10 things Rangers learned over the winter break

10 things Rangers learned over the winter break
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 16: rangers manager Philippe Clement is seen during the friendly match match between Rangers and FC Copenhagen at Ibrox Stadium on January 16, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers’ winter break is now over, and after two friendlies and a bunch of media nonsense from the club as per usual with the coverage of these camps, it’s back to what actually matters this weekend when we travel to Dumbarton in the Scottish Cup.

Here’s a bunch of things Ibrox Noise believes we learned from these friendlies…

1: Our defending off set pieces is absolutely, utterly, totally, and entirely abysmal. While we’ll not always concede, and indeed our goals against in the league is very, very good, we are amazingly soft-centred at the back off corners and free kicks. We are very vulnerable there and have been for a long time. Both of Copenhagen’s goals were completely preventable.

2: At the same token, our attacking set pieces don’t offer much threat at all either. A lack of a big strong target man has been the case forever, the closest being Morelos, but we don’t make much stick up front when launching a ball in.

3: Cyriel Dessers continues to score, to assist, and do all the things Rangers fans don’t want him to do, because they hate him. Whatever you think of the Nigerian, he’s effective and he’ll keep being effective even if he looks so awkward in all of it.

4: Rangers do really, really need Lawrence Shankland – the team desperately needs a reliable goalscorer, someone who reads lines and finishes clinically. Of course we already dumped Colak which was basically what we needed, but that’s another story.

5: If you learn more in losses and draws than victory then technically we learned a tonne. But nothing we didn’t already know. Both friendlies were weak performances and while Copenhagen was marginally better it still fell hugely short.

6: Fabio Silva is no better than Sam Lammers on what we’ve seen. Might even be worse.

7: Leon Balogun and Ridvan Yilmaz, overall, were Rangers’ best players in these friendlies. Not a single attacking player really shone, and we’re shipping Ridvan out on loan. Seems the right thing to do.

8: Robby McCrorie, sadly, had his worst-ever performance as a Rangers player v the Danes. He was all over the place, flapping, and did nothing to prove why he deserves more game time. Jack Butland won’t be looking over his shoulder on that one.

9: We’re pretty sure Dessers’ strike was an own goal.

10: Even Rangers fans weren’t really interested in the Copenhagen match – half-price tickets couldn’t persuade more than about 15,000 fans (and that’s a generous guesstimate) to show up ‘on a cold Tuesday’s winter’s night at Ibrox’.

Let’s hope things get much more sharp and ‘going’ when we travel this weekend.

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