Saturday, 13 July 2019

As Rangers make eighth signing, Steven Gerrard has a big decision to make...


With Rangers today confirming the £4M capture of Sweden’s Filip Helander on a four-year deal, it raises a question. A nice question, and problem, but a problem and question all the same.

Who the hell partners him?

It is evident Filip Helander, at that price, that CV, that quality (injury troubles and form issues aside) and that reputation is going to be the first choice at the back. That isn’t even a debate. Anyone who thinks a new player of his standing is going to have to earn his place has probably ignored Jones’ instant installation as first-choice left winger or Ojo’s place on the right, albeit the latter may have Arfield for company down the line.

No, the question in defence over Helander comes in who will be his partner.

The obvious answer for many will be Goldson, given we shelled out £3M, and while he was good last season, he wasn’t exceptional, and only really thrived when partnered with elder statesman Gareth McAuley. This appeared to be a good mix of experience on McAuley’s part with the relative youth of Goldson.

Goldson with Katic or Worrall didn’t quite convince as much later in the season, after a bright start for the first pairing.

No, Helander will be first choice, but who of these three will partner him?

Will it be Goldson with his similar age to Helander, but lesser physicality and lesser dominance in the air, but decent composure on the deck, similar to the Swede?

Or could it be Katic – a much more physical defender than any of the other 3 Rangers have, but who has still got a bit to learn and is prone to gaffes?

Or perhaps Edmundson – great distribution from the back, and willing to roll his sleeves up, but maybe not quite the brute force stopping of Katic.

Steven Gerrard now has real depth at the back. Four decent CBs, one with an especially excellent CV albeit with marginal doubts.

But who would be your choice, Bears?


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13 comments:

  1. I expect Katic to drop out again and to be honest feel for the big guy, my opinion did nothing wrong but dropped for Worral who never impressed me, came back in towards the end of the season again did nothing wrong, in fact hardly lost a goal when he was playing, as I said feel sorry for the big guy

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  2. Goldson has to first choice at the moment although Katic has improved and I thought Edmundson looked promising against Oxford, To be honest after the years of Wilson, Kiernan, Alves, Cardoso, etc. any of them will be a major relief.

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  3. Hopefully it's whomever works best together. I'll be happy if the only loan is Ojo at least it should mean everyone is playing on merit.
    I like how the squad is looking. The fact we're having this debate in a positive way is brilliant, and it's the same scenario for the mid and probably
    attack as well

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    Replies
    1. Fair point on Ojo but the benefit there is that even though he's guaranteed matches like any loan, he's more than producing so far and has been one of our best players.

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    2. Yeah, he looks like he'll be there on merit

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  4. The fairest way, with hopefully a very long and fruitful season ahead of us would be to rotate as is going to happen with other positions. We have a very good squad of players now and yes they have to fight for the right to wear the jersey but all going well we have a very large number of games ahead on 3 fronts.

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  5. Worrall out, Helander and Edmundson in - so any combination of the four will be at least as good and probably stronger than last year. Like most Bears, i like Katic a lot. He might have to bide his time, but in a 60 game season all of them will get a chance to show what they can do. Which is as it should be, finally.

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    1. Exactly the way I see it. You tube videos of Edmundson are very positive and he could be the best defender of them all. We have, hopefully an even longer run in every competition than last year and each of the four players mentioned will contribute greatly in what promises to be a very exciting season.

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  6. I like the fact helander is left footed, gives us the option of playing 3 at the back with tav and barisic as full backs, good options to have, can't wait for season to start🇬🇧🇬🇧

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    1. Seems unlikely when we have about 15 wingers at the club.

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  7. Given the requirements of left sided, right sided, tackling, passing, heading, composure, physicality, dominance, distribution, workrate and brute force I would like to see someone smarter than me - SG - come up with 2 blends that work. Ideally one of the older two with one of the younger two. Then have them play weekly rather than twice a week, injuries and suspensions notwithstanding, to keep them fresh and up to speed while we play twice a week until January.
    That is the best way to develop the younger two, who will be needed in the future and sooner if one of the older two is bought. As we become more successful - 55, anyone - English clubs will target our players more. By developing players and being ready, we can bring money in without compromising the team.
    SG may prefer to have a first choice pairing but, OF and latter stages of Europe apart, a blend of those four should be good enough.
    I can see Katic developing into an international once he eliminates the odd careless glitch. Too soon to tell about Edmundson.
    But as someone else has noted, how nice is it to be discussing which players we want in the team while happy that all 25+ players in the squad are good enough. There were times we feared this day would never come.
    RTID

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  8. What a great problem to have! It's a long time since Rangers have had this type of "dilemna".
    Helender is a certain first choice. Which is great news, because his addition should move the quality of our defending up a level. It's hard to imagine Katic getting the nod ahead of Goldson, whether Edmundson is better than Goldson time will tell.
    I am absolutely not a fan of rotating central defenders, I really hope Gerrard chooses the best two and plays them regularly. Which is going to be hard on the other two, unless he plays three at the back. But in a hopefully long season with lots of games, then I am sure they will all get some game time.

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    1. Alan, I agree that CBs are not really suited to rotating, you want to pick and stick. BUT, that means the other 2 don't get game time, so get rusty or dropped unfairly as Katic did last season.
      Can't see Katic and Edmundson learning as fast if they don't play games but we are also left hoping Goldson and Helander don't get injured, suspended or tired. Planned rotation has to beat forced rotation. People won't resent being rotated but may go off the boil if dopped.
      Again, glad it is SG's call, not mine.
      I can just revel in the glory of Glasgow Rangers

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