Recently we looked at the wide options available for Rangers. There aren’t many which was a concern that fans had during the transfer window. Michael Beale was quoted as saying he was in the market for a ‘Ryan Kent type’ however, a player of that profile wasn’t brought in.
Currently the wide options that Rangers have are;
- Tom Lawrence
- Rabbi Matondo
- Abdallah Sima
- Scott Wright
That’s pretty much it, two options for the right and two for the left. Players like Cantwell and Lammers are capable of playing on either side but it isn’t their preferred position. Even looking at Tom Lawrence, he started on the left on Saturday but looked much more dangerous playing through the middle in the second half.
So if Lawrence is to be played where he looked most dangerous that would only leave Rabbi Matondo as an option on the left. Matondo and Sima caused a lot of problems in the second half against St. Johnstone. The fact they held their width really stretched the game and allowed players like Raskin and Lawrence to create from the middle.
Natural Wingers or Inverted Wingers?
With the 4231 set up at the weekend, Michael Beale opted for wingers who were more likely to cut inside. Normally they are referred to as ‘inverted wingers’ or ‘inside forwards’. Using this style can be very effective if you have wingers who can beat defenders and get shots away. In theory, this would suit Tom Lawrence perfectly, however, he had less of an impact when playing on the left compared to when he came inside.
The downside to using this system is that any width is reliant on the fullbacks being able to bomb up and down the line for ninety minutes. The start of the season has shown that Tavernier and Barisic aren’t capable of doing this though which isn’t entirely their fault. It’s a huge ask to expect any fullback to provide that width over the whole game, especially aging fullbacks who have never been blessed with great pace anyway.
The difference when Sima and Matondo were out wide was incredible. That could have been down to the fact it was later in the game and St. Johnstone were tiring though. It was much better to watch with the pace out wide and it’s when Rangers created the most.
Moving Lawrence into the middle let him use his passing ability to set up Matondo for the second goal. Pushing wingers out to the touchline gave Raskin and Lawrence a lot more space to work with. This was when Lawrence came into his own and looked like the player from the beginning of last season, very encouraging.
With Matondo and Sima Rangers have genuine width and pace available. Should Beale decide to go with wingers they are the two stand out options. Particularly in Europe, this could be an option to catch the opposition on the counter. How would you feel about Rangers setting up with Matondo on the left and Sima on the right?
Personally, I like the look of this Rangers team more playing with genuine width and pace. The starting line-up on Saturday had little to no pace, with Danilo the only option to really break in behind.
That’s the difference having the likes of Matondo and Sima makes, there are plenty of good passers in the midfield capable of sending the wingers through on goal. Do you think the team looks more dangerous with natural wingers or do you prefer the narrow system which has been used so far this season?
Do you think Rangers should go back to using players that provide natural width? Are you happy with Matondo and Sima as options for those positions? Do you think Rangers should have strengthened the wide areas during the transfer window?
If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter (X) here.