Archive for March, 2013

Stage 1 Complete. Now We Have To Get Things Right.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 31, 2013 by BMC Rangers Rants

ImageYesterday saw Rangers crowned the SFL 3 Champions. It wasn’t our Number 55 as the Club themselves stated but it was a Title nonetheless. It was also the first step on a journey back to where we belong to our rightful place as the Best Team in Scotland.

A few hours earlier Rangers completed another sub par performance away to Montrose finishing 0-0. This leaves us having failed to score in over 5 hours of open play against part time sides in the 4th tier of Scottish football. Every glaring shortcoming this season was there for all to see.

  • 1 up front 
  • Players out of position
  • 451 formation with 2 holding midfielders and a defender in the central midfield
  • Awful slow, predictable style of play with continuous punted long balls

None of this can be disputed, this has been the norm this season.

Our last 6 games have seen 2 wins, 3 draws and a loss. This against the footballing powers of Stirling Albion, East Stirlingshire, Annan Athletic, Elgin City and Montrose.

So while I am happy we have won the SFL 3 Title you will excuse me for not dancing in the street. I had to laugh as I saw Kyle Hutton tweeting “whose coming to party tonight” after what he had displayed again a few hours earlier. But there you go. As Ally says this is the first step. On Ally I found his comments following yesterdays game quite embarrassing.

“It’s another Point, It’s a clean sheet”

Is it Ally? Is that what paying £7 mil a year gets you these days? Clean sheets against Montrose? For goodness sake. Come on now.

But again due to Elgin scoring a penalty and subsequently beating Queens Park a lot of this has disappeared off into the background. The SFL 3 title is Won.

Now here is where it gets tricky.

Ally said again yesterday that he “needs more players” This seems to be his universal answer for every failing this season, So lets break that down. Our current wagebill is £7 million pounds, Charles Green however says it will be down to £5 million pounds next season. This should surely still be enough?

I would argue that the players we have are not producing anywhere near enough but in their defence we play an awful formation and an awful style of football. Also very rarely do players actually get played in their actual positions.

So first thing I would do Ally is think of a formation for next season. Anything you like but my hint would be playing 1 striker is really not required. Its Montrose we are playing, not Madrid. That won’t cost a penny.

2nd thing. I would play people in their actual position. Chris Hegarty is not a right back, Seb Faure is not a holding midfielder. Play people in their actual position, chances are they will play their best football for us in their actual position. Again this won’t cost a penny.

3rd thing. Improve our style of play. Formations, team selections etc. will not matter one iota unless we apply ourselves properly on the pitch. Ball on the deck, movement off the ball, no aimless 50 yarders from our own penalty box to an isolated striker. It doesn’t work. I’ve seen us in spells (maybe 10 minutes here and there) passing it and moving at pace. It works. Again this won’t cost a penny.

Now we come to the bit I am very anxious about. Ally’s player recruitment ideas. First off we don’t know yet where we will be playing so we need that clearing up first. As I write this our Chief Scout (No laughing at the back) Neil Murray has been suspended pending investigation so that needs addressed ASAP.

Ally said today he wants ‘double digits’ in terms of players coming in? Thats a lot on top of what we already have. Alexander, Mitchell and Hemmings are the only players I see whose deals end at the end of the season. I would let all three of them go to start with. After that would we be able to get takers for many others? Not so sure. For me personally past Wallace, Temps, Little, Jig, Macleod and the other youngsters I wouldn’t shed a tear if to many of the others left being honest. The reality is we have some very poor players but what makes it worse is the attitudes of some of these lesser players. They think they have made it because they play for Rangers, they start with promise then gradually seem to worsen as times passes. Attitude, work ethics? Not sure but it happens to often to our younger players. The ‘Nandos Generation’ is one term I have heard used when referring to some of these boys. Lacking in Professionalism.

With our illegal transfer embargo ending in September this Summer will see us again shopping in the Bosman market and we have been linked with a lot of players. Some Ally has gone public on ( as he always does ) and I can’t say to many have been excited by the names we are hearing. Jon Daly, Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd, Nacho Novo, Kevin Thomson, Andre Bikey, Nicky Law, Some Hondurans lol and a few others. Now of all those names mentioned Nicky Law appeals, he is 24 and looks to be a very industrious Midfielder who would bring some energy to a rather lethargic midfield. Andre Bikey is the type of Centre half we need. A Hulk of a centre half who came very close to signing last summer and got as far as being at Murray Park for a tour etc. Those two make sense.

My concerns are over this tendency at Rangers to continue to look back the way when trying to plan forward. Kenny Miller is 34 next birthday, he has not been successful anywhere since he left Rangers for a 2nd time. Kris Boyd is approaching 30 and again has not kicked a ball anywhere bar a few games he was on loan at Notts Forest so why would we be interested in these guys? Fans argue with me saying they are no worse than Sandaza, Kyle etc but is that really the ceiling we have for looking at potential targets?

