The Elephant in the Room.

There are few things Rangers fans can agree on, now there are probably even fewer. There is one burning issue that needs to be resolved though. When do we see Jason Cummings and Greg Docherty starting for Rangers?

The form and regular contribution in forward areas by Alfredo Morelos ensures his place, he is consistently one of our best players. He won’t be dropped for Cummings, maybe rested for a cup game (see Fraserburgh for an immediate example) but not a league game. Jason Holt has been given the Captain’s armband recently so we have to assume he won’t be dropped any time soon to make way for Docherty. Sean Goss’ set-piece ability and passing range is superior to any player except maybe Niko Kranjcar’s but his legs are still in the USA playing Sunday league. I’ve not heard a Rangers fan say anything other than good things about Goss such is the impact he has made.

We can almost all agree that we want to see Cummings and Docherty. What we can’t agree on is how they fit into the team. Morelos and Cummings would be prolific, exciting and a pain in the backside for defenders, but who would supply them? Three into two doesn’t go. In the current formation one of Murphy, Candeias or Windass would have to miss out. Candeias is the most creative player in the league and Murphy hasn’t been bought (loaned) to sit on the bench and has already shown a greater technical and structural understanding in his few appearances to date.

It has to be Windass, doesn’t it? Or does it? Windass is our only “something from nothing” player. But he is also our most bi-polar player. Brutally he is either an 8 out of 10 or a 4 out of 10. No happy medium. Graeme Murty has to establish either what causes the 4/10 and fix it and if he can’t, he needs to be proactive and change personnel when he is most likely to perform to a substandard level.

The idea of not changing a winning team doesn’t work when you consistently don’t perform in certain games, the common denominator being at Ibrox. He has to find a system that works. For me, it has to be based around domination of the midfield and a high press on opposing defenders. If this means a 4-4-2 diamond with Candeias dropping to the bench, so be it. If it means playing 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 with Windass on the bench then that’s the decision that has to be made. And it has to be made by the manager.

Walter Smith made the big decisions and got them right more often than he got them wrong. Top scorer on the bench? Not a problem, best creative midfielder sacrificed for an extra ball winner? Done. Picking the right players for the right game and getting it right is what separates managers from great managers. Graeme Murty has the squad to now make these decisions, he wanted better players and he got them. He has options, not using them is counterproductive as well as highly frustrating.

There is no right answer, what works against Partick Thistle away might not work for Hearts at home but he HAS to work this out and he has to do it soon. It’s his job to do it, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. Let’s see an end of one step forward, two steps back. Make the right calls and we could see Cummings, Docherty, Morelos, Candeias, Murphy and Windass all contributing towards winning games the same way we saw Boyd, Cousin, Darcheville, Beasley, McCulloch and Novo doing it in 2007/08. There are enough games to keep the players and the fans happy, as long as the results are the right ones of course!