Analysis – seven reasons Steve Clarke beat Steven Gerrard


So we’ve had our little ramble on the general picture at Ibrox right now, but we wanted to focus precisely on last night and what went wrong.

Let Ibrox Noise take you though the key things we noticed about the latest dismal performance and result.

Midfield congestion. Steve Clarke is no fool. He knew Rangers have no creativity in the middle. Ejaria can’t create, and was a huge doubt anyway, while the only other lockpick in the side is finished (Dorrans). In short, Rangers had no imagination centrally – we were left with Arfield, Coulibaly and Halliday, and by simply filling up his defensive midfield with the big workhorses like Power and Dicker, Clarke completely snuffed out any sense of danger through the middle. Added to that the aforementioned lack of guile in the middle, and absolutely zero incision was possible.

Blocking the flanks. Rangers had joy down the flanks earlier on this season, but Clarke sussed this (just like McInnes) and used Jones and Burke to double up with the fullbacks leaving Kent and Candeias nowhere to go. Both mostly cut in or went back the way, and the rare times either ventured forward, guys like Broadfoot and O’Donnell stopped them. Basic stuff.

Wes Foderingham. Sure, he didn’t get the semi, but the selection of this one left fans bewildered. While we won’t totally blame him for Stewart’s stunning goal, nevertheless we have to wonder if McGregor might have done better.

Joe Worrall. Another mediocre night from Worrall who simply isn’t good enough to play for Rangers, and few fans defend this selection. His diabolical selling of himself late on could and should have gifted Killie the winner, but for Foderingham’s fine reactions to save the loss of all three points.

Jon Flanagan. Has picked a poor time to have a dip in form, and is currently struggling desperately. Was absolutely destroyed by Burke on more than one occasion and Killie had way too much joy on the right. This is one Gerrard sussed, mercifully, and took him off.

James Tavernier. Two stinkers in a row for Tav – caught out of position a few times, and Jones had the freedom of Ibrox at one point after getting miles in behind him. He’d been good of late, but just the past two or three matches Tavernier has lost a lot of form and is reverting to his old self.

The left back problem is Steven Gerrard’s fault, sorry, but it is. He told John to leave (can some fans please stop with the false rumour about homesickness?), has shown no interest in Lee Wallace, and he chose to sign injury-plagued Borna Barisic, leaving us with two auxiliary LBs in Halliday and Flanagan. This is exposing us down that side and both Flanagan and Halliday had anything but good nights last night (Halliday was decent in the first half as DM).

All in all another poor night, and Clarke did his homework, outclassing and outfoxing Gerrard. Just like McInnes did at the weekend.

Not good enough.


  1. I raise an issue with the term outclassing… not by either sorry, we are technically better but not experienced better … Our core is not the solid basic most of the other SPFL Teams have for lots of reasons …lack of experience in Scotland at Rangers and at a BIG Club …This needs time

  2. Beat? It was 1-1
    I'm not aware that Barasic was injury prone before we signed him. Can you confirm that? Flanagan was bought to provide cover across the back 4. Wallace will presumably get a game when he is fit and we have Halliday to provide cover as well. I think that is more than enough for one position. And there was always a possibility of going with a back 3 and not requiring a left back. Could it be that Gerrard just didn't rate John as a left back. I for one would agree with him. Like Tavernier good going for forward but far too light weight for a full back.

  3. Hey, this football in Scotland. Everyone comes to Ibrox( and Parkhead) to defend. They select large physical donkeys to fill up midfield and kick the shit out of old firm. The refs believe we are still in 50s so they get away with it.We need to be physically stronger in midfield. Europe is different and being technically better it is a different game. Celtic have same problem as us. Playing a different style in Europe is essential from playing the zombies in SPLF.

  4. Foderingham? Seriously? What exactly did he do wrong apart from save the point near the end? Talk about over reacting. McG has needed a kick up the arse – could have easily picked up two needless reds this season, but I gather he’s got a niggling injury.

  5. Guys… seriously. I know you have to be objective but this seems well over the top. Yes we lacked a bit of cutting edge but we had nearly 70 % position and 19 shots with a couple of good saves and a couple of shots where if we done a little better it could we could have been 2 or 3 goals to the good. We for the majority of the game played them off the park and they were genuinely being helped by the referees leniency. I said earlier it was frustrating but it was by no means a game where I feel like our season is over. Kilmarnock have won the last 5 and are arguably the In form team at the min. Yes I wish we beat them and on another night we probably would have.

