The strong nature of the Rangers performance on Wednesday night led to fans being very happy with how things went. There was a real desire on show from the team, allied to good football throughout. There were a few talking points to take from the game, as discussed below:
Since Murty took over, he’s taken 13 points from 5 games against Aberdeen, Hibs and Celtic. That’s a great record which would normally see a Rangers manager held in high esteem. However, defeats in games against Hamilton, Dundee, Kilmarnock and St Johnstone mean that’s not yet the case. The bad performances have been every bit as poor as the strong ones have been good. When Murty has mentioned that he’s trying to implement his style, it’s been difficult to identify what that is. In the last few matches, we’ve seen signs of changes there. The players are pressing higher up the pitch, in a more organised way. The team is less prone to just throwing a long ball up when in trouble. And it seems clear from the signings that Murty has a preferred formation. Hopefully, these are things which will see him start to get more consistent results from the games not considered the more difficult ones.
THE NEW SIGNINGS
With all 4 new signings making debuts on Wednesday, 3 from the start, there was a lot of focus on them. Whilst Cummings came into the game at a time when it was impossible for him to show what he can do, the others were able to display good attributes. Russell Martin has leadership, and a good reading of the game. Goss is very composed, and picks a pass well and quickly. Murphy had some moments where you could see his lack of sharpness, but his movement and decision making was very encouraging. When you add the imminent signing of Greg Docherty, it would seem there’s been some great business done in this window.
Had things went as the board wanted, McInnes would have been in the home dugout. Now having lost three games to Murty, I don’t believe many Rangers fans welcome that idea any more. His team selection was a bit more attacking than he usually plays in these games, but in truth the performance of Rangers didn’t give him much hope of turning things around anyway.
There’s some suggestions that fans were frustrated with Morelos. That’s very much a minority view. He did miss great chances in this match, but he more than made up for it with how he played overall. It’s really easy to forget that he’s only 21, as he plays with a strength and maturity you don’t associate with that. During the week, there was the media story claiming Rangers value him at £10m. Graeme Murty has said that anyone interested would have to come in with big money. There’s been suggestions he wants to move to England in the summer, but I think he’d only do so if a club in a strong position came in for him. The standing ovation he received when substituted told everyone how the fans really feel.
Rumours before the game suggested that Wilson was dropped as he’s looking to leave the club. It’s alleged that he’s been offered a substantial wage by clubs in the MLS, and Rangers aren’t willing to match it. If he’s looking to leave the club for a second time, it was the correct decision not to play him. Bates done well next to Martin, and suggested that we’ll more than get by if Wilson is leaving soon. He’s been very good in most matches of late, but overall he’ll be remembered as inconsistent at best. Maybe he’ll stay and look to change that view.
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