Welcome back to the second part of the introduction of The Rangers way, in this installment I will look to cover our tactical ideas, overview of our staff and playing squad, finances and board expectations/budgets.
It’s just a simple 4-2-3-1 really but the move from the standard 4-3-3 is the removal of the holding midfielder in a deeper role and move to a proper number 10 to try and link the play and score more goals and playing a double pivot should give our defence more protection. I always want my teams to press the opposition so that’s why it’s set very high but I’ll tone it down likewise with the defensive line depending on the opposition.
Because we’re more attacking, the full backs who would usually be wing backs have been utilised as full backs instead but as I like Tavernier going forward he’s been set to attack still even if his positioning is a major issue defensively. Barrie Mckay is incredible as an inside forward on the left wing for me and ideally I’d have a wing back at left back to create an overlap but that’s where the risk versus reward comes in, I’m sure it will evolve given time.
First team squad
Wes Foderingham will be my number one for this season at least, he’s a solid shot stopper and can play the ball from the back which I like to keep control of possession. Wes can get bids of £6 million plus in future seasons so one to hold on to, Robby McCrorie will be my number 2 at only 18 years of age and will deputise in some cup games. Looks a real prospect once again and should he keep developing will be my future number one.
Matt Gilks is an irrelevance, I don’t mean it in a bad way but £5k per week for a 3rd choice keeper is a joke when some in our first team are on less than that.
Full back is a strange area as it is a strong area but also weak in terms of depth, in terms of natural left backs we only have Lee Wallace but Hodson can fill in when required and is a solid dependable player but doesn’t give us much going forward sadly.
James Tavernier is very good going forward but like in real life he struggles with his defensive responsibilities at times and with positioning of 7 I can see why, he will go on free kicks however with a rating of 17. Ross McCrorie is someone who has decent potential but don’t see him good enough long term but can play as a centre back as well as full back.
Centre back is a poor area of the squad and an area I would like to address but it can be quite tough with the budget and club reputation in the first season, the one hope I have is Danny Wilson who is a very dependable centre back at this level.
Clint Hill has experience in abundance but also turns as you would expect a 37 year old to turn so can be open to be exposed by balls over the top, Rob Kiernan can be decent especially in your first season but is also susceptible to a poor mistake.
Finally we come to big Phillipe Senderos, so yeah £16k per week. He will be moved on at the earliest opportunity, can perform okay I expect but that wage is disgusting for a player of such limited ability.
I suppose you will see one of our new signings here – it is a signing I’ve seen other people make and it just makes sense, we pay no transfer fee with Poyet being a free agent and pay him £10k per week, the downside is his agent makes a £2.5 million release clause non negotiable.
Jordan Rossiter is an exciting player and starts the season in a double pivot with new recruit Diego Poyet, at 19 years of age he can improve quite a bit and will be doing everything to keep hold of him. No incredible attributes but an all round talent for sure.
Ideally I would be able to shift Joey Barton on but I’ll be honest it isn’t happening, I may need to wait until the summer annoyingly as he is our highest paid player alongside Senderos, is there any reason the Rangers board in real life were annoyed with the recruitment..
Halliday, Holt and Kranjcar will all be rotation or squad players in case of injuries or to keep the squad fresh.
Signing a top number 10 is something I am keen on but it looks like I will have to wait until season 2 for that but I have identified who I want that player to be, Forrester is flexible and can play wide left or right as well. Strong dribbling and decent pace attributes can make him a dangerous outlet.
Josh Windass signed from Accrington is a player with some potential, how far he can go is the question. In the first season he is likely to be some way off what we require but could make an impact from time to time. Finally Liam Burt is someone I am delighted to promote from the academy, at 17 he already looks a talent with first touch and vision attributes of 15 and 13 for passing.
I wax lyrical over Barrie Mckay’s performances in real life and I’m pleased that SI have updated his attributes on this version as you can see by the screenshot below.
Dribbling and first touch of 16 for this level is pleasing and has strong finishing so although FM states he is best as a winger I think an inside forward on attack from the left would be more suitable. I have also managed to have Barrie sign a long term deal as previous deal runs out in 2o18, very happy with that.
Another tease is Jamie Walker, someone Rangers could do with looking to sign for real however we spent £550k to secure him. Great business but it eat up a large portion of our budget. Dribbling, technique and vision attributes of 14 and decent pace means he will be our winger on the right to start with anyway.
Joe Dodoo and Michael O’Halloran are squad players, nothing more and we will need to upgrade on them going forward to challenge Mckay and Walker properly.
I play with a false nine and none of the three available see that as their best role however Waghorn will be my first pick, Joe Garner doesn’t fit in my plans but may change my mind if he performs when given a chance. Zak Rudden has some potential so will give him chances in the cups or look to loan him out.
The under 20s side is firstly bloated and lacking in real quality, Jack Thomson looks a good prospect though, especially at just 16 and has a determined personality with determination rating of 19 which is encouraging. One to watch.
I will be looking to either sign some talented young players to add or will be hoping some of our recruits in our first youth intake show promise.
This is a screenshot after I had managed to bring in some of my own staff, we are restricted in terms of how much staff we can recruit but I managed to bring in Alex McQueen from Kilmarnock as head physio, Kenny Crichton as a physio and Aileen Anderson as a physio from Motherwell with physiotherapy attributes of 20,20 and 13. Why bring in someone on a lower attribute? Look below and there’s your answer, Scottish football answer to Eva Carniero.
Moving on somewhat… We also managed to bring in Eddie MacMillan as a date analyst who took the smallest salary because there is no attributes for the role. Sal Bibbo was added as a goalkeeper coach with attribute of 19, Mark Chamberlain came in from Portsmouth and adds quality as a technical coach, Sean Reed joins as a fitness coach and Allan Russell joins as an attacking coach.
Moving on to the scouting department, we are able to bring in Peter Johnson from Cheltenham Town who has 19 for adaptability so I should be able to send him on scouting trips in different regions and I also added Derek Langley who is a former Man Utd scout of 18 years with judging player ability/potential of 18/20. A must recruit for anyone especially at our level.
A strong balance of over £13 million but with this being Scottish football we will likely lose money every month and without any major player sales likely and without european football we may struggle to turn a profit even with player wages being quite low.
Most of our money comes from season ticket sales so we need to be challenging Celtic close this season and play an exciting brand of football.
What the fuck is this? No, seriously I understand that Rangers are a massive club and demand success and you don’t get long to implement strategies if results aren’t going well but we need to make the semi final of the Scottish cup, the final of the Scottish cup and win the Scottish Premiership all in our first season back – no pressure then.
Celtic have a stronger and more settled squad and with Brendan Rodgers in charge pose a much stronger challenge this time, the arrivals of Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele in particular will be tough to cope with.
At least with this sort of expectation we can expect a decent budget? no £1.2 million and £24k p/w spare wage budget is all I am given, in fairness the board had spent around £3 million in the summer but this seems a tough gig.
This brings the introduction stages to a close, in the next installment you can expect to read about our progress up until the newly introduced winter break, I also appreciate that this was a longer read so thank you.
Thank you for reading and I hope you will follow the progress of this series, if you click the follow button at bottom of article this will alert you by email every time a new post is out and would be appreciated.
If you also want to discuss anything you can ask me anything on my twitter which is below or on the comments section here.
Twitter – @JohnMcIntosh19