Despite OF win, Rangers CRITICALLY need to ‘replace’ one man

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Rangers v St Johnstone - Scottish Cup - Quarter Final - Ibrox Stadium Rangers manager Steven Gerrard speaks to the media before the Scottish Cup Quarter Final match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Picture date: Sunday April 25, 2021. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xAndrewxMilliganx 59403738

OK I know I will get criticized for being overly negative, and I thought I would be elated after an impressive 4-1 win over our nearest challengers, but let’s be honest.

I think a lot of fans feel disappointed by our recent cup performances, and on Sunday Celtic, despite not being some scary all conquering Champions League team, still managed to cause us major problems.

And this brings me to the reason for this article.

It is my belief that the loss of Ryan Jack to injury has now cost us two domestic trophies, and perhaps a longer run in the Europa League.

The defence, at the moment, has holes all over the place, the midfield is just AWOL, and it is really only our attack that is firing on all cylinders, but that does not happen every single match.

So, what has gone wrong with Rangers in these tournaments, and why are we now struggling against teams like St Mirren and St Johnstone?

The reason is the loss of Ryan Jack, who created almost perfect balance with Steven Davis.

Together these two experienced midfielders had an almost telepathic understanding of what was going on around them, and they could read the movement of opponents, sometimes several seconds ahead of a move becoming a threat.

This fantastic positional play just gave Rangers an extra layer of defence, and when Ryan Jack and Steven Davis played together with Scott Arfield I noticed the Rangers team were able to pass out from defence, while under immense pressure.

And that is why Rangers were feared throughout Europe.

Though we did beat Antwerp three months ago 9-5, with no Ryan Jack in the team, being honest I don’t think we would have lost those five goals, if Jack was there.

Just now we urgently need two replacements for Ryan Jack. One to replace Jack if he is not able to make a speedy recovery, and one to act as cover, but finding two players with his level of experience and technical ability is not going to be easy, and they will not be cheap – think of Barcelona’s Xavi and Iniesta, who knew instinctively what the other would do, and you can see how important it is to get the midfield balance 100% right.

This summer’s recruitment is going to be critical for how far we will get in our first tilt at the Champions League since The Journey began, and these new players will have to come in early, in order to give them time to get used to Rangers style of play.

We wait and watch with interest…

2 COMMENTS

  1. Couldn’t agree more in that Jack is vital to how we play and we desperately need someone of his ilk to come in for him when he is out. Hopefully the surgery he’s going for does rectify his previous issues and we get a fully fit, firing Jacko back on the park next season going rampant for 56.

  2. I agree that our defence has been pretty poor recently. And to be honest wasn’t really that great early in the season when we were getting lots of clean sheets, mostly because teams sat in against us and barely attacked us. But we were often found out in Europe and lost plenty of goals. I also agree that Jack was critical to our defensive performances and was sorely missed but I also think Davis has been irreplaceable while Kamara too is vitally important. But we cant play all 3 at the same time. On the plus side losing Jack has forced us to play more attacking options as a third midfield player, usually Arfield or Aribo. I haven’t looked at the figures but my perception is that we got more out of the front 3 after Jack got injured.

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