With 10 wins in his first 10 games as Rangers manager it looks like Mark Warburton might just be magic after all.
The SPFL Ladbrokes Championship Manager of the Month for August has hit the ground running at Ibrox, alongside assistant Davie Weir, and is gearing up for his biggest challenge to date in the shape of St. Johnstone next week.
The Perth side currently sit seventh in the Premiership and face a trip to Kilmarnock at the weekend before coming to Ibrox on Tuesday night. Despite their league placing, Tommy Wright’s men are one of the highest scoring sides (13) in the division, however they have conceded the same amount leaving them just four points above the play-off place.
If Rangers can go into this match in the same manner they have in their recent league games, then there will be a few more across Scotland who will take notice of the work being done by Warburton & Weir. Despite the, relatively, poor performance last weekend at home to Livingston, the Light Blues still came out with a comfortable 3-0 win. Livingston made a good job of breaking the game up and imposing themselves on Rangers in a way that never let the hosts get any consistent rhythm going forward, despite having lots of possession.
The Rangers players reportedly held an ‘inquest’ post match, so it seems they weren’t happy with the performance either. For a team who have only played a small number of games together to be unhappy after a 3-0 win shows a great attitude within the dressing room. The current side have a far higher level of technical ability compared to teams in recent years and it has shown in performances recently. Several players couldn’t get going and didn’t perform at the same level they have.
Also at the Livingston game were 250 members of HM Armed Forces, as guests of the club, to take part in the annual Armed Forces day celebrations. There’s a video on the club’s YouTube channel from it, but I’d suggest watching it if only to watch two Royal Marine Commandos abseil from the top of the Sandy Jardine Stand with the match ball prior to kick-off.
Spurs loanee Nathan Oduwa seems to be catching the eye already, with suggestions Valencia and Atletico Madrid are looking at signing him on a pre-contract in January. John Eustace still hasn’t signed. People have been executed after shorter trials.
Off the pitch, Ally McCoist has finally parted ways with the club following his resignation, and subsequently being put on gardening leave, at the turn of the year. The mere mention of McCoist’s name generally provokes arguments, but I can’t help feel there’s much, much more to come from it all. Who knows? Maybe it has been all about the money for him, but I think that there’s still much more to McCoist’s resignation and the mess that followed than him being allowed to continue for a short period before being relieved of his duties.
Given who held directorships at the time (and their current lack of involvement in the Craig Whyte & Charles Green court cases) we might hear from the former manager sooner rather than later. Despite everything, I don’t think there’s a Rangers fan over the age of 25 who can honestly sit down and watch any collection of historic clips involving “Super Ally” and not get the same feelings towards him that they did then.
Away from the football, it was good to see Paul Gascoigne looking so healthy recently on the recent Sky Sports Fantasy Football Club special with Paul Merson. It’s always fantastic listening to Gazza’s stories about his career, especially his tales from Ibrox, although when it came to picking his team I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard him pass over Brian Laudrup. If Gascoigne was world class in his time at Rangers then God was, well, God. He had everything. Gazza picked Chris Waddle, Bryan Robson, John Barnes & Peter Beardsley ahead of Laudrup but he’s wrong. And I’ll tell you why. Brian Laudrup.
Finally, a few weeks ago before the Raith game, the Rangers Charity Foundation held a drop-off point for fans to donate items to the local foodbank. The Rangers support showed their generosity as hundreds of bags of food were collected by volunteers. Anyone looking to donate can hand items into Argyle House during office hours, or there is a blue bin available at the ticket office on match days to leave items.