As the sun shined on our Easter weekend, Rangers produced another dominating performance at Tynecastle as they collected a well deserved three points
Home and away victories against Hearts have sandwiched a competent victory at Motherwell. Performance has been good and that subtle change in formation, effective.
The jury remains out on whether it really means as much as we think it might, Hearts and Motherwell had very little to play for on both occasions, so what we can take from it we probably already know
Arguably, when there’s little pressure this side are a very confident team, when the pressure has been on this season (on occasion not all) we have inevitably faltered
What we will find out in the next four matches, where the opponents turn towards teams we have struggled against, is just what we can take from the formation change and if it remains a long term solution.
Aberdeen won’t roll over, Hibs are unbeaten and the other mob will put up resistance. The final game at Kilmarnock, as they put on their own celebrations in front of a huge home support (stop laughing) will also be a tough test. So these games should give us a better indicator in terms of how we stand for next season.
The subtle change from 4-3-3 and very rigid wide men to a 4-3-3 narrow with both wide men more central has suited us in many ways. Scott Arfield has found his form and Steven Davis has reverted back to his natural deeper role, dictating as he has done so (something mentioned in a previous blog) The natural ability of Glenn Kamara continues to shine through and all this allows Ryan Jack go get forward effectively as he showed on Saturday. We finally look like we have found a comfortable effective solution
What Alfredo’s red card may have done, inadvertently, is force Rangers to stumble onto a very effective and comfortable formation that finally suits us. However that will only really be tested as the season closes and harder matches come along and until we get that consistency we should remain sceptical
All that may just help formulate the manager’s summer plans for definite. If this shape can be produce a constant answer then it’s not inconceivable to think that we are only two or three quality addictions from being ready to mount a sustainable championship challenge. By that I mean players ready to go straight into our first team, stay there and produce 8/9 out of 10s every week
That of course will bring us to the summer and business has already begun. We know Jordan Jones is coming having already been announced in January. He will be joined this week by Jake Hastie after a dramatic u-turn when that deal looked dead. Whilst it wouldn’t be worth my time to speculate on the reasons why, it should be said that the player himself has done a lot to ensure this move is completed. Make no mistakes it was as good as dead but a lot of work has gone into making it happen
For those of you that listened to the first ever 4lads Podcast last week, we told you exclusively how that deal was back on and how it looked likely ( https://youtu.be/UFsKdk2gfC4 if you fancy a listen and all other usual outlets by searching for Gersnet or 4lads podcast )
With Jones and now Hastie in the door, speculation remains that Greg Stewart deal is done. Whilst we have strong reason to believe that, getting actual confirmation from agents or anyone of substance remains difficult. Given he’s at Aberdeen nobody will want that news to get out before the end of the season. Young Hastie has already saw the ‘wrath’ of the Motherwell ‘support’ on Saturday and at the clubs own POTY awards, it is no wonder potential deals like this may be hushed up. So until that comes, any Stewart deal remains unconfirmed
Other rumours remain from the possible to the apparently impossible, the likes of Klose, Welbeck, Milner, Skrtel, Baines are being mentioned and you begin to realise it really is approaching the Summer transfer market.
Last summer we had Lucas, Skrtel, Wilson and Defoe as the big rumours. Defoe eventually arrived and the others never happened for various reason, including the fact they may never have been anymore than rumours in the first place. Agents will continue to use our name to link players and gather interest, it’s going to be a long summer in terms of possible links to various players.
But I suppose that is what makes it exciting. Whilst social media tends to overreact to everything Rangers related including players coming in, it’s worth saying something again –
Rangers will sign quality players this summer and we will sign squad players this summer, it’s about not getting overly concerned about the ones that fall into the second bracket
A quick glance at the squad and it’s not inconceivable to think 10-15 players could leave, so with that said it’s obvious a few could come in to with a view to providing that back up the squad needs. I don’t for one minute think Jones, Hastie or even Stewart (if it happens) are coming as first choice and that’s meant as no disrespect to the players mentioned
On the podcast I asked guests Chris Jack and Andy Little if they thought a big name marquee type signing could be made, both lads were sceptical and felt it was more about getting the right player in the door than necessarily their stature. Whilst I agreed wholeheartedly with that, I on the other hand predicted we will make a signing like that, something to really capture the imagination
I remain positive that the club are on track and whilst this season hasn’t been quite what we hoped, I believe in the management and the path the club are on. This summer will be a very big one for the club, get it right and we will be ready next season
I believe we will do that and I’m personally looking forward to the summer window ahead. Whilst I have been accused of being a cheerleader for the club by saying similar before, I am hugely excited by the possibilities this summer may bring.
The proof will reveal itself in the months ahead
Good luck to the team as the season ends, let’s finish strong as we head into the summer
Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise
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