Michael Beale said prior to Motherwell that he was looking at a new formation, trying one out, and towards the end of the match we saw that taking place as John Souttar came on for John Lundstram and the side went to a back three.
John Souttar did not come to Rangers to sit on the bench – while he’s had a torrid start to his Rangers career, let’s not forget prior to his arrival he was the best defender in the SPFL outside of the Old Firm, and he was a coveted signature for sure.
That has not changed.
What has changed is his reliability, with his injuries well and truly catching up with him and destroying his maiden term at Ibrox.
But the club from Beale does hint that he plans to use Souttar, and he’s not planning to drop Goldson or Davies. Is a back three the way forward?
We don’t see why not.
James Tavernier and Borna Barisic already play effectively as wingbacks anyway, spending as much time in the opposition half as their own, if not more, so it’s not that dramatic a change, and it would still give Rangers not only the three in the middle we already have, but full scope for a front two as well.
It seems, in many respects, the natural evolution of the squad and its current shape and personnel, that we give a three at the back a go and fit the shape around the players we have at our disposal.
A back three of Souttar, Davies and Goldson, middle five of Barisic, Jack, Raskin, Cantwell and Tavernier, and up front Sakala/Kent/Morelos/Colak.
The options are most definitely there, and there’s flexibility here too.
The addition of Souttar was supposed to replace Goldson, but now with him fit again, the manager appears to be considering a back three now instead.
It’s a definite option and it clearly could work quite well – the three at the back doesn’t get used too often in football these days, but when you have the right players and the right tactical deployment of them, it is almost the perfect formation.
Only time will tell if Rangers will use it, and use it well.