Mark Warburton impressed when he first arrived at Rangers. He was a clear communicator and was a man with a plan!
The Englishman stated that he wanted to bring through the club’s youngsters, he wanted to establish a ball retention style of football that would excite the Gers supporters and only wanted to bring in players that would offer more to the team and have a re-sale value.
Warburton would enjoy the majority of his debut season in charge and he was rewarded with a new deal at the end of it.
But it hasn’t worked out for him this term.
The knives were out before last night’s announcement that Warburton, his assistant David Weir and head of recruitment Frank McParland had all resigned from their duties.
The Gers fans had already become pretty disillusioned with their manager.
It was clear that he was too stubborn with his tactical ideas. Quite a few Premiership sides and found ways of getting around the Rangers possession style, they knew there was a lack of a killer instinct.
Warburton failed to grasp that at Ibrox a win was more important than the style in which the team played. Yes the fans enjoy good football but not at the cost of all three points!
It’s ironic but I believe that the rot started to set in straight after Rangers famously defeated Old Firm foes Celtic in last season’s Scottish Cup semi-final. It’s where Mark peaked as Gers boss but after that, things started to collapse around him.
After winning the Championship in early April, Rangers would then finish the season without a win in the league in their last four fixtures. The players seemed to be playing in their sandals and with beach towels under their arm.
Then they lost out to Hibs in the Scottish Cup final. That defeat highlighted that Warburton had to invest in his squad and, in particular, the defence had to be strengthened.
But in his second summer, the recruitment drive seemed to go against many of his philosophies. He obviously felt his side needed more experience but those players didn’t have re-sale value and took places away from younger talent. Many of the new signings have struggled with injuries or failed to improve on the quality that was already at the club.
You also had the Joey Barton saga.
Now Barton was seen as a bit of a coup as he was a big name player. But Joey was never the type of player that would fit into a Mark Warburton team. Barton would always want the ball to be played through him and that would often slow down breakaways.
Another thing that the whole world knows about Joey Barton is the fact that he likes a moan and an argument. At the first sight of trouble from Bartion, Warburton was found wanting and out of his depth. Instead of trying to sort the issues out, he just washed his hands of the player and that was that.
So looking back at the opening ambitions of Mark Warburton as Gers boss and you can see that he couldn’t live up to them.
The exciting football wasn’t overly exciting, especially when the team started dropping too many points in the Premiership.
The signing policy went to the wayside last summer and the new signings struggled to make a huge impact on the side, to such an extent that the board and Gers support had started to question the boss and his head of recruitment!
Then you look at him bringing through youngsters. In the current first team, who actually came through the ranks at Murray Park?
Danny Wilson, I suppose, but he’d left and came back again; so does he really count?
Liam Burt is on the fringes but is hardly a first-team regular at the moment. Many had hoped to see more of Ryan Hardie but the young forward has been loaned to Championship sides this term.
Billy Gilmour might get there one day but that’s only if the fifteen year old rejects the elite’s advances once he turns sixteen.
So really it’s only Barrie McKay that has made the transition from the youth set-up to the first team.
That just doesn’t seem right given Warburton’s opening presser when he was almost singing about giving youth it’s chance and for having a clear path into the first team for talented kids. Is Murray Park failing to bring in talent? Or did Warburton turn his back on his own beliefs?
This season was always going to be a learning curve for Warburton but he continually failed to learn from his mistakes. The team didn’t seem to possess a ‘Plan B or C’ to change the outcome of games. The defence all too often still looks weak and slow.
His last few press conferences had seen a once confident, clear manager change into a nonsensical boss who would often clutch at straws and fail to understand his audience.
I truly believe that the whole ‘resigning’ situation could’ve been handled better by Rangers Football Club and I feel the Gers board are also partly to blame for the things that have went wrong this season.
But in truth, Mark Warburton struggled to make good on his early promise and the end was always coming, it was just a matter of when it would happen.
Posted on February 11th, 2017 by scott
Filed under: Article