These guys are not the players they were when they left, far from it. Kevin Thomson’s last injury with Middlesborough was picked up using a treadmill, his body is gone. Nacho Novo as a player had gone into decline as a player before he even left us 2 years ago and is also 34. Then we come to Jon Daly. Ally said this week he does not care where he is from or his religion, me neither Ally my only issue is that he is a 30 year old journeyman who will have no resell value and isn’t actually very good. There has to be better out there?

I’ve heard Ally speaking on more than one occasion about looking at the Ajax model and trying to replicate it best we can. Sign young unknowns, develop and sell on at a profit whilst supplementing with experience. I am all for that. These type of signings targets kind of go against that idea? No?

This season we have signed SPL players and paid them well. They have looked worse playing for Rangers in the 4th tier of Scottish football than they did playing in the SPL? Why is that? So should we really be doing this again?

Scouting badly need addressed at Rangers. Right now we are in a great position where we can try different markets, sign less experienced players and give them a chance. We should walk through the leagues with ease so lets try and unearth some gems. Lets not just be the last stop off for SPL performers through the years, its pointless and where does it leave us when we finally get back to the SPL (or whatever it will be called) ?

It looks like Ally and his management team are going to be here next season and some will say he deserves that. If that be the case lets shop smart. Lets get some young talent in, I really don’t care where from and lets set in motion a blue print to take us forward. No more short term fixes, lets look bigger picture. We need to be self sustainable and this is how we have to do it.

Now if Ally, Durrant & McDowell can’t do that and just have to go with the ‘tried and tested’ SPL player route then I would argue maybe they aren’t the guys to take our Great Club back to the top but I’m prepared to be proven wrong.

Year 1 of our journey is done. It hasn’t been pretty but we have had a lot off the field to contend with. God at one point some thought we wouldn’t even be playing football.

But from September 1st the shackles are off, there will be no more excuses. Lets get a team on the park we can be proud of, playing football people are happy to pay to watch.

Charles Green will have to back our Manager but our Manager will have to get it right this Summer. Lets hope he does.

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Come on then Rangers. What is the Plan?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 24, 2013 by BMC Rangers Rants

Well here we are again. Yesterday saw another ghastly performance at Ibrox against a part time side. We looked unfit, lacking imagination and pretty much void of any redeeming qualities. It lead to a draw. our last 5 games have seen 2 Wins, 2 Draws and a Loss. Hardly great reading is it? A team with a wage bill of £7 million pounds being made to look the weaker of the two sides against Postmen and Window cleaners. But we’ve seen this already this season haven’t we? None of what unfolded at Ibrox yesterday was of any surprise which is becoming increasingly concerning.

Post match was also identical to what we tend to be hearing after every game. “Not good enough” said Ally. “We need more players”, “Winning SFL3 is all that matters”, “Well done to Stirling” all pretty much standard from our Gaffer.

Oh well thats fine Ally. Since game one of the season nothing has been rectified from faults that have been glaringly obvious. Well we put McCulloch at centre half because Ally said he has sorted our defence. Thats quite alarming Ally as you signed 2 Centre Halves in the Summer and you need to put a forward back there to sort it? What exactly did they do in their respective trials?

Ally’s other comment yesterday was that Lee McCulloch is the ‘only’ striker we have on our books? WOW… So what are Sandaza, Little, Hemmings and Naismith? Right backs? under our current regime maybe.

As each interview with our Manager appears I find myself shaking my head a wee bit more. Ally says a lot, but yet very little which brings me to the point of this Blog. Just what is the plan at Ibrox?

First we will look at Charles Green. Well Charles is a very interesting chap, His ‘to do’ list since coming to Rangers has got longer and longer. Feeder Clubs, Club partnerships, International Academies etc. Charles has said a lot, he has spoken a lot of nonsense (England chat) but he has also delivered on an IPO totalling £22.5 mil which in these times is quite brilliant. Even in doing that Charles ‘loose lips’ struck when he was boasting of what was raised which caused a bit unrest amongst the Money Men as it indicated we didn’t need more money. But he did deliver. Charles is a salesman and that is fine I have no problem with that. But amongst all the ‘meetings’ with fans etc I am still wanting see what the plan ‘on the field’ is? Charles Green himself says he does not know much about football so what’s his plan on the field and who is assisting him in doing it? Walter Smith will no doubt be asked about things but Walter himself says all that matters is winning, nothing past that which to me looking for a plan is a wee bit concerning. Craig Mather came onboard via an investment and was made ‘Director of Sports Development’ ermmmmmmmmm Okay has he actually been seen or heard from since? So what does he do? So thus far I can’t see where the ‘Plan’ is coming from.

