So the word on the street (or FollowFollow, if you prefer!) is that we should expect a few signing announcements today. At the time of writing, we’ve had pictures of Bruno Alves in Glasgow, rumours of Carlos Pena being on his way, and stories that Ryan Jack is a mere medical from being confirmed, but the club haven’t given us anything official yet. A deal for Dorrans is suggested to be close, and whilst Naismith, Cummings and Weiss look like they’re not signing for us, we’re certainly going after a calibre of player that can be justifiably described as better than what we have right now.

One thing I used to find frustrating in the past, when Rangers had more money to spend and were able to sign players far more easily than now, was the seeming scattergun approach to our transfers. We’d lose out on a player like Tamudo due to his medical in the past, then spend even more on Flo who wasn’t the same style of striker at all – were we just looking for a name? There are numerous examples of that in our past. When Warburton came in, with a clearly defined style and approach, we could at least identify why most players were signed and how they’d fit in. I believe we’ll get similar from Caixinha.

If that’s the case, we can try to look at what we’ve seen from his approach so far, and the players being linked, to gauge what to expect in terms of tactics and style next season.

To begin with, it’s worth noting that I don’t think we’ll be tied to one approach or formation. Caixinha doesn’t come across as being that way inclined, but he’ll certainly have a favoured system. I believe that’s a hybrid of a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-2, as seen in his first few games and the St Johnstone game with us. We played with midfielders in the wider areas (playing a bit narrower) and had a couple of players sitting deeper in midfield to let them get forward. Miller started the games high up the pitch next to Waghorn, but would pretty much play wherever he liked. The full backs were asked to get forward and provide the width. When Caixinha said “we’ve found our style” after the St Johnstone game, I believe he was saying that’s his preference, despite trying a few different things in other games.

We’ve heard plenty from Pedro about his tactics, to the extent where some criticise him for it. He’s talked about the need to get more crosses into the box for players like Garner, or how he wants us to press the game more off the ball. The idea that we should be further forward on or off the ball inside ten seconds shows us how direct he’d prefer us to be. Do our signing targets seem to fit that?

It should be said here that like many Rangers fans, my knowledge of a lot of the players we’re trying to sign is limited. Based upon reports, videos and comments, it would seem that just about every target is a strong, physical player. The analysis of Pena mentioned that he was “quick on the transition” – a cracking hipster phrase for being good on a counter attack. The striker we’ve been heavily linked with, Eduardo Herrera, looks like a penalty box striker who plays on the shoulder of defenders. The signs all point to a team who’ll be looking to play quickly and directly.

There also seems to be a number of players linked who are good at hitting set pieces. Caixinha spends a lot of time on those, and we’re certainly ambitious when it comes to our attacking opportunities. The fact we’ve let in a few goals from counter attacks after our long throws haven’t worked does show us we have a lot of work to do there, though.

Whenever we played Celtic last season, the guys I know who support them would say that we should make the game physical because they don’t handle that well. We didn’t have the players to get close to doing that. It was interesting to watch large parts of the cup final, where Aberdeen pressed high and tried to leave Boyata as the man who’d get a lot of the ball, because that’s exactly what Caixinha wanted us to do and we couldn’t pull it off. He’s clearly looking for a strong, fit, aggressive team to take on the challenge of winning consistently in Scotland.

Alves will provide leadership and a will to win. Dorrans will give us plenty of fight and no small amount of ability. Ryan Jack has shown he can handle this league and thrive. It’s always difficult to get a great return from your transfer dealings. We’ll definitely have some players who don’t live up to the billing, but we can at least identify why they are being signed and what job they’re supposed to do. There’s not one area of the pitch where we don’t lack something we realistically should have. Catching Celtic may be a while away yet, but given our budget we can do better.

In terms of tactics and style, I believe we’ll see the sort of formation mentioned earlier in most games. We haven’t had natural wide options in the squad so far under Caixinha, so if we sign a couple of players like that there may be some tweaks. Every single game, the team will be sent out to win the physical battle first and earn the right to play football, which is the approach we have to take. We will have a much better quality of player in the squad, so they need to prove that they are as often as possible. We’ll be quick on the break, direct in midfield and from full back positions, and when required, Pedro won’t be scared to “park the bus”. All of our suggested targets so far would indicate that we’re trying to reverse the pushover reputation we’ve acquired in the last couple of seasons.

Do you agree with my assessment on how we’ll be looking to play next season? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!