A week in the life of a fanatical Rangers fan
Photo credit should read Ian MacNicol,Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images

A week in the life of a fanatical Rangers fan

Article by: Richard Fillingham

Richard’s Rangers Round-Up

This has been a week of highs and lows for Rangers. When Kevin Clancy and his assistant sent Morelos off with only 11 minutes gone of the Aberdeen game, the 2 point loss was a shocking sacrifice.

The Light Blues played the rest of the match with only 10 men, leaving Gerrard livid and feeling cheated out of all 3 points. Already with only one game played, Rangers are 2 points behind Celtic. It’s therefore a relief that John McGinn of Hibs chose Aston Villa instead of joining the Hoops.

To add injury to insult, Ryan Jack was hospitalised with a serious head knock after a reckless Stevie May aerial challenge. He now misses out on the Europa League 1st leg home game against Maribor and the first league game against St Mirren due to continuing concussion.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Rangers concluded the speedy signing of Croatian internationalist Borna Barišić, from Osijek for £1.5 million on a four-year deal. He now has the chance to play again for Croatia.

Stevie G’s free transfers are Allan McGregor, Scott Arfield and Jon Flanagan. Fees for Connor Goldson (£3m), Nikola Katić (£1.5m), Jamie Murphy (£600k) and now Borna Barišić (£1.5m), show the quality of Gerrard and Mark Allen’s scouting and accounting abilities. The dynamic duo also brought in 1-year-loan-deals for Ovie Ejaria, Ryan Kent, Umar Sadiq and Lassana Coulibaly, unbelievably good business!

The overturning of the Morelos red card (now a yellow) issued by referee Kevin Clancypacified the Rangers manager.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

21-year-old midfielder Greg Docherty finally joined League One side Shrewsbury Town from Rangers on a one-year-loan-deal, but Gerrard assured Greg that he is still in his long-term plans. However, unless he has a super season, I think he will be sold for the original January outlay.

Finances further improved with Frank Lampard’s Derby County signing of Martyn Waghorn for £5m. This move gave the Ibrox club a £500,000 windfall due to the resell clause. When Rangers sold Waghorn cheaply to Ipswich Town, the 10% sell on was a major part of the deal.

(Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

Thursday night – the highlight of the week: What a huge night at Ibrox against Maribor  – a club who have managed to knock Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen and Hibernian out of Europe in the last 8 years. But a jubilant and resurgent Rangers ran them ragged to win 3-1 with goals from Morelos, Tavernier and Coulibaly. The Maribor goal was either a fluke or a world class strike from Viler. However, this goal was only a minor setback as Rangers went on to produce their best performance in years. Coulibaly bossed the midfield, popped up with the third goal, and Gerrard would certainly love to sign him permanently.

Rangers didn’t sell captain James Tavernier to West Brom for a reported £3m on Thursday (just hours before the big European match). He is already at a massive club, playing in front of 51, 000 fans at home games. So why would he want to leave?

Gerrard said Tavernier’s attitude was fantastic against Maribor after being the subject of the late bid. His performance was the best since Gerrard joined Rangers. Tav teamed up well with Candeias and was outstanding throughout the match. Gerrard says, “I want James Tavernier to be here as long as I’m here” – what a praiseworthy compliment.

Two players moved with the confirmation of Josh Windass joining Paul Cook’s Wigan Athletic.who sneaked ahead of Ipswich Town to sign him for a fee of £2.5m plus add-ons. The 24-year-old who scored 18 goals last season has been viewed as a luxury player who appears to do the bare minimum. But we wish him well at Wigan.

Left back Declan John also completed his move to Swansea for a reputed fee of £800,000.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Saturday afternoon – After an action-packed game at Tynecastle, Hearts fans were cock-a-hoop, when Rangers target Kyle Lafferty scored the winner as Hearts beat Celtic 1-0. The result helped Rangers fans to get over the heartbreakingly late goal against Aberdeen. The 30-year-old couldn’t do any more than he has to earn another opportunity to display his experienced talents at Ibrox this season, but it is down to the two teams to decide.

Sunday afternoon – Rangers for the first time in years have overtaken Celtic in the league – well done boys, but there is a long way to go!

I thought Borna Barišić would start for Rangers against St Mirren and he did. With Celtic only three weeks away, the sooner he started the better.

Unfortunately, Ryan Jack is still suffering from concussion after last Sunday’s clash with Aberdeen’s Stevie May, and Jack was forced to sit and watch another wonderful display from his teammates. The Ibrox boss also rested Tavernier and Arfield with Thursday’s game in mind.

Rangers line-up on Sunday was an extremely fluid 4-5-1: McGregor: Flanagan, Goldson, Katić, Barišić: Murphy, Coulibaly, McCrorie, Ejaria, Kent: Morelos

Subs: Tavernier, Sadiq, Foderingham, Middleton, Candeias, Hodson and Halliday.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Ross McCrorie was playing exceptionally well for 31 minutes until his only error left the referee with no option but to give him a straight red card. He would have been better leaving McGregor to handle the goal-scoring opportunity, but experience is the one thing the youngster lacks.

My MOTM was Connor Goldson who was captain for the day and, boy, did he play like one. He also scored Rangers 2nd goal from a beautifully accurate free kick from new signing Barišić, who was also outstanding throughout. Connor also hit the bottom of the post from another header in the first half, the woodwork denying a third goal.

To round up: A resounding 2-0 result. The team were superb throughout and the fitness, commitment and strength displayed, certainly augurs well for the future of Stevie G’s new regime.