It’s no secret that Rangers have had a terrible start to the season. With so much turnover in the squad, fans didn’t expect it to be perfect from day one. However, we also didn’t expect to lose at Rugby Park on the first day of the season.
Pre-season performances weren’t outstanding and there were warning signs within those games that what Michael Beale was trying, wasn’t working. Nine games into the season and there’s been nine different starting elevens and multiple formations attempted so far.
Nothing has seemed to work, as in those nine games Rangers record is 4W/2D/3L. Two SPFL loses in the first four games, including the last Old Firm game, has made it a disastrous start to the season. After the abysmal defeat on the 3rd September at Ibrox, fans were calling for Michael Beale to be sacked.
Not just because of poor results but also the performances. Players don’t look like they know what they’re meant to be doing. The general play has been negative and down right boring. We came in to this season expecting to see the ‘handbrake off’ type of football Beale described he wanted to play.
Instead, fans have been treated to different players and formations every game alongside dull and uninspired football. This needs to change starting on Saturday and carrying on through to the next Old Firm.
Is a win on Saturday enough? I don’t think so. Here are some of the things I think need to happen for the opinion of the manager to change.
Get Rangers on The Front Foot Again
For too long Rangers have been more worried about stopping the opposition rather than playing there own game. Which the players available this team should be playing and passing other SPFL opposition off of the park.
That hasn’t been the case for at least a couple of years though. The focus seems to be on stopping the opponents best players and stopping them playing their own game.
What does that lead to though? Boring, predictable football. Rangers need to start going out believing they’re going to win every game. They need to start going out and pressing teams and constantly putting them under pressure.
Don’t worry about what they can do, make them worry about what we can do and attack them from the first minute. That used to be the standard and, unfortunately, it has dropped.
Stick to a Formation And Play Style
Whether it’s narrow or wide, the manager needs to stick to a formation and a play style to go along with it. All the chopping and changing is doing the players absolutely no favours.
Whatever ‘plan’ Beale thought he had going into the season it hasn’t worked. Hopefully he’s been reworking it over the international break and we’ll see an improvement at the weekend. The players had around 2 months to work on what he wanted to achieve coming into competitive fixtures.
So what happened? Why have performances been so bad? Why have they lacked any sort of measurable style? Perhaps it’s a case of the players not buying into it, either way, it’s got to change.
The manager and the players should’ve been working hard on whatever system they intend to play over the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, Saturday will show positive results from that work.
Have Faith in The New Signings
Michael Beale is supposed to have been looking at guys like Danilo and Lammers for years. Yet both didn’t start against Celtic, same goes for Cifuentes. These were players who were brought in to fit Beale’s system yet he didn’t trust them for the Old Firm?
How can you bring in 9 players, your players, to suit your ‘system’ and only start three in the biggest domestic game of the season. Sterling also only started due to Barisic being ruled out with injury.
Jack Butland has been great and earned his spot as Rangers number 1. Cyriel Dessers has been trusted almost every game though and is failing to put away some easy chances. Why is he being afforded more time on the pitch than the likes of Danilo and Dessers?
If the scouting was an in-depth as the manager claims for these players, they should be able to play his system. If he truly believes that they do, they have to be given game time. They have to be given starts and he has to have faith in them to produce the goods.
Obviously, Saturday is a must win game but I don’t think a scrappy win by a goal or two will be accepted by the fans. Wins are needed but so are performances for the fans to start having faith in the manager.
Do you still think it’s possible for Michael Beale to turn it around? A win plus performance on Saturday then a good display against Betis on Thursday could change everything.
Are you confident he’s capable of providing that though? At this point, I’m not so sure.
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ICYMI you can read yesterdays article on Bailey Rice here.