Mark Warburton Needs To Start Changing Things At Rangers


Ok let’s start by saying Rangers were probably the better team against Aberdeen yesterday. Plus the free-kick that led to the Don’s winner shouldn’t have been given.

But it’s very telling that Rangers can dominate a game but not get a result from it. Now if it just happened the one time then that would be fine but it’s happened continually so far this season.

In their last four Scottish Premiership games, Rangers have won the stats battles on three occasions yet they’ve only picked up two points from twelve. They now lie in seventh spot with a total tally of nine points from seven games.

When you consider their budget that’s not good enough and clearly something needs to change.

Scoring goals seems to be a main problem, with only two teams (Patrick Thistle & Ross County) scoring less than Gers eight goals so far this term. In the last four league games, scoring just three times, only Joe Garner’s consolation goal against Celtic came from open play.

I’m not sure why Gers boss Mark Warburton doesn’t go with two up-top?

You look at £1.5m new signing Joe Garner and you can see a striker that likes to get under the skin of an opponent. The bully boy type that roughs up centre-backs but you don’t see much in the way of goals. I am sure he’ll get some but I think his final tally maybe closer to that he scored in the Championship for Preston North End and not his record from League One.

Garner’s style and aggression could lead to more goals for a striking partner. Yes Martyn Waghorn can play out on the right but he’s more lethal through the middle. Gers also have young Joe Dodoo who could possibly be a pacy, prolific partner, if given the chance.

Another criticism I’d level at Warburton is his lack of urgency to change things during a game. He seems content to go like for like rather than change the style, tempo or formation. If you look across the city, Brendan Rodgers has made changes to his side’s strategy and they’ve yielded better results for Celtic.

Countless games have been won because a manager decided to tinker things from the bench. It’s rarer to see a team that’s been worked out come away with a win without changing something.

The Gers management team decided to drop Niko Kranjcar to the bench, it was obvious to everyone that the Croatian wasn’t quite up to the pace. The time could be right for Warburton to do the same with Barrie Mackay and rest the young winger. I’m a huge fan of Barrie but in recent weeks he’s hardly had a kick, so maybe he’ll benefit more from a spell on the bench and then hopefully come back stronger!

What does Michael O’Halloran have to do to get a starting berth in this underperforming Gers side? When the Ibrox faithful have seen him this term he has usually impressed and looked better than those that have started regularly. He knows what the Premiership is all about and has pace that frightens defenders.

Now for Joey Barton.

I think the last two league games prove that Barton wasn’t the problem on the park. Yes he hasn’t  been the best player in the country, as he predicted, but I just think he wasn’t as bad as people have suggested either.

My main issue with the Barton saga is why is it all taking so long? Everyone at Rangers must’ve known he was a passionate and opinionated man, I met him and knew that within an hour! So issues with him could have and should have been predicted, then you could’ve had plans in place for such events.

The two year deal handed to the thirty-four year old always looked a bit risky. But Warburton has to either deal with him or get rid of him. What’s the point in suspending him for three weeks?

The problems don’t just start and end with the forwards either.

In the Scottish Cup final, Anthony Stokes showed everyone that Rangers were vulnerable at the back and those issues haven’t been fixed over the summer.

James Tavenier still goes forward too much and can’t get to grips with his defensive duties.

As a partnership Rob Kieran and Danny Wilson make too many mistakes in my opinion.

Clint Hill is slower than a snail traveling through peanut butter! Which isn’t helpful if the right-back and his fellow centre-back can’t cover for him. It’s probably too early to really judge Philippe Senderos but it was telling that Hill was selected ahead of him for the clash at Pittodrie.

Unlike others I don’t think this is the end of the road for Mark Warburton at Ibrox but he needs to adapt to his surroundings. At some clubs they prefer style over just winning games by whatever means, Rangers aren’t one of those clubs!

At the moment forget all about the title, it’s hard to see this Rangers team finishing in the top three!

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