We see this one all the time, and we’ve even addressed it once or twice, but it keeps cropping up, so once again Ibrox Noise will take the issue of Rangers’ defence and goalkeeping situation head on and explain why Rangers fans better just suck it up and accept how it is.
Every day we get fans writing to us complaining about our goalkeepers and defence:
‘McGregor is past it’, ‘McLaughlin is a bombscare’, ‘Tav can’t defend’, ‘Borna is too weak’, ‘Davies and Goldson are not physical enough’, and our favourite, ‘where’s McCrorie ffs’.
When we provided a ‘theoretical’ post-January Rangers XI featuring Rasking, Cantwell and Whittaker, aside a few ‘where’s Sakala’ the big mentions were the ‘rotten defence’ as if we at Ibrox Noise have any power to change that.
And therein lies the truth – once and for all, let it be clear – Michael Beale’s Rangers philosophy is explicit: ‘if they score 3, we score 4’.
That’s it. It’s akin to the old Real Madrid and Brazil philosophy of scoring more than the opponent – he didn’t care that Celtic scored twice against us, he cared we didn’t score 3 and it was a draw.
This is a polite way of saying ‘I don’t care about defence, as long as it’s decent enough, and I have no interest in improving it because the system I play won’t allow for that’.
Which is absolutely fair. Goal difference will obviously make a difference if we’re tied with them for first, but the important thing is winning. Be it 10-9 or 1-0, Rangers winning 3 points is the priority.
For Rangers fans complaining about the defence, that’s just the flavour they need to accept, to acknowledge we’re probably not signing anyone else and unless someone leaves, there’s not going to be change there. Beale doesn’t care if McGregor is too old or McLaughlin is a bombscare or if McCrorie is injured, all he cares about is our front line scoring more goals than the defence concedes.
He’s top-heavy, wingers, midfielders, strikers – the kind of football that will get us torn to shreds even worse than Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s negative football did in the Champions League, but at Scottish Premiership level, it’s good enough given we’re by miles better than the rest and catching up a bit on the other team.
But in the summer, come Europe again hopefully, he’ll need to adjust his tactics to cope with better players than Eamon Brophy attacking his backline.
So if you think big defenders are coming in and we’ll have an iron curtain before long, think again. For as long as Beale’s system keeps us winning, we’ll just have to accept a porous backline is the way it is.