As is often the case following a big loss, lots of soul-searching and gnashing of teeth is underway from Rangers fans, but if there’s one thing clear, while the margins between victory and defeat can be so fine, nevertheless, Rangers fell badly short on Sunday and there is talk of something of a clear out in personnel.
It is true, Rangers have effectively had the core of this squad for far, far too long, and we do feel like it’s time for some changes this summer. Ibrox Noise takes you through the overhaul/analysis we think may be needed to tighten the squad up a bit.
It’s time for all of them to go. The club evidently doesn’t rate Robby McCrorie, won’t use him, so why is he here? McLaugh is literal garbage unfit for a Championship side never mind Rangers. And McGregor is too old, obviously. We need a complete clear out in this area and a fresh start in the summer.
Tavernier has had a horrible season, and hasn’t really delivered for this club since the first half of 55. He scores tonnes of penalties but we’re not sure he should be so untouchable going forward. We’re not strictly saying get rid, but he’s just not that good anymore, and he’s lost a yard of pace as well.
Adam Devine is mediocrity tenfold. He’s miles below the standard needed, and isn’t even good enough for squad. He’s there because the club was shortsighted over Tavernier. What we wouldn’t give for Patterson back.
On the other side, Borna still has some life in him, but he’ll have Ridvan for company soon we hope. So we’re ok for now in this area.
Centrally? What an absolute mess. Connor Goldson is tied down to four more years, and reverted to type with a horrible performance v Celtic. We’re stuck with him and he will be forever untouchable. Davies is not bad really, but far too slight – there’s no physicality about him. But that’s all we have fit. James Sands will leave this summer, Leon King is well short of being good enough, Filip Helander will also depart, and John Souttar remains AWOL. Defence might be settled in selection but it’s far from convincing.
Midfield is fairly easy:
Keep Raskin and Lundstram, but let Jack and Davis go and sell Kamara. We need a couple of new bodies in there. We’d love Billy Gilmour in some capacity.
Advanced midfield gets interesting:
Tillman, Arfield, Hagi, Lowry and Lawrence. Tillman can leave, we’re not interested in him, Arfield is out of contract and probably won’t get a new one, Hagi seems as far away as ever from the first team despite his apparent fitness, and he was painful on his recent appearances, and Lowry doesn’t get a took in. Lawrence is struggling badly with fitness still.
We’d let all of them go at this point. Obviously that’s not practical, there’s long-term deals in there, especially that dim-witted one for Hagi, but at least four of them want to be here. This is a hard one to call.
Ryan Kent, Wright, Roofe, Sakala, Matondo…
As Ibrox Noise’s Zak said, Matondo is a literal wage thief, and should never have been signed, while Scott Wright may be honest but falls short by quite a long way. Kent’s contract is an issue of contention still, and then there’s broken Roofe and the selfish Sakala.
We’d let four of those go happily, but again, deals are in progress. The only one we’d keep is Kent but that might be out of our hands.
Finally, up front:
It’s Morelos and Colak. Lovelace is a bit away from this level, so it’s Alfie and Tonio. Morelos’ deal is done in the summer and Colak will never be a fixture under Beale, so unfortunately this is an area of flux as well.
So… in summary:
Let contract expire and let go:
McGregor, Helander, Sands, Kieran Wright, Jack, Davis, Tillman.
In short, let all of the expiring contracts go except Morelos, Kent and Arfield. But two of them may leave anyway and we don’t see Scotty getting a new deal.
The obvious one here is Kamara, but we’d try to cut loose Roofe, Wright, Matondo, Hagi, Goldson, Lawrence, Colak, Souttar, McLaugh and McCrorie.
In fact, the only players we’d sincerely keep at this point are Davies, Barisic, Ridvan, Lundstram, Raskin, Cantwell and Kent.
A combination of injuries, poor form, poor attitude, and a bunch of other things has led to an oversized squad with a pile of wage thieves and overly-long contracts which we’re trapped to. Whoever thought giving Hagi a new contract was a good idea?
Rangers’ squad, unfortunately, is a real mess – too many injured players, too many long contracts and a bunch of players expiring this summer.
Yes, the picture would look a tonne different had we won that final, but that IS the fine margins of football. Similarly one swing of Ramsey’s boot could have seen a statue made for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and immortality, Champions League pot 1 seeding and all the glory plus filthy lucre winning would have earned, but the sliding door saw him miss badly, and his former manager fired after a horror second season.
So we deal now with what we have, not what it could have been.
And boy do Rangers need work.