With our Cowdenbeath match called off in controversial circumstances, all eyes were on Ibrox yesterday for our bounce match with Helsinki. The game, part of the deal agreed when Alfredo arrived last season, was little more than a kick around but did provide the players with a much needed 45mins of game time.
A first glance at Defoe and Davis in a Rangers shirt, a first glance at the potential new shape of the midfield and attack. That meant a slightly different role for Alfredo Morelos as he was wider and more involved in the link up of our attacks, indeed he assisted the first goal for Scott Arfield and produced a similar pass for Ryan Kent to spurn a wonderful opportunity one on one with the GK.
That aside there wasn’t much else we didn’t know and the game really did it’s job in terms of match sharpness. There was a few players rusty after few weeks off so it was necessary in that regards
Moving on Rangers have to knuckle down with an extremely tough fixture list ahead. We face trips to Kilmarnock, Livingston, Cowdenbeath, Aberdeen and potentially Kilmarnock again (away in cup). With only St Mirren at home on in between the difficulties are clear to see. So five away trips from the first six and all to difficult teams we have dropped against this season (Cowdenbeath aside obviously).
Whilst our rivals have a more straight forward fixture list it really is imperative that the club hit the ground running and start strongly. The fixtures are difficult but it is a huge chance to send a firm message to everyone by winning our games.
There is no point winning our last fixture and getting ourselves back in the mix if we meekly surrender during the next few.
It is that desire I hope gets the players through and hopefully, with a rest behind them, they are ready to kick on this season.
Moving on to matters off the field and we have a few more weeks left of the transfer window.
The deal for Matt Polster is done and the American is due to arrive in the next few days barring any disasters. He will add depth to the squad and he can cover at RB as well as midfield. Gerrard has already confirmed the contract offer will be lengthy so we can assume he impressed on trial.
Also on trial is New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic. The 6ft 3 stopper, formally of the US league (similar to Polster) is on a weeks trial and took part in the warm up yesterday. We aren’t exactly light in the goalkeeping department so interesting to see if anything develops from this. If he impresses it may allow Wes Foderingham to move on in search of first team football (which I personally think he deserves as he is a good GK), but other than that I’m not sure it makes any other sense. Of course sometimes players are sent as favours to agents etc and this may be the case.
Those that follow my posts on Twitter with 4lads will know we have recently rubbished media links to Greg Stewart (now signed for Aberdeen), Craig Bryson at Derby and Ravel Morrison of Lazio. All since denied by Gerrard to press at Thursdays media conference.
There has been many players names thrown about but one that does have substance is Charlton striker Karlan Ahearne-Grant who is available on a bosman deal this summer (though there may be a small cross border fee similar to previous deals like Joe Dodoo). That interest has gone further to the extent the player has been watched several times by the club and Gerrard was due to watch him in person Saturday past.
However this changed when Gerrard, Andy Scoulding and Mark Allen made a mystery trip to meet a new target. Who, where or what that entailed remains a secret for the moment but it is heartening to know plans are at an advanced stage for the future. Rangers have already done fantastic business this January and the club continue to strive to strengthen further.
Talks continue with Dundee over an immediate transfer of Glenn Kamara, indeed the player was left out of the Dundee squad on Saturday for their cup game, meaning the player won’t be cup tied if he does indeed make the move to Rangers early. With Jordan Rossiter ready to move out on loan it is safe to assume all parties expect that to happen.
Before finishing today it’s worth clarifying and responding to recent tabloid nonsense regarding the Jermain Defoe deal. Rangers are NOT paying half of any weekly wage Defoe gets at Bournemouth, which is not £130,000 either. The deal is a very good one for our club and in comparison to wild figures branded about it is mere pennies on that scale. Whilst sensationalism is a favourite of the tabloid media you should always be aware of the narrative.
When Rangers don’t spend we are skint, when Rangers do spend we are doing so outwith our means and heading towards disaster.
Lets be crystal clear for everybody once more, the football club is being run by a board prepared to invest themselves and run at a loss. That ‘debt’ will be converted to shares and large majorities already have. This has been covered and confirmed several times by our board.
We have NO external debt and recent loan to Close brothers was repaid ahead of schedule further demonstrating our financial capabilities on our return to good health.
Yes we have traded at a loss but that debt is covered by investors and our board. There is NO danger in any of this and any other spin is a simple case of trying to set an agenda.
It’s also worth noting that despite the sensationalism and claims of our financial mismanagement etc, we are still paying just one third of our rivals monthly salary demands.
You would think this sudden narrative being created was designed to cover up other real headlines no one wants to mention.
If you want the truth about your club continue to get it from your Rangers family content. Heart and Hand podcast, Gersnet podcast, We welcome the chase podcast, FF website, Rangers media, Gersnet etc etc. It is all there and full of content and accurate Rangers content at that.
Off course here at 4lads I will always try to bring you accurate content and as we close in on 500,000 blog reads (half a million! Amazing!) I can only thank you for your continued support. I will only ever try to give you the best and latest news available
Good luck to the players, team and management over the next few weeks, let’s dig in and really get going in this league chase!
Until next time
Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise