When Steven Gerrard took over we all knew that the majority of any transfer budget must immediately rectify our defensive frailties. To be fair on early viewing it looks like the back 4 and GK currently playing will do just that.
Connor Goldson looks as assured and comfortable since the days of Carlos Cuellar. Nicola Katic looks strong beside him and they look like they have the makings of a solid partnership.
It should come as no surprise that the manager has highlighted the need for another CB and with interest in Jake Cooper not yet over, despite two failed bids so far, we can expect movement in that area.
Jon Flanagan looks slightly behind in match fitness but has been extremely solid and secure at left back, he will prove to be an excellent acquisition. With Allan McGregor back in goals and yet to concede in any outing, we have a GK capable of being a worthy number 1 and capable of producing the vital saves required.
So defensively we can be happy on early viewing and it is of course to early to overly judge properly.
What is unexpected is the poor quality in the final third but I for one am extremely happy it has happened this early. Had the forward line over performed it may have convinced the manager it was good enough going forward.
The truth is, in my humble opinion, that the players we have individually are good enough to be at Rangers and part of the squad (from the forward line last night), but the last two games show they are not good enough to play together at once.
We have to hope that further reinforcements will come up front and immediately hope that Umar Sadiq can show his instant value by hitting the ground running. Alfredo Morelos needs a challenge for his position, at times he looks a player that knows he will play no matter what his form.
We need a spark up front, something different and maybe even a winger capable of doing something the others can’t. An improvement on Morelos and any one of the three that played last night, then instantly you will see better performances from the other two that do play. I don’t believe Murphy or Windass aren’t good enough, they can be very effective with more quality around them.
The early form of Candeias and Morelos is concerning but even when judging the defence it is worth again saying, Steven Gerrard has only been here working with the players for five weeks and some perspective is needed.
The good thing is that Steven Gerrard will know that and you could visibly see his disappointment in our forward play thus far as he spoke with Rangers TV. In 2mins the manager spoke of his disappointment no less than 3 times.
Gerrard isn’t a fool. There was no attempts to sugar coat it or make excuses, the manager knows and that gives me huge encouragement going forward. He will not accept sub standard and that is an extremely good thing.
What is also obvious is that Gerrard won’t suffer fools lightly and the same players who let down managers before, will not get the same saving grace this time round.
Gerrard will want to be ready to hit the ground running when the league season starts and that will mean making the necessary changes to anybody underperforming.
There will be changes, that squad itself has still got Lassana Coulibaly and Umar Sadiq to come into it. Coulibaly is said to have been hugely impressive in training so far and will add quality to the midfield. Then you look at Arfield and Rossiter coming in beside him and you see instantly an upgrade on quality.
In the forward line and wide areas I still believe we will strengthen. I have gone on record as saying I believe 3 more arrivals still to come, with one of them a centre back, and nothing I have heard has changed my opinion on that.
Steven Gerrard has already changed many things within the Hummel Training centre. The menus have changed, coaches now all work within same areas and cosmetic changes have been enforced. Gerrard has implemented a more professional outlook on the whole club, information no longer flys out the door as readily as six months ago.
The management will get it right on the pitch and we are already showing early promising signs of their work defensively, the rest will come if we are patient and allow it to happen. Without sounding boring I will repeat myself, we are a work in progress and it is extremely early.
Gerrard and his team have done a lot in only a short space of time, there is even more and much better still to come
Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise