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Rangers - A team discussion

Started on 19 November 2020 by Imagine
Latest Reply on 24 November 2020 by Jack
 


BACKROUND

Rangers Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in the Govan district of Glasgow which plays in the Scottish Premiership. Although not its official name, it is often referred to as Glasgow Rangers. The fourth-oldest football club in Scotland, Rangers was founded by four teenage boys as they walked through West End Park (now Kelvingrove Park) in March 1872 where they discussed the idea of forming a football club, and played its first match against the now defunct Callander at the Fleshers' Haugh area of Glasgow Green in May of the same year. Rangers' home ground, Ibrox Stadium, which was designed by stadia architect Archibald Leitch and opened in 1929, is a Category B listed building and the third-largest football stadium in Scotland. The club has played in royal blue shirts for the entirety of its history.

Rangers is the second-most successful club in world football in terms of trophies won, behind only Egyptian club Al Ahly. The club has won the Scottish League title 54 times, a domestic league joint world record, the Scottish Cup 33 times, the Scottish League Cup a record 27 times and the domestic treble on seven occasions, more than any other club.

Rangers won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 after being losing finalists twice, in 1961 (the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final) and 1967. A third runners-up finish in European competition came in the UEFA Cup in 2008.

Rangers has a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm, which is considered one of the world's biggest football derbies. With more than 600 Rangers supporters' clubs in 35 countries worldwide, Rangers has one of the largest fanbases in world football. The club holds the record for the largest travelling support in football history, when an estimated 200,000 Rangers fans arrived in the city of Manchester for the 2008 UEFA Cup Final.

One of the 11 original members of the Scottish Football League, Rangers remained in the top division continuously until a financial crisis during the 2011–12 season saw an administration event occur and the original company liquidated with the assets moved to a new company structure. The club was accepted as an associate member of the Scottish Football League and placed in the fourth tier of the Scottish football league system in time for the start of the following season. Rangers then won three promotions in four years, returning to the Premiership for the start of the 2016–17 season. While in the Scottish lower divisions, Rangers became the only club in Scotland to have won every domestic trophy.

Since returning to the top flight Rangers have had Mark Warburton, Pedro Caixinha, Graeme Murty and Steven Gerrard in spells as the manager hoping to over throw Celtic. Warburton was perhaps dismissed a little bit too early due to heavy expectations from the fans and board but was starting to look like the job was too much for him. Murty was handed the job on a temporary basis and became a slight fan favourite in that time but again, the job was a bit big for him. Pedro Caixinha was next in the door and the Portuguese manager was a bit of a left field appointment coming in from a spell as manager if Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa. Caixinha was backed in the transfer window and brought in some good quality players in Bruno Alves, Alfredo Morelos and Daniel Candeias amongst others but he soon found himself struggling in the job and some rather bizarre statements in the media compounded fears that he was cracking up in the post. An amazing appointment was made in the form of Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard who is a born winner and the club were hoping to see him bring that winning mentality in to Rangers squad.

On the back of his second year in charge of the team the squad has so far failed to deliver any trophies. Some credit is due given that Rangers are now a match for Celtic when the clubs come face to face and they were actually unlucky to lose to their rivals in the Scottish Cup last year as Celtic's game winning goal was offside. Gerrard's sides have done fantastically well in Europe in recent times too and a run to the last 16 in the Europa League impressed many across the continent. Now it is over to you to take over and stop Celtic winning that ever elusive and potentially record breaking ten league titles in a row.

EXPECTATIONS

With Steven Gerrard being backed heavily in the summer with new additions the expectations have increased massively and a clean sweep is expected of you. The board are asking for a League title, League Cup and Scottish Cup wins as well as a run to the last 32 of the Europa League too. Now this may seem like a big ask but as mentioned above; the squad is much better this season.


In goals it makes sense to use Allan McGregor as he's the best player in this position as he is better than Jon McLaughlin. However, Robby McCrorie is out on loan but you have the option to recall him but I think you have to wait 30 days to do so. I let him stay at Livingston until January but this is because I forgot to recall him after the 30 days! He played all their games and played well though so no harm in doing that. I do feel that he is worth recalling and playing as your number one straight away though as he is more than capable at this level. It does depend on whether you'll be bringing someone in in this position though as obviously McGregor and McLaughlin are both older.

