening, morelos could fund both?

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  9. I do think we need creativity, but I also think we need somebody like a Peter Crouch or maruaine Fellaini. to give us an edge with the crosses. Last season, too many times swere going in and nobody was there, to nod them in. A big fella the size of Connor Goldson, up front, might give us an edge. Also all of our new boys, need filled in, on the kind of physicality, they can expect from the likes of Motherwell, Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs. Too much times last season, the big neanderthal that is Broony, just barged us off the ball. That can't happen this season. They need to dig in. P.S. Ibrox Noise/Bears: what do you think of trying to get young Curtis Main, off of Motherwell? He's full on attack and impressed me very much, last season. Plus he's still young and sixty times more hungry, than El-Fluffalo. Him up front, we may stand a chance. Sell Morelos, GET, Main. ??

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  10. Instead of bringing in loanees from Liverpool with no track record we should be looking to secure players for the positions that need a better quality of player. It is clear that we need another centre back since we currently only have two of any quality at the club, we need a skilful midfield player with a bit of dig and we need a proven goal scorer not to forget further backup. At present we only have Morelos, still a youngster, young Rudden and a loanee. If we are to have any chance of a run in Europe and winning the league we need to see some quality coming in. So far, in reality Gerrard has only spent £5m with Murphy, being a throw back to last season and Arfield and McGregor being signed before Gerrard arrived. We have been fortunate to secure Flanagan but the defence apart + Arfield, (who has yet to prove his worth), and some loan signings it is the same failures from last season!

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  11. one of his biggest problems could be solved permantly, tav! a solid back four of jf cg nk and jt gives security, add to that wallace and john as cover and possibly cooper, yer defense is someway sorted. or ye play dj left jf right and tav right side of a midfield four, there is also the option of wallace at LB flanagan at RB and pushin john and tav into the areas where windass and candieas operate, dc and dw would be perfect no.10's.as would murphy and middleton. which suggests there are others who could go to fund much needed no.9's or another CB.This would suggest gerrard has options to make us hard to beat firstly and still carry a threat not to mention eijara, coulibay, sadiq.?

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    1. Tav is energetic in attack but his final ball is generally fairly poor, don't like the idea of moving him to midfield.

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    2. we could apply that to the majority, neil mcCann was the last one in recent times, we also seem to lack dead ball type. sadly tav no longer seems to hit the target despite having the ability, this need adressing as many teams have individuals who take long throw in's ect.These areas should be dealt with on the training ground, the other mob have threats all over the park in these situations.

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  12. We Don't Need Wingers!

    We Need An Attacker for 30gls a season
    We Need Another CB

    😣👊⚽

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  13. Greetings to everyone!

    Let's try to look at the transfer policy from a tactical point of view. Throughout most if not all of his career Steven Gerrard played in a team with back-four, so it can be safely assumed, that it is the defensive system he knows best. He may switch to five at the back (or three at the back, whatever you like calling it), but it can't be his starting point, although no one but him can say for sure. In any case early signs (2 friendlies and 2 Europa League games) are that he's going with it.
    Let's look at his options then: Tav seems to be first-choice right back and Flanno same at left-back. Declan John can play as LB if Rangers play against a team, who sit deep and do not require the use of an old "one full-back goes, another stays" rule. Flanno can do a job at right-back as it's his main position and Rangers also have Lee Hodson and Lee Wallace on their books. Yes, there have been rumours of both of them leaving, but Gerrard has already spoken about wanting Lee Wallace to stay at the Club and I can't see him letting both of them go and leaving full-back areas without proper cover.
    Centre-back area seems thin at the moment with only Katic and Goldson being proper options. However Gerrard has gone on the record saying he wants to add another CB, so it's safe to assume that he wants three good centre-backs and give somebody from the academy a chance as a fourth-choice. Both Bradley and Wilson have been given run-outs in recent friendlies.

    In midfield he seems to be going with either one sitter (defensive midfielder) and four attacking players or two sitters and three attackers (let's call them home and away formations). They are the systems he played in for Liverpool and England and I can't see him going to 4-4-2, but I'll discuss it later. So his sitters are Ross McRorie, Ryan Jack, Lassana Coulibaly and Andy Halliday, who seems to be kept solely for this reason to be a cover without ambitions to play. Docherty seems to have more ambitions of playing games, that's why he's going on loan and there were reports that Gerrard would let him go and monitor his progress as he's the one for the future. Central attacking midfielders are Scott Arfield, Ovie Ejaria, Jordan Rossiter and Graham Dorrans. The latter duo seem to be injured quite a lot, but Gerrard has been on record praising them and he can definitely see a role for both. In the home game against Shkupi Candeias started in the middle, but kept on drifting wide, allowing Windass to tuck in. That might be an option as well. Murphy, Candeias and Windass are the only wingers in the side (it will be irresponsible to count on Middleton as on a senior player, so his contribution can only be a bonus this season), so he needs at least another one, hence rumours about Ryan Kent, maybe?

    And upfront he only seems to have two options at the moment in Morelos and Sadiq, the latter being unproven and not fully fit, so he can't ship out Morelos. Given Gerrard only has two players in striker position, it will be strange to assume he thinks of playing with two upfront on regular basis, and I also think he'd like to bring in another player to bolster his options. Maybe someone, who can play on wing as well, to have cover for two positions.

    So that's how I see Rangers shaping up tactically and squad-wise for the coming season, having looked at Gerrard's career and transfer policy so far. I can see at least 7 or 8 Gers players easily getting into Hibs or Aberdeen sides, so that should be enough to beat off their competition for second spot in the league. As for title challenge, it still looks a bit off, simply because Celtic have too much upfront at the moment, but if I had to pick my best Glasgow XI, I'd have at least 4 Rangers players in there (McGregor, Goldson, Flanagan and Arfield with Katic and Ejaria as great prospects), so that's a definite progress from previous years.

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