“No more than a squad player” – six things we learned against Livi


With Rangers’ infinitely more successful trip yesterday compared with the one midweek, Ibrox Noise thought we’d take you through our customary list of things we learned about Rangers against Livingston:

1: Jermain Defoe is nothing more than a squad player, sorry. He’s not big and strong enough to hold the ball up, and Gerrard is surely already done with any idea of playing him and Morelos together given how poorly that went. We’re just not impressed with this guy so far and we’re starting to be at a huge loss as to why we signed him. Maybe he’ll make us look silly but he’s added absolutely nothing in the three appearances he’s made, poached goal aside.

2: Steven Davis was expected to be a starter every match – now that Arfield, Jack and McCrorie have impressed so strongly in Davis’ absence we do wonder how likely the NI is to play regularly now. He’s a fine player but it’s about the team not any one individual.

3: 4-4-2 diamond is dead. It’s that simple. Rangers do not have the players to accommodate Jermain Defoe in that system and the only setups that work so far are 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3. A flat 4-4-2 could work, of course, but then that means only picking two of Jack, McCrorie, Davis and Arfield.

4: Rangers’ players showed character to bounce back from a horror result at Killie – it wasn’t a sparkling display but it was solid, and it showed work ethic from the players.

5: Is Joe Worrall and Nikola Katic a genuine partnership? They’ve only conceded one goal in both matches they’ve partnered for, and the other end saw 7 bagged. It’s a curious one and statistically speaking it’s our best pairing alongside Goldson and McAuley.

6: Borna Barisic clearly got the message from Steven Gerrard. Shape up or ship out. He was far better yesterday and looked more steely.

There are probably a dozen others – what ones stood out for you?


  1. Bit harsh on Defoe. He'll show his worth, at somepoint we're going to be struggling to get a goal like in a few games in December..I'm expecting him to make the difference then, especially with the chances we've had on games but failed to put it to bed.

    Also Morelos is likely to pick up a suspension at somepoint. We'll need a goal scorer when that happens and possibly a change of formation.

  2. still waiting on mr gerrard signing us a cracker ,was impressed with old gaurd mcrorie, jack , candeas, morellos, effort ,big problem ahead keeping all players happy ,few belters on way back dorrans, docherty, murphy, mr gerrard has been lucky with squad he inherited ,he only needed couple center halves ,thats been our problem area ,oh shagger, and ,tav have been brill, r,t,i,d

  3. 1. Give him time ffs

    2. Give him time ffs

    3. Give it time ffs

    4. Yes

    5. Don't read too much into 2 games.

    6. This is why we signed him and want to see more of.

  4. Ross McCrorie at only 20 will become a Rangers mainstay and captain of the club and probably country. He is beginning to outshine the other midfield players at Ibrox and I would have him in the team ahead of Jack if a choice had to be made. Midfield recruitment going forward should be based around who would compliment Ross as he will be in our team for many years. I don't understand the recruitment of Kamara as he is too similar tom McCrorie and Jack and McCrorie should have the shirt all day long. As said previously Rangers should be building their midfield around McCrorie he is that good I also do not understand Gerrard signing Defoe and having to change shape to accommodate him. Your surely sign players to fit into your system and not change the system to accommodate players that are at the end of their career. I think there has been a disregard and a disrespect for the standard of Scottish football with everyone saying Defoe will score goals because it is Scotland. He is well past his best and will struggle but because the wages he is on Gerrard will have to try and accommodate him which sucks.

  5. Thing that stands out regards the result is the "come out of the traps flying" team Livingstone were in the early part of the season is gone.
    Since then they are struggling to pick up points and will likely end it staving of being involved in a playoff place.
    Long story short the difference in the results from them winning earlier in the season is more they do with their performance than the Gers getting better.
    Starting to thing Defoe could cost more points than he earns this season and they are not that many too go if the teams at the top end of the league keep picking up points.

  6. I think youre being incredibly harsh on a proven Premier league goal scorer in Defoe. He's played 1 game and 20 minutes and you think that's enough to decide if he's good enough. Prime example is Coulibaly who was excellent in the first few games now can't even get on our bench.
    Putting things in perspective aswell, Killie was not a horror result. Celtic have regularly struggled to win against them on that pitch.
    Last night was an excellent result against a resolute team who'd only conceded 5 at home all season till we played them last night. I think this is a really unnecessary negative article, but I normally enjoy reading it.

    • Spot on re Defoe. Wasn't it only a few weeks ago tha IN were raving about the signing? It is frightening how often people make a decision based on one or two games – or less!!

    • Care to quote all our raving Kel? Pretty sure we were on the fence about him at best. But feel free to misquote us that helps you.

  7. I think if Defoe and Alfredo are to play together again in the future then Alfredo needs to be played just behind with a free role, Defoe needs to be in the box.

  8. Worrall is not up to mark. He has cost us 5 points against Killie alone. McCrorie will not make it in midfield. You are confusing commitment with skill. Davis , jack and Arfield are required in midfield. No point in signing Davis, which you had been advocating, unless he plays. Defoe to rotate with Morelos. Whether by match or off bench. Too much on Morelos,s shoulders.

  9. OK i'm old school and I like 442 but gerrard should not have played that system against killie with 2 new players and without trying it out first,and it was working until mr worral stepped in.

  10. Your criticism of Defoe is unbelievable , his 3 appearances so far have been 45 mins in a friendly, 60 mins in game that no-one played well ( and as you say he scored ) and 15 mins in a game that was already won.In all these games he made runs that got him scoring chances and showed his lack of sharpness .He is not Morelos we know that but we need different styles to be able to mix things , change systems and games that we are struggling in . Thats why we have a squad and not just 11 players . Far too early to get on Defoe and Davis` backs .

    • We're not on anyone's back? And our observation about Davis is that he might not play too much – if you paid attention to previous pieces, we've been probably the highest source of praise about him.

  11. Defoe is a great name, dont think there is time to get him up to speed though. Impact sub perhaps but him and Morelos together just blows the whole season plan.
    Not enough games left to experiment

  12. Don't think Defoe is a there to play alongside Morelos more likely with big Laff. Long season for a young lad as we saw at the end of last season his form dipped badly.

  13. Defoe and Lafferty, upfront. That would be a weird experiment, for sure. I don't care what type of player, Defoe is. As long as he's the 'goal-poaching opportunist' type of goal-scoring player.

  14. It was a bit of a mixed bag. Tavernier was shaky in possession unusually. Katic made a decent return but was really playing against nothing. Despite that Worrall looked like a frightened rabbit at times. I'm not a huge Candeias fan but thought he was our best player. Arfield was anonymous. Jack needs to play more forward passes. How many times he did he take in a 10 yard pass to immediately knock it 20 yards back to centre backs without even checking to see if he could turn and move forward. It's that type of play that slows our game up and lets teams get organised. Kent never got enough of the ball.
    Davis I think will feature much more and it could be at the expense of any of our 3 central midfielders. They all need to offer more but I think Davis is the best choice for our attacking play.
    Defoe is a worry. He doesn't look suited to play one up top in Scottish football. He's not mobile enough and is too lightweight. The 2 up didn't work and we may not see it again. All the games coming up are too important to take the chance after the Kilmarnock loss. So where does that leave him? Coming off the bench for 15-20 minutes will never get him up to match speed and we might never see the best of him.

Comments are closed.