If there’s one thing Rangers fans are always yelling at the board and the manager, it’s about defence, and specifically, the shape of it.
With summer looming and the reality of a lot of changes at Ibrox impending, Ibrox Noise wanted to look at our defence and suss the changes likely, needed and where it should be come the start of next season.
Let’s face it, no one is thrilled with our backline…
Currently there are, fit or not, four defenders:
Connor Goldson, Ben Davies, Filip Helander and John Souttar. That is a good number for Rangers, but Helander is certain to move on this summer, injury-ravaged as his Rangers career has been. John Souttar is starting to come back into the picture and for now, Goldson and Davies are the prime choice.
Ibrox Noise has contended, however, for some months that Goldson and Davies aren’t good as a partnership – they are effectively the same player. Neat, composed, great passing, but no real physical presence and a distinct lack of understanding with each other. There is no foil here. No Bassey to Goldson. No Niko to Davies.
There is talk of a back three, and that’s possible, we’ll see if that one materialises or it vanishes like the Colak Morelos partnership Beale promised weeks ago and never bothered with.
But in the here and now it’s a duo, a two, and long-term we’re very concerned about it being Goldson and Davies. It will just keep on leaking goals with those two.
One thing for sure this summer – a centre-back of the ilk of Bassey or Katic is absolutely critical – we need a big tubthumping enforcing hatchet tough man at the back, we need a Bassey or Celtic’s version in Vickers.
Right now it’s all far too lightweight, and that extends to the fullbacks, none of whom have an ounce of physical presence either.
So bringing in a big strong centre-half is surely a critical priority for Michael Beale, and we’d say he along with Goldson, Davies and Souttar is enough going forward.
Good enough for the Champions League? Nope, well short. Few to none of these players are Champions League quality, the whole squad falls well short of that, but that shouldn’t be our ambition next season. We might scrape by getting to the group stage but the aim would absolutely be third in the table if we did.
Or we just don’t bother with it and go straight for Europa.
But that’s another argument for another time. We’ll need a complete overhaul to be remotely credible in the Champions League.
It’s all about 56. And Goldson, Davies, Souttar and BIG STRONG CB is probably enough. Maybe.
We’re not even that sure…