What is Steven Gerrard’s plan for Bongani Zungu?

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Amiens' Bongani Zungu (C) celebrates after scoring a goal during the French Cup League football match between Amiens and Rennes on December 18, 2019 at the Pierre Licorne stadium in Amiens. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images)

So just how do Rangers accommodate Bongani Zungu?

The big new DM/CDM has now officially arrived as a Rangers player and could stun us all by starting at Parkhead in two weeks.

But that’s for down the line – where does Steven Gerrard see Zungu lining up?

Currently Rangers are running a 4-2-3-1 adaptable to 4-3-3 formation, which is fluid, but crucially there is always the double pivot in front of defence.

It previously deployed two of Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack and Steven Davis to form the duo, and we have to say it seems pretty blatant that Zungu’s going in there.

His natural slot is central and defensive, and if we pluck some random Ligue 1 games out from thin air, his display against Marseille on the 6th of March screamed of a DM. Lots of tackles, blocks, clearances and interceptions and while his passing rate of 75% wasn’t great, the defensive side of his game was.

Looking at another, this time at home: against PSG, nowhere near as many defensive manoeuvres, but this time his passing was up at 88%. One more, also at home, v Reims – back to tonnes of defending in the middle, and the passing percentage is a mere 70%.

So statistically this is a player who is a great destructor in midfield, but when he is focused on that side of his game his passing is unreliable.

When he does less of that, his passing ability hikes a lot.

He won’t score many, he’s not a creator, but he’s a bigger and more physical version of Glen Kamara.

Will he be first choice? Yes he will.

Ryan Jack’s fitness is an issue of contention, Steven Davis is being used much more sparingly this season, and County blip aside Glen Kamara has been excellent this season.

We believe Jack and Davis are going to be used more rotationally from here on in, as and when needed, while Zungu and Kamara will be the main two.

What we will still need is Davis’ vision and calm on the ball, and his leadership is vital. Jack’s contribution this season has been quieter, just letting the play tick over and keeping moves going. He’s not stood out like he used to, and isn’t as physical anymore.

Is Zungu the hard b*st*rd we need in there? We just don’t know if he’s as brutal as that. But he’s definitely a destroyer, and he will sit in front of defence breaking play up.

We look forward to watching him in action.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I hope he can handle the cloggers that are prevalent in the SPfuckingL . Steve Davis is probably the most creative of all the current CM/DM and would be my pick against the rotten mob . Zungu might be a good distraction for them !

  2. My understanding is that Zungu wasn’t a regular pick when his team was getting relegated. That doesn’t scream midfield destroyer to me.
    Based on last season Ryan Jack was a first pick, and a very good one at that and could be that again if he can put his injury problems behind him.

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