Rangers good form has continued from pre season and we will now once again look to kick on into the next four huge matches. European qualification is now down to one last tie against Legia Warsaw in what promises to be the toughest test that Rangers have faced so far
That’s not downplaying the capabilities of FC Midtjylland who were a very decent side, this one however should be a step up. Rangers were impressive against the Danes with the tie comfortably taken care of and it’s perhaps the biggest compliment we can pay the side when we say that they never really got out of second gear at Ibrox in the return leg
Domestic form has been good and perhaps most pleasing is that the squad have shown an ability to react to set backs. With 10 mins left at Kilmarnock the team were able to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and force home the winner. Against Hibernian the team were pegged back and managed to regain momentum taking care of that match comfortably. You could even say away from home against Midtjylland having been three nil up, before being drawn back to 3-2, the team showed enough resolve to come back to win the match 4-2.
It is that early signs of resolve and determination that will be vital this year if we are to avoid any Disasters or catastrophe
Much has been made of Felip Helanders omission from the next stage of the European games but it is explained simply enough by logical outlook. The three centre backs ahead of him have been here all summer, have completed all of pre season and are more ready than he is, if selected
There is no question that he has perhaps underperformed in training or that the management aren’t happy with him, in fact it’s the exact opposite. He will be given time to get back up to speed and the management will integrate him slowly as the manager has confirmed himself
Unfortunately with the decision to send the McCrories on loan it has affected our home grown numbers for the European squad meaning we have to leave open spaces to account for that, this meaning some will miss out
Having four quality centre backs fighting for selection and a new one being allowed time to integrate himself into our culture and surroundings is not something to worry about. He needs to earn his place and selection
Steven Gerrard was roundly criticised for rotating our centre backs last season and this season he seems to be sticking to one partnership. I look at it more as a credit to Katic and Goldson more than I worry about anything to do with Helander.
As September comes ever closer the transfer window still has plenty of time to throw up a surprise or two. We of course have four or five to offload to avoid the situation of having to pay anyone off. The futures of Dorrans, Holt, Dodoo, Grezda appear to be away from Ibrox with question marks over Borna Barisic still lingering large
Barisic is a tricky one, the Croatian left back should be offering a lot more in our jersey and has never really looked comfortable to some. In my opinion it’s a situation we have to resolve and I would be surprised if it hasn’t been by the time the window closes. Does that mean Barisic will be a Rangers player? Does that mean we will look to bring someone else in? You can draw your own conclusions to that one, It’s certainly a situation to watch closely
Rumours persist that Rangers remain in dialogue with Liverpool to land Ryan Kent but depends on any other business or European progression. Ryan remains the ‘Jewel in the crown’ I blogged about previously, given the way Gerrard has openly spoken about the player. But whether those rumours are just that or whether any move will actually materialise remains to be seen. A loan to buy next summer with a payment now might just be possible if things happen before the window closes on and off the park
But of course it remains conjecture and speculation. I have my own suspicion that there is still life in that particular move but that may just be my own heart talking instead of my head
The moves for Andy King and Brandon Barker took the squad size to close to completion. The board have backed the management and if we can manage a few out the door, with maybe a surprise coming in, then you would have to think we are in very good shape. As we spoke about above left back remains the conundrum at least amongst the support, but I suppose things could be happening we just don’t know about yet….
I still think the window has a twist or turn to go yet
Four massive games now as our season destiny will begin to take shape, good luck to the players and management for the upcoming matches
Ignore the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise