Monday, 9 July 2018

This remarkable stat proves Stevie Ger's vision for Rangers

Article by: Richard

An incredibly large turnout of 41,025 chose to travel to Ibrox to take in Friday night’s friendly match instead of watching the Brazil v Belgium match on TV. They will consider themselves the lucky ones as they were rewarded for their loyalty with Stevie G’s new Rangers side playing free flowing, high energy, good to watch football and scoring 6 goals with no goals against.

To be fair, we don’t know how good or bad Bury actually are, but you always have to beat the opposition that is put in front of you. Obviously there will be much harder challenges to come, but I am truly impressed by the ages of this new side; they are still fairly young, which should lead to more enthusiasm and higher energy levels than older teams.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Stevie G’s new Rangers squad, and there was so much to talk about. It was lovely to see one of our ex-heroes back in goals, the one and only Allan McGregor and what an ovation he got the first time he touched the ball during the match.

In terms of those ages?

26-year-old James Tavernier is our captain and I think that is telling us he is not for sale. He played in a slightly different position of right back. He was positioned fractionally ahead of where a normal back four full back plays, but not as far as advanced as a marauding wing-back would play. He was a big success in this new position and didn’t have to attack as much as normal.

Connor Goldson the 25-year-old new signing from Brighton, was immense at centre back and looks to be such a good acquisition. At 6’ 3”, he is dominant in the air, his passing was great, fabulous positional play and more importantly, he knows how to read the game and defend properly.

Nikola Katić, the 21-year-old Croatian looks so comfortable at centre back, and scored with a long ranged left-footed shot that the keeper should have saved. He was aggressive and at 6’ 4” he will be a fabulous long-term asset to Rangers.

25-year-old Jon Flanagan was played in a similar role as Tavernier only playing the position on the left. He looked a real quality player who could become a firm fans’ favourite. He knows how to tackle and his overall play was delightful, no wonder Gerrard brought him from Liverpool – for no fee!

Daniel Candeias at 30-years-old, remarkably is the oldest outfield player apart from Dorrans and he lined up at wide right, but on so many occasions he tucked further into the midfield to help out with the flow of the game. Played well and made an excellent contribution to the team.

29-year-old Scott Arfield played magnificently and was my MOTM, he really looks to be a top player. Scored 2 goals and was all over the pitch with his clever late runs into the box – and
signed for no fee.

Ross McCrorie is only 20 and was picked as our holding midfielder and played a blinder. I will be shocked if he doesn’t make this position his own on this form – unless we can sign better player. He is young, mobile, got a terrific temperament and attitude, and is an extremely good tackler.

28-year-old Jamie Murphy had another good game and scored the all-important opening goal. I am confident that Gerrard rates him as a player given the swiftness of his signing.

Josh Windass our 24-year-old top midfield scorer, was all over the pitch to good effect and the word from Ibrox is that Gerrard wants to hold on to him, even if Cardiff are willing to pay the £3million release clause. I was pleased with the energy and speed that he showed in his fine contribution to the team.

Just turned 22-year-old Alfredo Morelos was his usual self as he got himself into brilliant goal-scoring positions, but missed most of them except for the header he scored. Windass whipped in an inch-perfect cross for him to net Rangers fifth goal.

Substitutes who came on in the 2nd half.

23-year-old Declan John replaced the excellent Jon Flanagan and did alright, but the Englishman looks to be a much better defender than Declan, who is a good attacking full back.

26-year-old Ryan Jack, 26-year-old Andy Halliday plus 18-year-old winger Glenn Middleton played the last 30 minutes, and Middleton was outstanding with his direct left-wing play that set up 2 very good assists. In June a Daily Record poll, 87% fans voted that Middleton would break into our first team within a year or so. He certainly looks a great prospect!

19-year-old centre half Aidan Wilson replaced Katić and 21-year-old midfielder Greg Docherty took over from the brilliant Arfield.

The very promising 18-year-old striker Zak Rudden, 19-year-old winger Serge Atakayi plus 26-year-old full-back Lee Hodson were brought on, and Middleton laid on a perfect cut-back cross for Rudden to score the 6th and last goal of the game with 15 minutes still to go.

Kyle Bradley the 19-year-old defender was brought on for Goldson with 12 minutes to go, and Goldson earned his standing ovation as he left the field delighted with himself.

20-year-old midfielder Ovie Ejaria was considered to be a little behind the other players for fitness, as he missed the all- important 7 days of the Malaga training camp.

Jordan Rossiter is now 21 and 31-year-old Graham Dorrans were not fit enough to feature.

Eduardo Herrera and Harry Forrester are surplus to requirements, but they are still attending the training sessions.

Alves and Cardoso are both looking for a team to sign for.

So looking at the average age of the squad, the number (aside McGregor) is just over 23, a truly excellent age for a modern football team.
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