Sunday, 25 August 2019

Calling it - are fans happy with Rangers' form?



There are two sides to Rangers’ recent form – there’s the good, and there’s the bad. We have to be honest and realistic about how Rangers are currently playing, and what the results actually mean.

If we go back to the 15th, we secured a comfortable and frankly impressive victory over Danes Midtjylland. That got us to the playoff v Legia, and, to be totally blunt, that second leg was the last time we played admirably.

The 3-0 win over East Fife was mediocre, even if the score was decent, and the first leg of Legia was a laboured affair in which the away side could barely register a decent shot on target.

Unfortunately, today’s SPL fixture with St Mirren was another example of huff and puff – sideways passing and a lack of convincing penetration, with zero meaningful open play shots on target.

But how do we analyse this?

Well, let’s look at the positive:

Rangers are getting the results they need, even if the performances at present aren’t particularly glorious. St Mirren fell to a marvellous free kick, East Fife were ultimately undone by three players in good form that afternoon (Jones, Aribo, and Defoe), and a draw away from home in Europe is never a bad result, regardless of its manner.

Rangers, despite the form we appear to have gone into over the past 270 minutes, are getting the necessary jobs done.

We are joint top with Celtic, second on goal difference, and have a wide open chance of getting to the group stage of the UEL, while remaining competitive or more in every tournament we’re currently in.

There’s much to build on here.

But negatively, we have to look at the circumstances. The win over East Fife, even though it was a fringe side, was a pretty horrible afternoon. The conditions at Methil played a part, but they didn’t overly affect Aribo, Defoe and Jones, who essentially were the difference. The rest of the side, however, laboured at best, and for a fringe Rangers XI to struggle against a League One side was a little concerning.

Meanwhile the first leg v Legia was competent, but not clinical – there was a lack of incisive attacking despite a forward line of Ojo, Arfield and Morelos, and Rangers registered little threatening intent. Then that pattern repeated today, against a side of considerably lower calibre than the Poles.

Some reading this might feel mortified that we’re calling out the performances when ultimately we remain in a very healthy position – and it’s a fair point. We’re getting the results, so what do the displays matter?

The problem is if we’re suddenly struggling to put away East Fife and St Mirren, what does that say when we face the likes of Celtic – what does it say long term if we’ve hit a bit of a skid this early into the season?

On the other hand, is there a better time to hit a lull while still getting the results than early season? Is that not the best time to get the ‘chafe’ out of the system while getting up to full speed and still managing to secure the results?

It is a result-based business – and Rangers are getting those.

The manner of getting them has just hit a slight buffer of late though, and hopefully it’s inconsequential. Next Sunday by 3PM we’ll potentially both be in the UEL and have 3 points over Celtic. Then scraping a win over Jim Goodwin won’t have mattered, just the 3 points.

After all, Walter didn’t exactly win 9IAR by playing like Barcelona now did he….

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11 comments:

  1. 9 out of 9 nothing extra for fancy footwork in the diddy league
    When was the last time we won our first 3 league games tell me

    Welcome to the party watp🇬🇧 icing on cake europa league on Thurs night💪

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  2. too many changes we need a spine of about 8 players and that gets you consistency not just the players that change but the roles they are put in today example Jordan Jones playing in an inside position and barasic as an attacking left sided player too much tinkering thats ok if you have top quality players all round we are someway short of that

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    1. If we are going to play the same 8 twice every week, that is a lot of football. We are going to have to rotate because most players cannot play 8 games in 4 weeks without performance falling off. There can be some exceptions, goalie, CBs possibly, Tavernier but for most guys playing 3 games in 10 days means they need to drop out the next match. So we need to swap in 3 guys every game to rest people.
      It's annoying for fans, but it keeps those not playing interested and motivated. Look what happened last year in LC semi when we didn't have a striker.

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  3. Celtic won't sit in their own half

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  4. Let's be honest here. St Mirren were totally outclassed but should've equalised late in the game. Our attacking options appear to be better but here we were reverting to last season unable to break down teams that sit in. That's a concern and it could lead to some of those careless results we encountered last season.

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  5. This week will determine how our start to the season has gone. Both must win games

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  6. Call me paranoid but we've now been linked with this 9m striker no one has heard about and it broke 4 days ago that we had offered 2mil loan deal for Kent with 4 mil to pay next year. Gerrard said if anyone wants our big players , they need to pay huge prices and get in early or we wouldnt sell , now it's up to the board and hes worried as their is a week left in transfer window , it stinks of we are gonna sell morelos but we tried to get other players in so to take the pressure off . Hope I'm wrong.

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  7. St. Mirren had 11 men behind the ball the majority of the game, they made no attempt to win the game at all, anti football of the highest order. A moment of magic and we won the game. Well done Rangers for sticking at it, trying to make out that this was down to Rangers not performing is showing a complete lack of knowledge of the game and you should try just being positive of the sublime free kick that ultimately got us the win. I personally do not fear Celtic, their defence is shaky and we have the players to hurt them...

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    1. If we were playing Barcelona, we probably wouldn't go at them, so I don't blame St Mirren. We are vastly richer than them so they do what they can, as we also compromise when playing teams with vastly more resources than us

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    2. I have plenty knowledge of the game Jackobyte and I can assure that performance fell short of good enough. If we can't perform better when teams park the bus then prepare yourself for a wee loss at Livi or a home draw to St Johnstone just like last season.

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  8. I wouldn't say we struggled to put away East Fife, that game regardless of our team selection or not was never in doubt. I was actually at the St Mirren & Aberdeen game a few weeks back (Don't ask, i've got a young kid and there was free family season tickets, it was hard) and thought we would struggle against them as they were organised and highly compact so i'm happy with a 1-0. Also, we need to remind ourselves that our last 2 games at home was a 6-1 thumping of the burners and a 3-1 against the danes, it swings in roundabouts.

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