Michael Beale has started his Rangers managerial career extremely well. There is even an argument that he is over achieving with a group of players that certainly needs strengthening and a freshness, almost urgently.
Rangers seem to have rediscovered their balls under the management, recovering in game extremely well but there is also no doubt that there is still alarming problems within. But these aren’t new, some players form is way off and other areas of the team simply require fixing.
But the manager has done well. He’s got some pretty decent results, Aberdeen twice, United away and whilst we should be winning them (by our own standards) he has done well to navigate these. Not everyone is convinced so this should help him in that regard, he simply has to keep winning.
To book a place in the final is momentum now to build on. There is also no doubt that there is any suggestion Michael Beale may be happy and content, his reaction at FT yesterday showed that.
He is someone that will drive standards and I’m sure he will be striving for better all round performances. That’s probably his biggest concerns, the patchy ‘in game’ moments when we seem to get ourselves in trouble is really concerning, again on the other side (which we might not have managed previously) we are playing our way out of. So he will know exactly where this group are and what they require.
I’m happy with the recovery yesterday and how the players are responding, I feel the team’s trajectory is heading in a positive direction and yes there is problems to address but we have just made a final so it is ok to be happy with that.
A semi final can be a battle and yesterday was that, all credit to the players for turning it around and digging in. The pitch was a disaster and going behind they had to show real fight, they did that. Well done to the players, they have responded to Beale and fresh faces could energise them further.
Michael Beale said he had ‘done his bit’ with regards to signings, it’s not difficult to imagine it’s on others to conclude these deals and get them over the line.
Beale has talked this group up and downplayed the suggestion they need ‘ripped up’, citing the Europa league final as suggestion they don’t.
But I don’t think he’s fooled.
He said he wants one, two maybe even three this window and it’s been fairly quiet rumour wise over who we might be negotiating with (for me at least). We have heard rumours about the possibility of Jake Cooper from Millwall coming in at centre back, Tom Davies of Everton has been linked heavily also but it’s Todd Cantwell who seems to be the most ‘pending’ with Beale himself admitting interest.
He is an interesting possibility. Clearly someone who has dipped in form and development but if you can flip that then you potentially have someone who has a very high ceiling. I actually have seen a bit of Cantwell at Norwich whilst I watched Billy Gilmour during his time there. I am by no means an expert however.
He is strong on the ball, different to what we have and likes to carry the ball. He has an eye for a pass, likes to play between the lines and create. Given how bland we sometimes are, I can see why we are going for him. He can be exciting on the ball.
Of course there is a risk and obviously we have to get the deal done firstly but could he be the freshness we need? It’s one to watch. It comes with a degree of risk but I like the possibility of this one so willing to look at it objectively. There is a worry, what if he can’t succeed or he has lost his hunger, that’s for Beale to conclude and I trust he will know best.
If Cantwell is incoming then the others may be interesting. Will it be a centre back like a Cooper who has been rumoured? Or a deeper midfielder like Davies? Could we need a striker now if Roofe is injured? Or is it someone we haven’t heard who is a surprise to us all? Whatever way it goes I look forward to what the next few weeks potentially bring us.
In all honesty it could be any position and they will all be welcomed.
The form of some individuals has been extremely problematic this season, the worry some maybe are completely past their best and on the decline. I have found it extremely difficult to discuss this openly online as opinions are somewhat ‘stuck in position’ with certain things and I understand that, it’s life in football as a passionate supporter.
James Tavernier is someone who exemplifies that. He’s clearly not at his best, especially on the ball and he’s struggled through knocks and illness. But that’s not an excuse, it’s fact, but there is no denying that the critics have a point, he is struggling in performance.
Our worry is this isn’t temporary.
That’s the problem with Tavernier and dare I say it, other first team players. I don’t want to go down the route of starting to identify individuals because I wanted this to be positive blog but it’s reflective of what we are seeing and Tav is very divisive at the moment. Michael Beale has worries over not only Tavernier but a few others, he then needs a number one as well as trying to regroup this squad positively going forward.
Can Tavernier play through this? Well he has done it before and still has terrific numbers this season. Until someone covers those then his star will remain high, rightly so.
Perhaps fresh players around him will help him gain back his confidence?
Beale has conundrums and questions to answer but his job is easier when we are winning and that’s the start he has brought to the club, it’s almost immaculate.
Now he needs help, not only from within the group individually but also from the board to back him in the transfer window. It’s already over two weeks in.
This board and director of football aren’t the most popular, failure to deliver here won’t help that situation. Beale might not publicly admit it but he needs reinforcements and this squad does need revamped.
If Beale is going to succeed then it may rest on what we do in these windows and the backing he receives.
An interesting few weeks ahead.
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