Monday, 5 November 2018

Crisis at Ibrox? What crisis!



We’ve never been afraid to call it as we see it here at Ibrox Noise. Be that positive, negative, or indifferent, what’s going on at Edmiston Drive tends to result in what you see here.

If it’s win after win then we’re in joyous moods, and even the odd draw won’t kill us. When form is bad, however, then that equally reflects our output.

Indeed, the first two or three months of Steven Gerrard’s reign in Govan saw barely a single note of dissent from us. We were delighted with how things appeared to be going and you’d have been hard pressed to find a single critical article on the site.

However, things have not been quite so exemplary of late, and we make absolutely no apology for calling that, but we do equally admit that a lot of critical feedback from you, our valuable readers will always matter to us. In fact, all feedback, positive or negative matters, because you guys and gals are what make us.

So in a change from recent tone, we’re going to focus on the more constructive and positive aspects of the club and how things are, and suggest ways for our manager to turn the recent off-colour performances and results around.

Before we go on, we wouldn’t pretend to know more about football than Steven Gerrard – we are not so conceited to claim we do. But we do, like most of our readers, know a fair bit about our club, and our country’s league, so we don’t feel so out-of-place in making some practical observations which he is free to listen to or discard.

And we will emphasise that we pressed hard for the dropping of Lassana Coulibaly, and that is exactly what he did, and we applaud that. It may or may not have aided in Saturday’s win in Paisley, but it certainly didn’t hurt.

Another positive was another time of seeing a Gerrard substitution directly pay off – all too often the subs make no difference, are too late, and aren’t the right call. But just like the excellent decision to bring on Glenn Middleton in Spain (which won the point) the choice to haul off the hapless Eros Grezda and replace him with Daniel Candeias turned Saturday around and led to the win.

It means, for the first time in what feels like forever, Rangers have won two away fixtures in a row. Sure, the performances haven’t quite been elite, but the points matter more than how they’re gained.

It also means that for the first time since last season, Rangers are third in the table. Yes, we aspire to better but not long ago we were near the bottom half of the table – and the only way has been up, even if it’s been slow-burning.

Readers have also commented on something which McAllister alluded to at the last presser – Alfredo Morelos, and how he needs runners.

Could it be that Morelos is better suited as a number 10, rather than the 9. While he has a good haul of goals, his best work is definitely done deeper, dragging defenders away and creating space ahead of him. He wins a remarkable amount of fouls too, and it seems to us and many of our readers, a tweak in his position might get the absolute best out of him, rather than putting all the pressure to lead the team on him. Of course, this would require a switch in formation, but perhaps equally it is time to try a new one given 4-3-3 is just starting to creak a little now and become predictable.

We are also delighted to see Jordan Rossiter sustaining fitness. As we alluded to in a previous entry, this may just be the longest stretch of games the ex-Liverpool kid has actually remained fit at Ibrox. He himself is absolutely delighted with his progress and knows the only thing left is to gain match sharpness. We’ve seen what he can do at his best, and that Jordan Rossiter is an absolute asset.

Defence wise we remain puzzled over the Katic/Worrall situation though. Few fans appear to prefer the Englishman and we do wonder why Gerrard is persisting with him over the far superior Katic. That is one we will watch with interest and hope Stevie finally comes to his senses on it.

But another good sign is the continuing fitness of Ryan Jack – he put in another polished display on Saturday, and is adding neat composure to his game – he maybe wasn’t quite as defensive as we’re used to seeing from him, but it remains part of his game and at one point he ditched out a crunch tackle, the bite of which we loved seeing from our side.

The results in Europe have been a standout – and fans are right to say that it’s as much 3 losses in 25 as it is 13 wins all season. It’s a half glass full from a great number of supporters and we’ve no quarrel with that. We do feel Gerrard’s best outings have indeed been in the Europa League – slight echoes of Paul Le Guen on that level in the sense the Frenchman did rather well in the-then Uefa Cup but not so well on the domestic front. Well, the past three SPL matches have seen two wins and a draw, so there is possible improvement in that context too, so we can only hope it continues.

But as said, that European run is staggering. Not only have we gone 11 matches unbeaten, but we remain top of our group table, and while the Spartak display wasn’t as good as the previous two, we still did not lose and are becoming an outside bet to actually progress from this group.

There is no denying the calibre of player at Ibrox is higher than it was. We have a glut of internationals in the team, including current ones as well as ex, and that has always been a barometer of a Rangers team.

Results and displays recently have seen a dip, this is true, and by heck we’ve called that.

We’ve called a few players out, and some of Gerrard’s decisions.

But equally we have to concede he’s done a lot right within the overall picture of the season. And if he can iron out the errors, and get his players to play as they did against Hearts, Rapid more often than what they showed against Hamilton and Aberdeen, then the road ahead will look promising.

Third place in the SPL and improving, top of our group in the UEL, and a January market upcoming to hopefully boost the players further.

There are reasons to be positive.

9 comments:

  1. 4-3-3 is the best formation players have we have, but for it to work successfully we have to go forward with more pace, it fails when we start tippy tappy passes side to side ,the bus is parked by then.

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  2. If we could buy a striker in January, someone who can play up front on their own, with bite I would like to see Morelos in behind them. That could be fun.
    Agree with Rio, if we don't attack at pace, which is difficult against stacked defences, then we are too easy to defend against. We need wingers who can weigh in with goals, too. I like Kent, but we are not getting enough goals and assists from our wingers

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  3. Haallujah! I've been saying for weeks that fans and IN have been far critical on a team put together just a few months ago. We've also had some terrible injuries, bad refereeing, ropey pitches and the usual everyone raising their game when they play us. It's not always been great to watch but actual results are not too bad. 11 matches unbeaten in Europe, 16 out of 18 points at home, only 2 defeats away despite all the doom and gloom about our away record, and one of them was at Parkhead so was no big surprise. The 2 low points were the semi final and the Livingston game. Everything else was entirely predictable in my opinion.
    We are undoubtably better than last season but there is room for improvement. I'm confident we will improve even without the January window.

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  4. It was just that loss to the sheep in the semi that got us all down,up to then everything was moving forward,we're still not there yet teamwise still a lot of work to do,iam sure it will all come good eventually


    WATP LETS GO 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

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  5. Good article IN agree with most of it I prefer Katic I do like the fact Ryan Jack is back ...would love to see young Rossiter get going 100% . Read an article yesteday about that guy that worked for Fergus M Cann talking about our finances...Fucking Jealous Hateful Tripe ...Once the share Issue European Monies and hopefully retail are booked we are in good shape with progress and real assets we could sell. ..So Please ...Bring It On WATP

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  6. I think we need at least another 2 strikers,ollie mcburnie and Kris boyd back,Steven Davis and Stewart from Kilmarnock.go and get barrie mckay back as well.creativity is what we're lacking to help finish teams off.

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  7. McBurnie yes

    But Boyd & Barrie McKay? C'Mon

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  8. Bill B, why bring up something that we can do nothing about, this article was positive, the progress on the field positive after what we have had to endure, but you highlight something that quite frankly is still not right or anywhere near right, our finances, we all know it, it is in black and white, the accounts remain a disaster J.

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  9. Spot On! 👏
    Need another Striker (No.9) with Morelos playing the 10. Or Have Morelos Play the No.9 and go out and buy a Playmaker/No.10 who can Unpick Defences.

    Also buy another CB to Replace Worrall/McAuley 🤔

    My 3 options would be Bates/Halkett/Lindsay

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