Rangers’ defence will be Michael Beale’s undoing unless he fixes it

Rangers’ defence will be Michael Beale’s undoing unless he fixes it
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 26: Michael Beale manager of Rangers during the pre-season friendly match between Rangers and Olympiacos at Ibrox Stadium on July 26, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

As promised, we now have that piece on the defence for you. Indeed, one Ibrox Noise regular told us we’re actually less critical about, especially, the left side of the rearguard than some sites and pages, and that’s probably true.

We’ve focused a lot on the right, on Tavernier, his defensive frailties, and our lack of faith in Connor Goldson as well. We’re much happier with John Souttar and Leon Balogun, but they can only do so much.

But yes, the left is definitely an issue as well, and it’s a growing one.

The problem we fundamentally have is if Ben Davies starts, we’re deploying a £250,000 value defender we inexplicably paid £5M for, to do a £5M defender’s job. He’s a League One-level stopper who cannot believe his luck to have not only been signed by Liverpool, but then by Rangers. And being paid £30,000 a week for the privilege.

He’s too slight, too slow, too weak, and too quiet. He’d be fine v Barnet in front of 5,000 fans, but is considerably out of his depth in the Scottish Premiership, and certainly v Celtic with 50K breathing down his neck. He’s tidy on the ball, but we don’t need a midfielder in defence, we need a defender.

He can’t handle the pressure or expectation at Ibrox.

But then you have outside him – let’s be clear, Ridvan didn’t have the best night last night, but he is a top, top left back. He’s a Turkey international and ex-Besiktas first choice for a reason, and he’s shown plenty of his quality. We’re not letting one dodgy cameo on a horrible all-round night for the team dissuade us from rating him.

But Borna? Oh dear. This guy is done for us. Costing one goal, nearly costing another, Borna looks weak, jaded, and frankly a bit disinterested now. Watching him advance forward was like watching your da’ run. He looked exhausted, and like it was killing him to run this much. He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying his football for this club anymore, and his concentration levels have suffered. He’s been frail, and while his positional sense is superior to Tavernier, he’s just as weak for errors and mistakes. He lets opponents bully him.

We’ve given Tav a pounding on Ibrox Noise, and let Borna away with a lot, but yes, we accept Borna too is not up to scratch either now. Fine as a deputy, but unlike in Tav’s case, we have a superior model to replace him.

So unfortunately, yes, the defence is deeply concerning all round. We have three good defenders in Souttar, Balogun and Ridvan. But most of the rest are poor – Tavernier, Barisic, Goldson and Dujon (let’s face it, will he be any good for £500,00 having been rejected by Coventry?) with Yfeko promising but a lot to prove.

The problem is this is it. We have no defenders coming in, the Auston Trusty trail and Jonathan Panzo trails have gone cold again, and what we see at the back is pretty much our picture for the season now unless there’s a shock development inside 7 days. Bear in mind, anyone coming in now gets no real preseason and is thrown straight into the deep end with UCL and SPL.

Is it good enough for 56 or the Champions League? It’s not even good enough for the Scottish Championship or the Conference League at present standing.

And that defence will be Michael Beale’s undoing if he doesn’t get out of his disinterest in fixing it.

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  1. Im more than a little concerned about our defence. If Hamburg done their homework then your damn sure so will all the other teams in Europe. In SPL well teams already know where our weaknesses are. We definitely need at least 1 more in defence.

  2. I have been singing the get rid song about Tav Goldson and Davies and to a lesser extent Barasic for almost a year and still Beale stubbornly carrys on with the same same pish. Its not going to cut it especially as he the screws with the team and gives opportunity to other opposition by persistent incompetency. I hope Bisgrove and Bennett are prepared to jettison him as it fails. I really hope it doesn’t and I’m proved wrong but so far this set up and performance doesn’t need football genius to beat easily.

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