Rangers beat Blackpool but a few concerns remain…

Rangers beat Blackpool but a few concerns remain…
Ryan Kent in action v Blackpool (Credit Rangers FC)

Rangers today won their second proper pre-season match (we barely count the training exercise that was Partick) at Bloomfield against hosts Blackpool, and while the win was of course welcome, the performance was simply modest.

While marginally improved fitness compared with the Sunderland half was evident, the visitors were still behind their opponents in terms of movement, pace, and general energy levels, albeit not as dramatically, and Gio has just two full weeks to knock his lads into shape and have them ready for the shock upturn in demand that the CL qualifiers and SPL opener will have.

Substitute Rabbi Matondo was impressive, showing his pace quite effectively, and surprising a few onlookers we’re sure with a lot more upper body strength than he’s been given credit for. While he’s hardly a beef mountain, he’s no wimp, and will be able to hold his own. He looks one to watch for sure.

The other flank saw Tom Lawrence make his debut also as a sub, but the Wales international looked off the pace and made little impression. He’ll need to get some milage into his legs. And Colak looked sharp even if he was unlucky with an offside goal.

Defence, was however, the most concerning.

It was good to see John Souttar make his proper debut, but the backline was porous throughout and there appeared to be little understanding between any of the pairings, and that applied to the 45 v Sunderland as well, with Goldson and Katic repeatedly bypassed.

This time it was Goldson and Sands who looked a bit lost.

The disclaimer is always how these are the matches to make these errors in, and that’s absolutely right, but making so many mistakes in these matches is not great for morale and time is running out to iron such errors out.

We’re absolutely sure Gio will have it sorted for the real action, but there’s no question the next 14 days are crucial for progress and getting more and more match ready by the time the serious business kicks off.

We’d like to see how we’ve evolved by the time we face West Ham on Tuesday, albeit that is only a few days away.

In Gio we Trust, as always.

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  1. I’m a wee bit concerned about how ready we are going to be for the start of the season particularly the CL qualifiers. By the time we’ve played West Ham and Spurs how close will our best team be to being up to speed. You can train as much as you like but how much game time will they have under their belts. I don’t think 20 minutes here, 45 minutes there cuts it. And have our new players been signed in sufficient time to integrate into the team? We had the same problem last year and we definitely didn’t hit our stride fully in the first half of the season, Lundstram being the perfect example.

  2. The disclaimer is pretty pointless to be honest. We’re not really that far behind with bringing in new players in relation to the time players have been back in training. There’s little time to gel and with making multiple substitutions during bounce games you can’t realistically judge the players, coach or tactics. We’ll maybe find less changes made during the West Ham and Tottenham matches but CL qualifiers can be a lottery as most countries leagues haven’t started yet or aren’t in full swing. One bad result can be curtains when the players are yet to get up to full speed. If we drop out of the CL it wouldn’t be a huge surprise but that’s just the nature of reshuffling after departures and new arrivals. Not that worried really because the CL is not currently our level. Qualifying and finishing 3rd would be a huge achievement. Six money spinning CL games and then EL knockouts after New Year would be far from disastrous. My bigger concern would be our transfer policy. We seem to be choosing potential players only half proven rather than seasoned pros. Let’s hope these new guys are up to the task.

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