That leaves us with Ally McCoist. What is Ally’s plan?

We won’t get into the track record of Ally’s signings thus far as the Craig Whyte regime was somewhat crazy. Ally had Targets (he told us every one numerous times) he didn’t get them and the ones he did get were by enlarge dross. Even last summer the illegal transfer embargo and lack of a license for football hindered us in our recruitment drive. Numerous trials happened and more signings were made. Again very few have prospered. So lets judge from now. What is Ally’s plan? It appears from people in the game that targets are the likes of Jon Daly at Dundee United, Nicky Law at Motherwell, Kenny Miller etc.

Ally tells us Neil Murray is a Great Scout? I am yet to see a single signing that would indicate that. Everything I see at Rangers just now shouts laziness to me. So again I say let’s see the plan. Why shouldn’t we ask for it and why shouldn’t we be shown it? There is a plan isn’t there?

The Fans are Rangers Biggest Investors and always have been so why shouldn’t they ask to see what the plan is to get Rangers back to the top?

Season Ticket renewals are coming around and fans will again be asked to put their hard earned cash back into Rangers Coffers for the season ahead, price increases are expected despite the face the club may find itself in the bottom tier of Scottish Football, that may well be a hard sell for Mr Green.

The product of football on the field this season has been ghastly. Day one of the season we couldn’t take or defend a set piece and that hasn’t changed. Baffling formations and team selections. We take for granted now that in a part time league we play one striker home and away which is absolutely ludicrous. So again I say show us the plan, show us what is going to change all this. Show us what worthwhile contribution Kenny McDowell and Ian Durrant make to our club on a daily basis.

I tweeted a club official sometime ago and asked whether it would be an idea for Ally to sit down and do an in depth interview on his football philosophy and his plans for the club. I was immediately told that would be ‘disrespectful’ and why should he? Well I’ll disagree on that. More experienced managers have done exactly that at their respective clubs so why shouldn’t Rangers fans get to see our Manager who had no previous Management experience tell us his philosophy?

Yesterday was the first time I saw spaces in the crowd at Ibrox and as the game ended it did so to a very low crowd who made their displeasure very clear. That will not have been lost on Charles Green as empty seats means less money and we know Charles likes his money.

So I say Mr Green, Mr McCoist, Mr Mather (whoever or wherever you are) what is the plan? Image

Great Player. Great Man. Great Ambassador. Great Manager ?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 12, 2013 by BMC Rangers Rants

Rangers will Win SFL 3. That much is a given.

We have been comprehensively knocked out of each Trophy competition other than that, Bar our performance of the season against Motherwell in which we flourished and won 2-0 (that seems so long ago now)

We have a bit of dilemma Ibrox way just now. There is a bit of a divide of opinion.

One argument is this.

Ally McCoist has had more to deal with off the field than any other Rangers Manager. He took the reigns when the club was at the gates of Administration. From there the Company owning us was placed into Liquidation. Following his first season in charge Ally lost Naismith to a very bad injury and later had Jelavic sold without a replacement coming in. Having been 15 points clear of the SPL teams our Season capitulated right in front of our eyes. Following all this last Summer then came along. A new regime with a new Board to become Acquainted with. An Illegal Transfer Embargo was placed on us with only weeks to assemble something resembling a squad. We also had no Pre Season, A time to build Chemistry and fitness.

This season has seen us eventually get to grips with the SFL 3 and we are comfortably at the top of the league and will probably win the trophy in the not to distant future. We have seen Young talent brought into the side that maybe would never have seen the light of day under the previous regime. McKay, Aird, Macleod, Crawford to name but a few have played and have impressed. Lee McCulloch and Andy Little have both broke through the 20 goal barrier and have also impressed at certain times. Again we have been comprehensively swept aside in Cup Competitions but against SPL standard sides.

So some folk say this. Ally has had more to deal with than anyone ever in the hotseat at Ibrox. He has never had a straight forward spell just to manage the side. He has integrated the Youngsters into the side who have impressed and he has achieved what he set out to do, Win SFL 3. From here Ally should be allowed to sign his own players (a thing he has never been able to do) have a couple of Transfer Windows and we will continue to go through the leagues till we take our place back at the top of Scottish Football.

To some this enough. Can I understand that? Yes. Do I agree with it? No. Not at all.

I will start by saying I Love Ally McCoist. I will also say I will never forget what he has done for Rangers on the field or off it. As a Player. As a Man. As an Ambassador of the Club? 2nd to none. I want to make that very clear.

Where it breaks down for me is Ally the Manager.

