Steven Gerrard has a MASSIVE decision to make…

Steven Gerrard has a MASSIVE decision to make…

Ok, slightly ‘no kidding’ title to this one, but it’s certainly true with respects to formation. As we know, The Grand Master Walter often used to go with five or even six defenders v Celtic – play one up top, especially away.

Steven Gerrard, who’s winning our hearts and manlove in a way we truly didn’t expect, is echoing so much of Walter’s steely winning mentality and general management style, and after the slight let down at Fir Park of an unsuited 3-5-2, things were back to shape on Thursday with the 4-3-3, or 0-0-0 as the ref seemed to want it to be by the end.

So, does Stevie stick with that working system, one which has done so much damage so far, or does he take a leaf out of Walter’s book and select a glut of defenders?

If we think back to the classic 0-1 at Parkhead in 2007 (RIP Ugo) Walter selected a conventional four-man defence, but topped it up with four defensive midfielders in Adam, Ferguson, Hemdani and Thomson. It was practically an 8-2 (Sebo and Novo) at times.

There is little doubt Rangers have the players for this – Jack, McCrorie, Arfield and a slim chance of Coulibaly being fit. But after the players looked uncomfortable with a formation switch at Motherwell in what we could argue was a test run for Sunday, is it worth the risk?

With the signing of Joe Worrall, there is now proper scope for a back three, but with only one day to practise it and integrate the on-loan Nottingham man, is it equally too early to try that?

Steven Gerrard knows whatever happens tomorrow, we’re behind him. He’s exceeded anyone’s expectations and then some on top of that – we know this season will have lows and the honeymoon period won’t last forever, but we can see, for the first time since Walter retired, the groundwork being laid for something meaningful that we can overlook the dips and know the end goal remains a valid target.

But that all said, a win tomorrow at the midden would send out as big a message as Walter’s did in 2007. Celtic have just sold their best player, while he and another one threw their toys out their prams and demanded moves away. They have already lost in the league, and got dumped out the Champions League. Rodgers has made noises about leaving himself, and all is not smooth at the Meccanodome these days.

Rangers might still not win there, it will be tough no matter what.

But get that win?

Rangers are back. Truly.

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  1. We should come out of the blocks at a fast pace, try to put their suspect defence under pressure if possible and take it from there.
    Our best way of defence is to have a go at them, make them defend, we know that we have a defence, although at Motherwell looked vulnerable proved that, that performance was a blip, as we have defended well in most games.
    We must try though to keep any set pieces including corners to a minimum as we still look a little vulnerable at times.
    It isn’t the end of the world to lose this game, but to gain one or all three points would be a great result and with very few of our squad in International duty let’s them have a well earned rest.
    As Gerrard says, we have a team just put together, new players recently added to the squad as well, so all Rangers fans should be happy with our progress so far.

  2. I'd stick with the system that's proven successful both defensively and in attack so far this season. The players are used to playing tough opposition like Maribor away, can handle the defensive aspect while Morelos up front as the lone striker is effective in holding up the ball for the wingers and attacking mids.

    With one up front Lafferty simply is not an option. He doesn't have the skill to play that role. If it's a 2 man attack he is effective but in a one up front scenario he isn't a patch on Morelos.

  3. The tried and tested systems, are always the best i.m.o. Alan McD1954, has a fair point. We always do well, while on the front-foot, attacking. It's when we play that what I call, "retreating football," passbacks instead of bravery, that we fall foul, of the aggressive teams. Motherwell, was a prime example of that, in 2nd half. Wrong formation mistake, but SG learns. We gave away far too many, corners. That must stop. No, it isn't the end of the world, if we lose. However, it would be a much need morale-boost, if we schooled them Orcs, in Mordor. I personally, would make Kyle Lafferty, Captain. I think he has the right temperament & could intervene, to stop Alfredo from doing something that might get him in hot water, and ultimately, cost us again. He'd help the youngsters a lot, too.

  4. Tough yin. I'd love to put Lafferty and Morelos up against their shakey defence in a front 2. However, going 352 would be risky. The defence struggled last time, we now have a 3rd CB, however, an OF Game is not a place for 21 yr old CBs to make their debut. I reckon we could get away with it, as they only have griffiths fit.

    Id go. Shagger, I'd play barasic instead of flanagan, coulibaly if fit instead of arfield. With jack and ejaria. With kent, morelos and Lafferty. I think Lafferty needs to start on the right. With the crosses barisic will put in he'll cause chaos at the back post. I also fully expect ejaria to make it 3 in 3. Lets go

  5. 442 for me, wallace LB katic goldson flanagan RB. barisic LM arfield jack tav RM morelos and laff. let's us attack with protetion in the full back areas, and stop their wide wide plaers attacking at will. They then would need to play through us which suits us n terms of counter attacking. I would wait and see how the game is going before introducing grezda or worral,halliday, middleton, candieas are also options tactically depending how it pans out. grezda and middleton could cause all sorts of problems late on when they tire. whatever SG does that defence of theirs needs got at it's their weak spot.

  6. I would like to see a 442- McGregor, RB: Flanagan, Goldson, Katic, LB: Barisic. RM: Tavernier, CDM: Jack LM: Kent ( his stunning tactical awareness, work rate and composure in the UFA game should be rewarded here) CAM: Ejaria ST: Morellos ST: Lafferty

    Tavernier would add some defensive steel to the midfield by default. Ryan Kent as noted above should be giving a starting place. His performance against UFA was understated for me, he was tactically superb, had the astonishing workrate, and the drive and desire to burst into the opposition box late on. Many many congratulations to him and I hope he makes us smile on Sunday. I fancy Ryan Kent to score.

    Starting with both Lafferty and morellos is a no brainer. If the Celtic defence is fragile it will shatter with those two harrying at it.

    With Ovie 'Gascoine' Ejaria floating around for boxes on the edge of the area, it could be a wonderful afternoon.

    One thing is for sure, With the back four noted above and shagger in goals, Celtic will need to be at their clinical best to breach our defence.

    Lets just hope 11 Rangers players are on the pitch at least until we get a 3rd goal. At 3 nil, they can send a couple off then, in fact please do, I would love Celtic not to score against our 9 men the same as the Russians.

    If we lose, say what you like, I am going back to my bed and I might wake up on Monday. I will be utterly devastated. On the law of averages alone we should be winning one. We have waited too long to beat them. If we fail again it will take me a long time to recover. I hope the team are more resilient than me if that is the outcome.

    Please do not let us down.


    Lets go

  7. Think it depends on who looks/feels fitter after Thursday and also if coulibaly is passed fit and it wouldn't surprise me if he started worrall in a back 5-4-1 and then change formation if/when he has to depending on how the game is going but i would be happy with 4 4 2…..watp helicopter 2005

  8. Take them on – remember we’ve had worse teams out against them and got results in the last few years. The 2-3 game last year could and should have been won. We’re all saying our team is better now and theirs has gone backwards. Why look for excuses? It’s there for the taking.

  9. Put these boys in the best position so they are able to just play on instinct. No need to diddle with the formation for this important game. I want our starting XI to just be playing a game of read and react. That's when we play out best football, and this game cries out for it. There are far better times to play around with different formations. We need all men on perfect point for us to get the positive result we so badly need and crave.

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