So it’s time to play Football Manager and try to predict Gio’s first ever Rangers selection.
It’s far from an easy one this, because there’s no precedent to go with, but we know he WILL make changes today.
So we’ll go with an educated guess at what they are:
Goals will be McGregor. We want McCrorie, but Greegsy is one player Gio knows a little and he may go with him. We do all know what the stopper can do in form, maybe Gio can get that out of him…
Fans all want Patterson over Tavernier. This is tough to call. Gio was positive about the captain, but has shown willing to drop his captains in the past. And just because Tav was defensively a mess v Hibs doesn’t negate the excellent form he has actually been in the past month or two. Patterson is still a brilliant alternative, and it’s a 50/50 unless Gio picks both.
Central defence is Goldson and Balogun. There’s literally no one else.
RB is another tricky one. Can Gio see more hunger in Barisic? Or will Bassey’s guts show through. Let’s face it, at their best, Barisic is the best LB in the country, he’s just been away from that form for such a long time. Maybe the new boss can resurrect the form.
Davis is another one we’ve had a bit of debate on, but we’re sure he’s shown a tonne of hunger and professionalism in training. Kamara might have a new spark to him as well, but Gio is wise enough to know who’s got the guts and who’s going through the motions. Lundstram is another shout – been great in the 6 but less so anywhere else. And Jack is fit, maybe not for 90 minutes, but he’s our best DM by a country mile.
And then there’s Arfield and Aribo – Gio will surely start them based on the commitment they showed on Sunday. So it’s who goes with them.
Sakala has to get the nod, based on attitude. He is hungry at all times. Gio will love that. Morelos is likely to be on the bench going by history.
Wings will see Kent – he’s one of the hardest workers in the team even if he’s not always effective, and Roofe’s work ethic will also go down well in training, but he is of course a slight doubt with injury. Wright would have had to be incredible in training to be in with a shout. Hagi does show good graft and is a bet as well.
So long and short of it is, we can only give an educated guess:
McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic; Jack, Arfield, Aribo; Kent, Sakala, Hagi
It’s a bit left field but this is a new manager and we doubt he’s going to veer too far away for his debut. But equally he needs to make his stamp.
We’re probably miles wrong. Over to the man himself.