There’s a growing concern with Glen Kamara & Stevie has to act

There’s a growing concern with Glen Kamara & Stevie has to act
11th April 2021 Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, Scotland Scottish Premiership Football, Rangers versus Hibernian Glen Kamara of Rangers warms up before kick off PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK ActionPlus12280630 AlanxRennie

At IN, we have been criticized with being overly negative, and some say we are not true Rangers fans.

So, in my tactical piece, before yesterday’s game, I decided to be positive, and to say this was a game we could win, and it was a game that we could have won…

However, I did put up a red flag and I said very directly that Glen Kamara needed to be replaced with Stephen Kelly, and now I will show you why.

With an opening 2:0 defeat there is now zero reason to keep defending players who are costing us games against teams we should be competing with.

So, I’m going to run a detailed tactical analysis on Rangers, to show you exactly why I have been critical about Glen Kamara.

At the 19:33 mark we have a goal kick. Allan McGregor choses to pass to Leon Balogun, who then passes to Kamara, who is taking up the defensive midfield role.

At this point Kamara has taken up a very good tactical position and at this point any reasonable defensive midfielder would now try to immediately break the Lyon high press, by passing to the side, to Connor Goldson, who has now moved upfield to receive what should have been a very simple pass from Kamara.

Instead Kamara took the very strange choice to help the Lyon team, by passing the ball straight back to Balogun, who no longer has Goldson to pass to (he went for the return pass from Kamara which never came) and Balogun is now saying to himself “what the sh*t”, because Balogun has three Lyon players packed around him with one running straight at him at full speed.

The result…8 seconds into Rangers’ possession, Balogun is forced to punt the ball up field, creating a very good chance for Lyon that the ball will be turned over, and that is exactly what happened.

This was then followed by the Lyon team retaining the ball for 30 seconds, with the ball being passed between several Lyon players.

The difference in ball retention…22 seconds, and this is at the critical 20-minute mark, when our opponents are starting to decide if they are going to be in a match where they will be defending the whole night, or they suddenly realize ehh, this is going to be lot easier than they thought.

Here, the correct option for any defensive midfielder, who had been looking around about him before they received the ball, would have been the simple pass to Connor Goldson who then had no players directly covering him, and with one more second of time on the ball, the probability is we could have mounted a reasonable attack, and had Lyon again on the defensive.

Instead, Lyon were able to start a very aggressive attack.

It is these small but critical differences that can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing, and I’m sorry to have to pick on Glen Kamara here, but he just does not read tactical situations very well.

I said that in my piece before the Lyon game, and I will say it again. Kamara has to be replaced by a player who has at least some tactical awareness (especially for a player taking up the defensive midfielder role), and Stephen Kelly has already shown he is far more aware of his tactical surroundings than Kamara ever will.

However, it is at the 20:59 mark we begin to see critical problems.

At this moment in the game Kamara is now standing all by himself in what is a perfectly good tactical position,

But it is only a good tactical position if there was actually someone he was defending!

He isn’t looking around to see where the Lyon players around him might be running to. Instead, as usual he is entirely focused on just the one guy with the ball, who then has a very easy pass to one of the Lyon forwards, who ran just a few yards to Kamara’s side.

This suddenly leaves Balogun on a 1vs1 situation, which now forces Barisic to come to his assistance, and fortunately for us the Lyon player is just a little heavy with his first touch and he is forced to travel away from our goal.

At 21:22 Kamara then decides to start chasing a Lyon player who is running far away from the goal, but the problem here is the Lyon player doesn’t have the ball!

This strange run then leaves a huge, massive gap in the defensive line.

The Lyon players then get an easy cross into the goal, but it is too high and it does not lead to a shot on goal.

Remember I talked about Lyon playing chess, and they might need three moves to break open our defence, with the aim of each move being to move one of our players just one or two yards out of position.

Well, in this case they didn’t even need the second move, because Kamara was running so far out of position he might as well have run off the park.

Being blunt I received massive pelters for suggesting Kamara should be removed from the team, but I would like to ask his supporters, what exactly does Kamara contribute?

He almost never takes a shot at goal.

He doesn’t run past people.

He isn’t good at defensive midfield. In fact, in most cases he is so tactically naive he is an absolute liability at this level of football.

