Sometimes, just when you think Mark Warburton knows what it’s like to be in charge of Rangers, you realise he’s still getting to grips with the club and the job.
At Tynecastle this week, his side were humped 4-1 by a thoroughly deserving Hearts team.
Before the game questions were being asked of both managers, and without doubt Heart of Midlothian boss Ian Cathro came up with the answers.
Warburton? Well Mark was only offering excuses and poor ones at that.
The main question that the Gers manager still has no answer to; is why his own side have such a poor away record? Especially against his closest rivals in the league that there in.
They suffered defeats away to Hibs and Falkirk last term in the Championship, while in the Scottish Premiership they’ve lost twice away to Hearts, up in Aberdeen and heavily to runaway league leaders Celtic. They also collapsed against the Hibees in last seasons Scottish Cup final at Hampden.
Asked, after the recent Jambos loss, if his squad had issues with big away games Warburton stated:
“I don’t think there is a problem with big games. I don’t see it as a big problem. We went to Aberdeen and I felt dominated and should have won the game.”
“The Parkhead game was well documented. Hearts, we had two bad performances, it’s as simple as that.”
Personally I think the answer shows naivety in Mark’s part. At Rangers any and every defeat is scrutinised and is viewed as a problem by their fans.
Now the odd defeat can be overlooked if things are going well and if the supporters are seeing progress on the field.
But the continuous defeats in rival grounds is now the norm for Rangers and that will be deemed as a serious issue for the fans.
Mark Warburton struggles to change things, like his formation and tactics, and it seriously doesn’t work against the likes of Celtic and Hearts in away trips.
The other problem for the Gers boss is that his recruitment policy last summer didn’t enhance the pool as much as it should have.
Yes injuries have hampered a few of the new players but defensively they needed a commanding centre-back and didn’t get one. Up-top they needed a prolific goalscorer and again Warburton and his chief scout Frank McParland failed to deliver.
The fact the club still have a basic scouting network relying on just two men says it all really.
Recently newspapers have been discussing a strained relationship between the manager and the board, with chairman Dave King unsure about the recent transfer activity.
But the board have also struggled to make the required impact.
They need to be the ones to push for a more extensive scouting network. King came into the club banging on about new investment and not just from himself and his fellow board members. He also told the fans that they we see more transparency from the club.
Neither of which has happened, especially not to the extent that the new chairman had previously stated. Dialogue from the boardroom is sparse. No doubt they’ve been bogged down with a lot of rubbish that they’ve inherited and the Sports Direct issues are still an intolerable hindrance.
But truthfully they need to do more to give any manager the best opportunity to get to grips with the job in hand.
Then you have the players. As the media will happily tell you, Rangers have by far and away the second biggest wage budget in the country. Not enough of the side play like it! They need to do more in all areas.
But performances and results ultimately lie at the manager’s door.
While I have sympathies for Mark Warburton, he’s had to work under difficult circumstances and wants to apply an exciting philosophy at Ibrox, I can’t help but feel he’s struggling with the high demands.
Rangers are a club that puts results ahead of everything else and Warburton still doesn’t seem to get that. If he fails to change things now, and we all know how much he hates changing things, then we could be watching his last few months at the club.
Be in no doubt the board will axe him, particularly if it means they can deflect blame away from themselves!
Posted on February 3rd, 2017 by scott
Filed under: Article