The Ibrox Operation

Ibrox’s Transfer “Masterstroke” Is Fluff Theatre Which Hides A Serious Tactical Blunder.

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For a whole year, or more, we have heard, consistently, what a great side the team from Ibrox is. We have heard, consistently, that they have a squad to compete for every competition. Except, presumably, the one we’ve already won.

The strongest area of the side, we were constantly told, was the midfield, just brimming with quality, with bankable assets, with players who were being linked with big money moves to every club in Europe with a few pence in the bank or a “billionaire owner.”

That one has become a kind of desperate fall-back for some of their more desperate blogs; “Club with billionaire owner interested in midfielder” is the sort of headline you read all the time over there. Of course, the bids never materialise.

During this window, they moved one midfielder out; Bacuna, the last superstar from England who turned down “top clubs” to sign up at Ibrox has departed after less than a year.

They tried mightily to get shot of Lundstram, another superstar who was going to come up here and own the place, and who has been an unmitigated disaster of a signing.

They added the American midfielder Sands, the utility player Alex Rae gushed over just after he’d scorned utility players whilst critiquing Reo Hatate.

What I’m trying to say is that Ibrox is flush with midfielders.

This doesn’t even account for Davis, Jack and Arfield and whoever else I might have forgotten who has, at one time or another, been hailed as a genius by the compliant Scottish media.

Other areas of the Ibrox squad are bare bones, but their particular problems are at central defence where they are vulnerable to any side which attacks them and keeps on the pressure.

All three goals at the weekend were down to honking defending and bad displays from their keeper.

They know this is a critical area, and that’s why they went for Souttar and put the initial pressure on Hearts to get him during the window.

They failed to though.

The money that could easily have been spent on Souttar, and shoring up that leaky backline, was squandered, instead, on something fancy and shiny, a mistake which that club has made time and time again, with the likes of Barton and Kranjcar and others.

What they needed most was the kind of player they know can take the pace and intensity of the game here, and Souttar has been over the course and has the scars to prove it.

The media adulation over the Ramsey signing means that nobody is going to seriously analyse the two players and ask which one seems most likely to contribute to a successful league campaign, and the reason they won’t ask is that it’s Souttar.

Let’s put it this way, if we win tomorrow night and then at the weekend they will start their next game four points behind.

That next game is against Hearts.

If Souttar has a stormer and peels more points off of them, then the decision not to sign him will look like utter folly and in particular if, as most expect, Ramsey will not be fit enough to start.

Their next game after that is Hibs.

If they are still leaking like a sieve after that then Ramsey’s signing, rather than that of Souttar, will look like a catastrophe.

Balogun is back for them for tomorrow night. Oh wow.

Our forward players will really be terrified of a half-fit 33-year-old partnering Connor Goldson.

To me, the decision not to sign Souttar is their most significant one of the window and perhaps the greatest tactical transfer error any Glasgow side has made since we failed to scrape up the money for Steven Fletcher in the Wilo Flood window.

That cost us three years. Rangers won that title and the next two.

And yes, it was the spending splurge during those titles which eventually helped propel that club to the grave, but that was three years of pain we went through because of poor leadership on our board at a moment when we could have hurt them, maybe even fatally.

In their quest to trump us with one big headline chasing signing here, they have made a momentous error which, because of the stakes, will prove to be far more damaging than our own self-inflicted wound in January 2009.

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  • JimBhoy says:

    Ramsey has already discounted himself out of contention for tomorrow night and suggested he may be able to play the jambos game. You’d want any new player to come in january itching to go.
    His medical record at Juve is terrible.

    If sevco are paying the reported 20% of his sal that’s still £80k a week for 6 month’s. Playing on heavy winter parks and plastic will not help him at all. I wonder if he will hit double figures in appearances. I doubt it.
    Great paper seller though, fur coat no kn!ckers as usual with Skinto FC.

    Goldson going end of season, Defoe retired, Davis finished, McGregor? Many more contracts up they will need to find cash from somewhere.

    At the other side of Glasgow, young, fresh, hungry players of quality, a good bunch out on loan to come in and maybe one or two summer signings bolstered by earnings from the club’s popularity in Japan and all is looking chipper.

    I still fancy Celtic for a treble this season but they will be even stronger next season.

  • Frankie pearson says:

    Good player at one time, they brought him in because of the name juve not the best just now so if he was a major player why did they let him go out on loan?

  • Seppington says:

    If they had any sense they would sell/release what they can and just play their B team as their A team for a few years and hope they eventually mature into a coherent side that can win games. It might mean a few years/decades of little success but that’s the most realistic future for them. But that won’t happen, it’s a “Rangers” and they’ll go tits up chasing their fitba’ dragon. Then it’s version 3.0 of “Ra Saym Klub” and off we go for ten in a row again….

  • Brian says:

    Can we just go out and play the game see what happens. A win of course would be huge but a draw not the worst. A defeat well that might just set us back a bit after clawing back four points in a couple of weeks. We are missing players that would have really hurt them so I hope for the best but nothing is a cert.

  • NICK66 says:

    Agree James, had they just paid the money for Soutar the headlines would gush about the defencive game changer to turn the tide, etc,etc ad nausium. After 2 poor showings they come up with a major money spinner in Aaron R. Good luck to them, however we are looking alot stronger in most areas. When the squad fights for awin like the DUtd game with 10 men i see where our strengths are. It’s now down to our Bhoys to perform as we know they can and bring success to Celic in the League again. 1 cup won, 2 to do.

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