Rangers snuck through to the Scottish Cup fifth round with a 2-1 win over Motherwell at Ibrox but what did we learn from today’s game?
Rangers are far too ponderous on the ball
Possession football is great and everything but when it’s so slow and pedestrian that teams can comfortably deal with it defensively then something needs to change. Pep Guardiola’s ‘tiki-taka’ is clearly what Warburton models his teams on but Pep’s teams invariably have an ‘extra gear’ to go up into and really put teams up against it. Rangers don’t. There will be occasions when we need to be a bit more direct and turn their dominance of possession into goal-scoring opportunites.
Warburton REALLY needs to work on defending crosses.
Defensively Rangers really struggle down the flanks. Today was no different and Motherwell looked to, and eventually did, capitalise on Rangers’ defensive frailties. Rob Kiernan was caught out yet again as we conceded from a free header.
Emerson Hyndman and Jon Toral look like they could be good signings
Toral got an hour today and while clearly short of match fitness he showed little flashes of what he is capable of. An intelligent, attack-minded midfielder wasn’t top of the priority list but hopefully the Spaniard can help create a few more chances. American Hyndman came off the bench on the 72nd minute and immediately looked comfortable with Rangers’ passing style. It was Hyndman’s quick thinking which set MIller on his was for Rangers’ winner and the Bournemouth loanee impressed in his limited time.
Kenny Miller is still our most important player
He might be 37 and rapidly entering the twilight of his career but Kenny Miller is still crucial to this Rangers team. His running and understanding of the game are invaluable and, although he can frustrate fans by coming too deep to get involved, he’d be a big loss if he couldn’t agree a new deal beyond this season.