Are Rangers prepared for the season ahead?
We were pretty ropey against Hibs for the first 30 minutes and could easily have been two down but they dug in and in the second half blew Hibs away. Mark Warburton is introducing a style of play that has never been deployed by a Rangers manager before with a quick tempo, high pressing passing out from the back this will take time to implement – but it’s a joy to watch especially with the turgid football we have had to endure of late.
I would like to see maybe one or two new additions obviously a lot of talk surrounding Allan he is a cracking player and I would like to see him at Ibrox. It looks like it’s going to happen, it’s a case of when, rather than if. Hopefully an agreement can be reached that suits all parties.
It looks like Eustace will come in too, Mark Warburton obviously rates him very highly and that’s good enough for me. A lot of talk of another striker coming in but not for me, Ryan Hardie has already been promoted from the U20s and he can certainly score goals a terrific talent.
Also Tom Walsh is a great prospect he has always impressed when I have watched him. The return of Barrie McKay who has been in the wilderness since a successful first season, he is back now and had a solid game against Hibs especially in the second half.
There is so much positivity surrounding this campaign already, the average age of our squad has plummeted from last year’s squad and under Ian Durrant the U20s have started their pre-season with a bang, undefeated until losing out to Annan the other night.
The youngsters at Rangers now know there is a real chance of progressing to the first team so the likes of Gallagher, Ramsey, Gassparto, Dykes and the McCrorie brothers to name but a few will be eager to catch Mark Warburton’s eye. Where depressingly, under McCoist, this just wasn’t happening.
What signing are you most looking forward to seeing?
Well hopefully Scott Allan. But it is a tough one, there are a few to pick from Tavernier has started well and the fans will love him but for me it has to be Andy Halliday to be honest.
I wasn’t that sure what to expect from him, but he was excellent against Burnley and carried that into the the Hibs game. He breaks the game up superbly, tackles and what about his goal?
Halliday always comes across well when interviewed and as the fans were singing on Saturday “he is one of our own” which is always nice.
Danny Wilson. I was delighted when we secured his signature. He is a class act and will definitely add to his cap tally in the future, Scotland are crying out for a good centre half and while I appreciate he won’t get that until we are promoted – I am very confident of that this season.
The way we are set up this year we will always lose a goal here and there. Danny will have to keep them organised at the back which won’t trouble him as he is a leader and a natural captain.
As I mentioned before, Mark Warburton has introduced a whole new philosophy on how we will play the game. Along with the new additions it will take time until everyone is completely comfortable with one another and the new style of play, but the early indications look good – we just need to hit the ground running with a win against the Buddies at Ibrox.
How would you rate manager Mark Warburton and can he improve upon last year?
I really can’t speak highly enough of Mark Warburton he was the man I wanted and I see it as a bit of a coup that we got him.
I listen to Talksport so was aware of Warburton’s excellent work at Brentford and not just when he was manager – everybody spoke very highly of him and when I have heard him talk he comes across as someone who loves the game and wants to improve his knowledge of the game all the time too.
He is the man to take us forward that I have no doubt about. I really can’t compare him to Ally who I am not going to talk about too much.
What I will say about McCoist – as a player he was a idol to myself and tens of thousands of other fans. But as a manager? He just isn’t a manager and I would be surprised to see him manage a side again when he finally returns from gardening leave.
I have to mention Stuart McCall who was given the impossible of task of saving the Titanic after it was already sinking. As hard as he tried too he just couldn’t get that mob to perform and we were finally put out of misery after a heavy defeat to Motherwell.
I really did feel sorry for Stuart you could see he was hurting its just a shame that team didn’t have his fire or passion or we may well have got promoted.
Not getting promoted is a blessing in disguise in my opinion, it gives Mark Warburton more time to implement his way on the squad and also more time to sign players with more transfer windows available. Yes I would of loved to have been promoted, but I really do think it would of been too early.
Anyone or any club you are worried about that may cause problems for you?
In the league no. Not saying there wont be tough games and dropped points, of course there will but we are a different animal this year.
Expectations for this season?
To win the league and the Petrofac Cup at our fourth time of asking. It’s extremely embarrassing just how poor we have done in that competition, I can’t believe that it has not been added to our trophy room. As for the other cups if the draws are kind to us you never know.
Where will your team finish in the league this season?
1st no doubt about it.
What was the highlight of last season?
On the park we were just so poor, honestly I can’t be positive about it other than the emergence of young Andy Murdoch. So it has to be Dave King winning the EGM it was clear early doors Hearts were going to win the league at a canter.
Our off the field victory was our highlight, it needed to happen before we could move on as a club. Thankfully that has now happened and I firmly believe Dave King will do an excellent job as chairman.
What was the low point?
Who will win the Premiership?
Celtic, comfortably. They will be too strong for Aberdeen, McInnes is doing a great job with Aberdeen and they will finish second – so they should given the size of the club. They have been consistently poor for years. I genuinely hope that Aberdeen and Celtic qualify for the group stages of the European competitions they are in, as it would be a great lift to the national game. Domestically our club sides have had more than their fair share of European embarrassments.
Who will be relegated?
I fear for Hamilton they really toiled after losing Alex Neil to Norwich last season. I can see Boyd hitting 20 goals for Kilmarnock and keeping them safe, even after the terrible time he had back at Ibrox.