Over the last few weeks, we’ve really started to get a true idea of what Mark Warburton and his team are all about. After running roughshod over the opposition in the opening weeks of the season, sides have caught on and are setting up to try frustrate the light blues.
Seeing teams line up against Rangers with 11 men behind the ball isn’t anything new, but seeing how Warburton and co deal with it has been quite impressive.
A refusal to betray the style of football fans have come to expect (and thoroughly enjoy) has, perhaps, seen Rangers make harder work of some games than is necessary, however it has been refreshing to see. There have been grumblings from a small section of the support already, but I can’t help think they have found themselves getting a bit carried away after the early form.
This is still very much a work in progress and is a side still getting used to their new environment, new team-mates and, in many cases, a new style of play. If there is still the same difficulties in breaking sides down as we approach the turn of the year, then there may be a case for looking at bringing in new faces but, at the minute, we’re in a very good place.
There’s also been much discussion about the “brutality” Rangers players have to face. Have we really gone that soft? With the exception of the tackle on Oduwa early on in the Livingston game, I don’t think we’ve faced anything that you wouldn’t see in games up and down the UK. The biggest issue has been, for me at least, inconsistent refereeing. Andrew Dallas, in particular, showed exactly why he was recently on the receiving end of a mouthful from Inverness boss John Hughes, when he continued his run of baffling decisions when Livi came to Ibrox. At least I don’t need to worry about the SFA’s compliance officer pulling me up for my comments.
John Eustace still hasn’t signed. I’ve no idea any more. Fair play to him though. He’s been helping out with the coaching staff while trying to prove his fitness and has been doing so without pay. In a world where Wayne Rooney has been granted a testimonial game, there’s plenty of footballers who could learn from Eustace.
Off the field, it was good to see Bobby Brown recently inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame by Mark Warburton at Hampden. Mr Brown, as well as being a teacher at my old school, was part of the famous Iron Curtain defence, as well as being the Scotland manager when they humbled then world champions, England, at Wembley in 1967. It was a long overdue honour for him and I can only wonder why it has taken so long for his achievements to be recognised by the Scottish FA.
By the way, isn’t Ibrox looking a bit better with new signs everywhere? It’ll take some time but the old place is getting back to it’s best. There’s aren’t many stadiums like it anywhere on the planet.
Finally, as everyone is gearing up for the festive season (I know it’s only October but it’s unavoidable already) I wanted to doff my cap to the work done by the Rangers Charity Foundation and its dedicated volunteers, who will soon be spending three nights pitch-side at Ibrox to raise funds for Glasgow City Mission. The RCF also undertake a number of other charity ventures, including a recent food bank drive and a cycle from Inverness to Glasgow.
For more information in the Rangers Charity Foundation click here.