Ally is now in his 2nd full season in charge and the same issues remain that have been there from day one. First his signings. Now all transfers in and out of Rangers I will not solely blame him for. Under Craig Whyte targets were named but never came to fruition (we found out why later) and alternatives came in. By enlarge they were poor. Then admin came and pretty much everyone left. This season again has seen more arrivals as needed.  Sandaza, Shiels, Kyle, Argyriou, Stella, Black, Cribari, Faure and Templeton. These guys are not getting SFL3 wages, by enlarge these guys are being paid £1,000s a week. Are we getting value for money? Templeton apart no. We had a shambolic Trial system where numerous people have come and gone and we gave contracts to some very poor players. What on earth did Argyriou do in his trial for Ally and his staff to think he could defend? We brought in SPL players in Black, Sandaza and Shiels who have all been worse in SFL 3 than they were in the SPL? Why is that?

What about players fitness? We have a full time fitness coach and a squad of full time professional footballers yet we have looked off the pace regularly against postmen and plumbers? Why is that?

Every single week we have players out of position? Centre Halves at right back? Our Best  Centre Forward played on the Wing to ensure Lee McCulloch is played as a Striker? Why is that?

Then there is our formation. No matter which way it is dressed up at Ibrox in front of nigh on 50,000 people Ally picks a 451 formation with Lee McCulloch as a lone striker. This is absolutely ludicrous but it happens pretty much week in week out home or away. Why is that?

Then we come to our style of play. Rangers starting again in SFL3 was seen by many to be the New Beginning for the club. We like Swansea previous could decide how we would play the game and grow the club from the bottom all the way back to the top playing expansive football, I mean if we are paying someone £7,000 a week surely they can out pass, out tackle, out think, out pace someone on £30 a week? I’m afraid not. You see what we have is kick and rush football, that is it by enlarge. Hutton or Black take the ball at a pedestrian pace, they lay it off to a Centre half who punts a diagonal ball 40-50 yards to an isolated striker with no one anywhere near them. Of course when we concede another sloppy goal we step it up a bit for 10 minutes but then resort back to the aimless punt. Most weeks we win against these Postmen and plumbers but does anyone ever come away and say “we were brilliant today” ? I’d go as far to say as Motherwell game apart I don’t think we have impressed as a team once this season. Some won’t like to hear that but for some reason I don’t think most of these players have been out of 2nd gear all season. Harsh? Maybe, True? Definitely. Why is this allowed to be the norm?

What I think is completely lacking at the club is Discipline, Effort, Standards and Heart.

You see we have had bad players before, Kirk Broadfoot always springs to mind. He was not a footballer, he isn’t a footballer but he would run through a brick wall for Rangers. What we have now is players at the same ability level but who wouldn’t run through that wall. Players who think they have made it because they are pretty much guaranteed their place week in week out. We Lose a couple? So what they have their nice cars, their Nandos and VIP nights out. They’ll win the next one against the Postmen and the Plumbers. All will be well.

But you see for me that’s not enough. This is the players I am speaking about so why blame Ally? some will say. But you see Ally is the Manager, The Numero Uno, The Gaffer. After every game Ally is interviewed and continually says “We won and thats all that matters” you see though Ally, it isn’t. Ally will say “I can’t criticise the players because they are doing what I ask of them” are they Ally? You asked them to ship goals against these postmen and plumbers?

As each week passes by the standards continue to drop and people say “Look where we were a year ago, we nearly never had a team” and thats fine. But you see we do have a team, The Most Successful Team in the World and we became that team by having Standards. Ally continues to try and dumb down expectation as each week passes “we are we are” and “That result doesn’t show me anything I didn’t already know” well I am sorry Ally but that is frankly not good enough. We couldn’t take or defend a set piece on day one of your tenure and we are still exactly the same in that and many other aspects that have just not been fixed along the way.

Do I want Ally to be given a couple of transfer windows? Will Ally just bring back Boyd, Miller, Thomson, Novo, Ferguson or whoever? The jury on that remains firmly out for me as his Transfer signing record has also been well below par. Bocanegra, Temps and Wallace have been it in terms of enhancements, the rest? Not so much.

Ultimately do I want Ally to continue as Manager? No I don’t. Sorry

This is Rangers only chance to bring a philosophy to how the game is played to take forward for generations and honestly I think we are wasting that chance.

I don’t think Ally is making the best of what he has and I don’t think he has corrected any continued failings in the side. I don’t like the football style he deploys. I don’t like his team selections or his continued playing people out of position. I don’t like his continued attempted dumbing down of expectations.

Many will disagree. Many will just not allow themselves to question Ally and I understand that. The Man is a Legend.

As I say. Great Player. Great Man. Great Ambassador. Great Manager? Not so muchImage