    I must say I have a few issues with this post. Firstly we were no where near beat. The goal was a worldie and Wes had to make a crucial save. But that was it. Even when they countered with Jones it didn’t look like we were struggling to cope. Tav yes had a stinker against Aberdeen last night his crossing was top drawer again and a killer instinct would have won us the game. A target man who could read the game would have had a field day last night. Wes didn’t put a foot wrong all game and while he is not as good as mcgregor doesn’t deserve any criticism. Especially after pulling off a fine save after doing practically nothing all game. Worrall yes had a moment yesterday… Gerrard had a moment against Chelsea… does that mean he is not world class. I’m not suggesting worrall is world class and I would like to see big Katic back in the team but worrall is becoming a rock at the back. He is reading the game better and he is I would argue better in the air than Goldson… defensively at least.

    As for Gerrard. He is learning his trade, is he doing a bad job. No not by any stretch. I am sick of reading about all the doom and gloom and to be honest it is getting quite bad on IN for doom and gloom articles. This article could have been written by a Celtic fan. Was last night perfect no…. does it require this level of criticism… no. Anyone who thinks Gerrard would come in and win everything is deluded. The gap between us and Celtic at the end of last season was like chalk and cheese. This year we are challenging. We’re not always getting the results bet we are challenging and anyone who expects more needs to have a word with themselves. We are top of the group In europe. If we fail to win the europa league are we going to be calling for his head again. The sooner people realise that whatever we get out of this season will be hard work the better. Could you name a manager for certain who could do better with the same budget and circumstances. I’d argue not. Rodgers spent on one player what we spent on 12. He received 20 million from dembele. He will sell Boyata for nearly 10. He will spend in January and anyone who thinks that Gerrard should be expected to just breeze the league now needs to give the guy a break. I agree he has made mistakes but Jesus can’t we focus on the good while were moving in the right direction and save the doom and gloom for if we truly start moving backwards. Apologies to anyone who made it to the end. Rant over!!!

    • Well said MJ. Some on here think the solution is to spend £20-30m. Don't they read the news that we made a £14m loss trying to clear up the mess last by previous managers. We are undoubtably a better side than last season and will get better again in next transfer windows. Gerrard knows what it's about and will turn it around. Let's get behind the whole club.

    • My I'd have argue against you saying he isn't doing a bad job…it's the worst away record in God knows many years, we're halfway down the table, we're out the first cup of the season and it's only November…not doing great is he?

      We are challenging Celtic? Sorry no we are not. It could have been 5-0 at Parkhead but for the post and bar!

      You keep banging on Celtic and their budget so let's take them out..Gerrard has spent more than every other club out together, Livingston are just up and have a manager who's had less games than Gerrard, Aberdeen have brought in 10 freebies and loan players, killie have just lost their best midfielder to Celtic, Motherwell are full of dross but we shouldn't expect our manager with his budget, with the country's best training facilities, access to loan markets that other managers don't go be doing better than trailing in the league behind Livi get in or being knocked out against an Aberdeen team that Gerrard has declared twice aren't on our level?

      Your deluded if you think that's acceptable for any Rangers team!!

    • I've never mentioned Ceptic's budget and I'm fully aware that we have a bigger budget than the rest. As we've always had. But that didn't stop us going to these grounds with some of the finest players to wear the Rangers shirt and LOSE.
      Yes it could've been been 5-0 at Parkhead but last season it could've been 9 or 10.
      Our away record is now won 2, lost 2, and drew 2. Not great but not a disaster. I would argue that only the Livingston result was bad.
      And our recent form is not acceptable for any team in our illustrious history but it IS acceptable compared to 2012. We have come from a long way back and still have a long way to go but it will take time.
      I'm not sure what you are looking for. Sack the manager? Spend money we don't have? What?

  6. Bit harsh for me if it's still as bad in January i will worry but looks like Macaulay will be back soon him and goldson in the middle will make huge difference get the injured players back and others up too pace think we will be back too the start off season form

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