So where DO Rangers go from here? There’s been much wailing and gnashing of teeth as 56 faded away definitively at the weekend, but one bad VAR call didn’t disguise the 12-point lead Celtic now have, and how the onus is on our club to fix that. To close the gap.
So instead of just whining about this, Ibrox Noise offers our 10 constructive suggestions on some of what we do to close the deficit to Celtic.
1: Clear out a lot of the dead wood. This one is obvious, but a lot of our squad isn’t good enough, pure and simply. Mutual consents may be required for the likes of Jon McLaughlin, but the dead wood can go. Bye bye Scott Wright, let Alfredo Morelos go, sell Glen Kamara…
2: No new contracts for the out of contracts, with the only possible exception being Scott Arfield. We have a tonne of players expiring this summer, most of them well past their sell-bys. And yes, we include Ryan Jack who’s produced one good display in 18 months, along with Morelos and yes, Ryan Kent. Arfield has a lot left to give, but we’d trim so much by saying goodbye to almost the lot of them.
3: Wipe out the Warburton. Has no one noticed we’re still relying on Mark Warburton’s out-of-date setup through our whole football ecosystem? The rubbish tiki tika tripe the old manager forced upon us that is still in use today? We need to rip up the fundamentals and stop relying on 4-3-3 and forms of it even in our Academy. We still use wingbacks today exactly like he did, thinking we’re the old Barcelona. And hell, we’re still using James Tavernier in the same role seven years later as well!
4: Relieve Ross Wilson, Graeme Park and Stewart Robertson of their positions – they are a huge part of what is stale and not working at this club. Ross signs mostly rubbish and condemns anyone for criticising him, Park is deeply unpopular and has caused toxicity with fans, and Robertson signed Pedro, which is a borderline hanging offence. These three should all clear out and let new talent take over.
5: MONEY. This is a big problem we have. New share issue? Takeover? Rangers need funds and aside selling some players, it’s time to think outside the box. Ibrox needs sponsored, it needs disgusting logos and slogans all over the place, because they can bring in serious money streams. A 5 year deal with Apple, tongue slightly in cheek, and we have iBrox. We already have BioWave on Copland and Broomloan, let’s go all the way and let sponsorship rename the stadium if need be. As LONG as the money is good. It’s not the only way to make cash but it’s definitely one. Many other ways are out there.
6: Give Michael Beale till Christmas to make a dent on Celtic. If we’re no further on, it’s time to bring in an experienced manager who understands what the Scottish Premiership needs, rather than Beale’s inferior system which might be good enough to beat Hearts and Aberdeen but it falls short v ‘them’. We will also see where he is in Europe. We’re watching him. He gets a full pre-season like Gio did and we then see where it takes us. If he fails, no more managerial noobs, thanks.
7: Enough shopping for players in English League One. Enough taking players who aren’t good enough for their current teams. Nico Raskin is exactly what you can sign when you do good scouting. Cantwell too. We need to take advantage of situations like those, where there’s been a fall out or a r’ship is reaching its natural end, in order to secure top players who can truly be good enough. Beale has made a good start with January’s window, but we need more than that. We won’t have endless pits of cash this summer, so we need to be a tonne smarter than signing Rabbi Matondo for £3M.
8: A thorough, deep and forensic examination of our medical and training, because something caused our players to have a massive injury epidemic this season/year. Bring in an independent inspector to examine as much as possible, and find where the failings were.
9: Same with catering – is it good enough? Are the diets and programs our players on sufficient for the path forward? Again, have this properly tested and checked, because something hasn’t been right with work rate and fitness. Could be what systems the players are under.
10: End the cinch dispute and stop fighting with every single commercial entity and body in the game north of the border. Rangers aren’t helping themselves by pushing everyone away. Keep your enemies close, and all that.
11: Give James Bisgrove even more powers commercially – he’s been a rare shining light for the club, we’d shudder to imagine where we’d be without his deals and contracts. He deserves credit and an increased position without his own field – perhaps an increased team under him. We’ve seen ads in the past for new employees in his department, grow that further.
There are probably a hundred more, but these are eleven for starters.
Maybe worth pondering?