Michael Beale passes massive Rangers PSV test

Michael Beale passes massive Rangers PSV test
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 22: Rangers manager Michael Beale is seen during the UEFA Champions Qualifying Play-Off: First Leg between Rangers v PSV Eindhoven at Ibrox Stadium on August 22, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Was PSV Michael Beale’s big Rangers arrival? That is the question we are asking here at Ibrox Noise, having been deeply sceptical of the manager’s ability to negotiate this club, having originally been massive proponents of his ability back in his Queens Park Rangers days.

Having failed on pretty much every big test so far as Rangers boss in his own right, the pressure was on Beale up against the biggest test yet in the form of Dutch goliath PSV Eindhoven, and while optimism among Rangers fans was high (a pre-match poll of our readers carried out by Ibrox Noise overwhelmingly predicted a win) the realism of how good the Eredivisie side was there in abundance.

This was, without a doubt, Beale’s sternest test as Rangers manager, the one we were truly, truly judging his signings, his management, his ability on.

And while we didn’t win on the night, there is no doubt this was the first time Beale actually delivered on the big stage, with a controlled, managed, tempered, careful and clinical performance.

Were PSV the better side? Yes, of course they were. 75% possession at one point as they toyed around with the ball.

But Beale made a big tactical switch in this match – James Tavernier, shockingly, was put on a leash. He was told to sit back and actually defend. And that made a massive difference – while Noa Lang and Sergino Dest did get a lot of joy on his side, they were unable to convert the build into execution and that was down to Tavernier being a tonne more withdrawn for large swathes of the match.

He was also being covered by both Connor Goldson and Ryan Jack in a little homage to the old days of 55 when all three did such good work as a team.

Tavernier did go forward more as the match wore on, but that was with Michael Beale’s consent – it did leave doors open, but that’s the nature of his rambles, and again, Goldson and Jack were there to plug the gaps.

As for other changes… Beale opting for two up front was bold. He knew PSV’s defence is frail, and he put Abdallah Sima up front and wide to cause as much mayhem as he could. See, Sima is pretty rotten on the ball, he lacks composure – but he is quick, and the more runners in this game who could get behind PSV the better, without leaving midfield exposed.

It could easily have been in-form Rabbi Matondo starting in this position, and then when he did come on, he showed just why he’d probably have been a better pick.

And of course Dessers – he didn’t have the best night, and yet offered two assists and got in PSVs faces a lot. What a paradox.

The four-man midfield is clearly Beale’s pick for Europe. He’s not playing a 4-3-3 at this level – quite simply he knows it’s too risky with the squad he has.

Instead he’s playing a 4-4-2 diamond, using Jack as the holding mid, Cifuentes and Raskin as the CMs, and Cantwell at the apex in the 10, with what seems to be Sima and Dessers or Danilo or whoever as a duo at the top.

And in this match, once again Beale showing the Gerrard and Gio penchant for nailing it on the continent.

It wasn’t a win, but this was a real test for Beale and for Ibrox Noise he passed it.

We have a chance in Holland, we actually have a chance, and maybe under this manager and with a fit squad we might not get absolutely destroyed in the group stage if we do make it.

We’ll see…

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  1. I’m no fan of Beale he somehow managed to get his so far disjointed team to play as a unit and although I still have serious reservations about his decision making and I don’t believe a word he says he did pull a rabbit out of a hat. 💙💙

  2. Yeh Mr Beale deserves a bit of credit for lastnight for sure
    Great night for the famous,with the biggest test still to come next week
    Onwards WATP🫡🇬🇧

  3. I’m still not convinced . I enjoyed Cantwells performance and see Cufentes and Raskin at ease in that level of quality which is great. However I always am more than concerned with our right side defence . I also would like to see our attackers retain the ball more and draw fouls. Yes we have chance and perhaps Voss and PSVs arrogance maybe their downfall. I hope so Onwards 56.

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