When Rangers’ new manager comes in, he will have a fine squad at his disposal, reenergised under new leadership.
Here’s Ibrox Noise’s pick of the sweeping changes we would now make to the XI and the system we might use.
Goalie would now be Robby McCrorie. As one regular joked with us, we must be his agent the number of times we big him up. But we do believe it’s time for a change in goal and he seems the natural choice. And the few times we’ve seen him he’d been more than impressive.
Defence will see a lot of change too.
Tavernier would lose the captaincy (we’d give it to Arfield or Jack), and be replaced by Nathan Patterson, with the former captain now having to earn his spot, with the latter now first choice. He’s the future, and as good as Tavernier’s current form is, Patterson has all the potential in the world.
Defence would see the end for Connor Goldson, who’s going to leave anyway, and a recall for Niko Katic while the hope that Filip Helander is fit soon. That’s the duo we’ve wanted for a long time.
Leon Balogun is valuable too, and would be the third defender of a group of four. Jack Simpson we’d pay to leave.
Left back – well we’d bring in someone new in the Bosman market. Bassey isn’t fully proven yet, but given time could be. And Borna Barisic’s form is hideous. Croatia have now dropped him. He’s another one who probably needs a change of scenery. But for now it would be Bassey.
Midfield is interesting.
Ryan Jack, John Lundstram and Joe Aribo is a wonderful combo, with Scotty Arfield in the mix too, not to mention young Stephen Kelly. Juninho Bacuna remains a slightly unknown quantity while young Nnamdi Oborforh cannot be judged yet. Steven Davis is coming to the end of his career, Kamara is deadweight these days, and that’s all the options we actually have there.
On the wings:
Ryan Kent is vulnerable to exit for personal reasons, but hopefully he remains. Unfortunately, he’s the only winger of quality we actually have, because Scott Wright doesn’t cut it, as honest as he is. Nothing to say about the hapless Brandon Barker, and sadly that’s all the main options. Ianis Hagi isn’t a winger per se, and doesn’t really thrive as a starter. Glenn Middleton could get another chance. But work needed there.
Up front is interesting. Fashion Sakala is coming onto a game, Alfredo Morelos is surely looking for the exit again, Kemar Roofe seems happy at least, and Jermain Defoe is more interested in TV work now. Cedric Itten is a possible recall too.
So sweeping changes?
McCrorie; Patterson, Katic, Helander, Bassey; Jack, Lundstram, Aribo; Arfield, Sakala, Roofe.
It’s not necessarily super dramatic but it’s a refresh, and there’s a tonne of depth on the bench, which is the way it should be.
Now for the system.
With Scotty there, he allows both a flat midfield and a dynamic one. The previous system was a narrow 4-3-3, but with Joe Aribo, we can build around a 4-2-3-1.
For this the pairing of Jack and Lundstram in front of the defence, with Aribo (in the 10), Hagi and Arfield in the line of 3. And any of three strikers up top, depending on the opponent, of course.
Just no pal’s acts any more. Please!