Michael Beale has named his maiden Rangers team, and it wasn’t a million miles off what Ibrox Noise predicted, albeit no Alfredo Morelos.
Beale only went with three different names to our selection, with Colak in Morelos’ place, Tillman in Arfield’s, and of course Kamara over Lundstram, which was a very, very telling selection indeed.
In fact, it’s the Fin over Lunny that is possibly the biggest surprise in this team, the wantaway midfielder the subject of French and Italian interest, but his current manager has specifically stated he wants to make the ex-Dundee man a big part of his Rangers going forward.
Otherwise, the remaining 8 were as Ibrox Noise believed, albeit the back four was out of Beale’s hands with half the squad injured and Borna Barisic still in Qatar after Croatia’s shock win over Brazil.
What do we expect of this?
We have big hopes for Matondo – we feel like there’s a tonne of talent there and we’ve not given up on him, but Giovanni van Bronckhorst simply didn’t bother with him, didn’t seem to use him right, and Beale appears to have greater hopes and faith in the winger, and selects him in his first Rangers team.
As for Lundstram, his place on the bench is telling – Steven Gerrard didn’t use him well, and that was a major reason he struggled until Gio arrived, but he’s on the bench today. Then of course there’s the lack of Alex Lowry – he’s on the bench but fans want to see more of him, and we suspect there will be heavy use of the subs come the second half.
It is, after all, a friendly.
But it’s also, as we said before, a bit of a dress rehearsal for Hibs, and this is close already to the XI Beale is likely to go with for the resumption of SPL duty for Rangers.
As for Morelos and Colak, the statement is made that Morelos isn’t just automatically back as number one because Beale is back, he’s going to have to earn it, but he showed no desire to do so this season so we can’t really see a way back for him now.
Exit in January?