He doesn’t repetitively split open the midfield or the defensive line with killer passes to offset his lack of running with the ball.

He doesn’t drag opponent midfield players out of position.

And when he does get the ball, it is usually a safe (if we are lucky) pass back to the back, or if we are not lucky he makes the wrong choice and we suddenly find ourselves under a lot of pressure.

Yes I am picking on Glen Kamara, and perhaps he does not deserve to be singled out, because he was never a defensive midfielder. I should be clear about this, it’s more on Stevie for putting him there than Glen himself. He has only been thrown there because of the loss of Ryan Jack, something which is also badly hurting Steven Davis’s game too.

But he fact is that is the position he now plays in, and in the modern game it is the defensive midfielder’s role to know how to move around the field, to drag opponents with him, to tactically break open an opponent’s high press, even if he never touches the ball.

A defensive midfielder is not an easy position to play in. In fact, it could easily be considered the most demanding in football.

And with Kamara’s poor tactical reading, any opponent, at this level, will be able to tear us apart.

So, it’s now time to give Stephen Kelly some game time, because being honest we could easily end up losing all six matches, if this is allowed to continue.

…and no I am not over-reacting.

I have seen this coming for some time, and I already was shouting out warnings well before this match, but being equally blunt our management team, with all the experience they have, they must have also seen this coming too.

So, Gerrard…..what are you going to do?

Are you going to continue to play players in positions they are not suited for, and run the risk of us losing all six Europa league ties, and perhaps putting your Rangers career in jeopardy, or do what you do to with all the other players who you say are not ready to play for Rangers, and immediately drop them?

It’s your call, Gerrard.

We are just passionate fans, and all we do is call things as we see them.

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  1. Spot on in my opinion. He cost £50k and has shown more than value for it but now the guy switches off in the royal blue more often than not. What is his main attribute as a Rangers player? Yeah, I’m not sure either. We should be cashing in and showing faith in Kelly and cross our fingers for Ofoborh. While we are singling out individuals whether fairly or not Gerrard may have had his hand forced but his midfield selection while Jack has been out is dreadful. Kamara, Davis and Lundstram is so devoid of offensive tactics it isn’t even funny. Aribo has a bit of industry but he isn’t always at the races either. Give Lundstram a few more games and if he hasn’t settled then he probably won’t to the level we require. Kelly, Bacuna, Bassey, Patterson, Roofe and Sakala need a chance to show their true worth, same for McCrorie. Morelos can’t express enough how much he wants out which we all understand but his need to do it so publicly is very disrespectful. I’m slated for my opinion but for me McGregor isn’t our number one keeper anymore. If he was playing week in, week out it would be something but he is like the rusty bike we occasionally take out when we nip to the shop and McLaughlin is in the same boat. Musical goalkeepers isn’t the way forward so pick a number one?

  2. I think Kamara is a good player but I also think this article raises some good points not only about Kamara but the midfield in general. They don’t look like they have any ideas other pass it to the side or back the way.

    No movement just static players passing to the easyest option or when a player is out in space or making a run it isn’t the pass which is made. They are not being direct enough or drawing opponents out of position. Teams, good teams any way, have way too much time to get back into their shape and by that time we need to pass it through nearly the whole team.

    There were spells in the Lyon game were we were dominating possession. This mainly was after changes were made. Scott Wright has time and again provided a spark. People say he just fouled them, sorry but we need to rattle their cages(they went down for the slightest touch though) but the bullying them for possession worked wonders. Press them, rattle them, get the ball back and force mistakes and whip the ball, pass the ball, run the ball, into dangerous areas.

    We pretty much did that for the last 30 mins but failed to break a goal out of it. Team selection needs to be tweaked. Of course I’am not the manager but I would have started Wright instead of out of sorts Kent. Morelos isn’t scoring and either Roofe or Sakala seem to cause more problems to defenders. Aribo didn’t chase enough me, playing him as one of the front three didn’t work.

    What is the solution. For me fresh faces given a chance and it seems we might get that only by default with Kent and Morelos picking up injuries. I would love to see Bacuna get a go, he does have defence splitting vision in the pass. According to Huddersfield fans he isnt consistant the whole game but he has magic in him. If we could get him to play consistantly every game as his highlight reels then that is really what the team could do with at the moment.

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