Hang on to your hats…
Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin, Andy Firth.
McGregor didn’t have a stellar season last campaign but he’s still the best in the country. Backup is fine and we still don’t know what the point of Andy Firth is.
James Tavernier, Nathan Patterson, Borna Barisic, Calvin Bassey.
While Rangers’ main two slots are still Tav and Barisic, the emergence of Patterson has been a lovely bonus and we have high hopes for him. Bassey we’re unconvinced by, in any position.
Connor Goldson, George Edmundson, Filip Helander (ish).
This isn’t great. Goldson and Edmundson are our only fit defenders right now, and Bassey can fit in but as we’ve said, we’re not blown away by him yet. Katic and Helander are out for God knows how long, and we critically desperately need a couple of new men in there.
Steven Davis, Ryan Jack, Ross McCrorie, Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield.
We’re certainly not lacking in bodies here. Midfield is fine, even given the lack of a ‘hardman’.
Greg Docherty, Joe Aribo, Ianis Hagi, Jordan Jones, Brandon Barker, Ryan Kent, Jamie Murphy, Glen Middleton.
Again, this is strong, even if we’re missing a proper dedicated right winger.
Alfredo Morelos, Jermain Defoe.
One of them is probably being sold, and doesn’t seem interested, the other can’t be the main man. Nothing happened with Kamberi, so this is a position in dire need of new blood.
Remember, we shipped out a tonne of players:
Andy Halliday, Jak Alnwick, Wes Foderingham, Jon Flanagan, Jordan Rossiter, Jason Holt, Sheyi Ojo, Jake Hastie, Matt Polster, Kamberi (technically).
We’ve certainly trimmed a tonne of the dead wood, and the squad is lighter, and if we look at the absolute first-team squad:
McGregor, McLaughlin, Tavernier, Patterson, Goldson, Edmundson, Helander, Barisic, Bassey, Davis, Jack, Kamara, Arfield, McCrorie, Aribo, Docherty, Hagi, Jones, Kent, Murphy, Barker, Middleton, Morelos, Defoe.
24. It’s generally regarded as the ideal number for a well-trimmed and well-balanced squad, but it’s just the standard of a few of them isn’t quite there, and we only actually have two defenders, and an attack which is just lacking.
Now, there are some caveats:
McCrorie did well in France in his auxiliary CB position – we’re aware of him being used there, and we’re not discounting that, but it’s not his main slot. Equally, Patterson may go out on loan, while the two we’ve not mentioned, Jamie Barjonas and Lewis Mayo, we cannot make any claims about one way or the other.
Overall, the number of the squad is good, the balance nearly is, but the standard in general might just be slightly below what we need.
What do you make of it?