In defence there is no doubt that Tavernier, Goldson, Helander and Barasic are your best starting players but particularly in central defence there is plenty of options. Katic is ruled out long term but once he's back get him on general rehab and working on some of his physicals again and he'll be a top player for you. Edmundson attracts a lot of interest from down south and must have potential this year and actually becomes as good as Goldson after the first year, given enough playing time. You then have Balogun who is a good back up player for a year until his contract runs out and Katic returns too. In terms of youth prospects you have Leon King who looks an outstanding talent, uses both feet and has some good starting stats. Given that you have plenty of options in his position I'd leave him in the under 18's for the season but make sure to take control of his individual training and mould him in to the player you want to be. At fullback you have Nathan Paterson and Calvin Bassey as back up and although you may take a look at them and think nahh I need some better options these two really thrive when given some game time as you will find out later on. Adam Devine is another potential prospect but he is different on each persons game due to his random stats so could be hit and miss. Ross McCrorie has also been included as although he's due to join Aberdeen next summer I suggest buying him back as soon as you can and have him train as a BPD, he has great potential and is a real leader.

In midfield you are blessed with options in the centre with Davis, Arfield, Jack, Kamara, Zungu and Aribo. Davis is getting on a bit so I'd limit his play time or look to move him on for a small fee as well as Arfield as he too is older than the rest so I'd recommend selling him you can get £3.7m for him. Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara and Joe Aribo are all fantastic players that bring something different to the team but are all as equally capable as the other so finding your best starting central midfielders will come down to personal choice. You also have Bongani Zungu who is a good back up midfielder who doesn't quite excel but with his wages being paid by his parent club there is no harm in keeping him around. There are a few central midfielders with potential but I feel that only Alex Lowry has decent enough stats to be moulded in to a first team player here. On the wings you have arguably two of the best wingers in the league in Kent and Hagi and these will be the starting players undoubtedly. In reserve you have Jordan Jones, Greg Stewart and Brandon Barker. Neither of these players are good enough for this club although would do you for the season should you wish but I'd recommend selling. Stewart will go for £225k+, Barker will go for £500k and Jones will go for £1.5m too. In terms of prospects there are a few on the wings in the shape of Nathan Young-Coombes, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Malcolm Ebiowei and Josh McPake. All four have decent stats and could be handy back up players if you want to get rid of the aforementioned back ups and give the youth a chance. You have Glenn Middleton too but he doesn't develop and I wouldn't give him any game time.

Up front you have Alfredo Morelos who has the potential to be world class and you should make it an absolute priority to keep him he is LETHAL. For me, he plays excellent with a strike partner as a pressing forward with an advanced forward alongside him. Do. Not. Sell. Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten have come in this summer to beef this position right up and they are some real quality options too. Roofe is highly potent as an AF and Itten can play either PF or AF comfortably. Jermaine Defoe is further back up in this position but his advancing years means that I suggest using him sparingly but have him mentoring some of the younger prospects. There are some quality youth prospects up front for Rangers and the best looking of them is Tony Weston who looks a real gem signed from Blackpool this summer and I suggest training him as an advanced forward. Dapo Mebude also has some real quality stats too and I believe he is worth training up as a pressing forward.


I personally have always favoured the 4-2-4 wide tactic with inside forwards, have done ever since the inside forwards were first introduced I believe. This tactic is my #1, it works wonders domestically and when at home I usually play with attacking mentality against most teams. I have used this tactic away to Celtic and in EL to mixed results but would suggest something more balanced like tactic #2 which is the 4-5-1 as this can stop teams opening you up as easily. I have recently added tactic #3 to the mix but haven't utilised it too much to gauge the success of it long term but it's a good blend of defensive stability with some good options going forward too.

In summary

You have got a great team here that will dominate Scotland for many years without actually needing to make too many additions. There are some players in their 30's who will be obvious candidates to leave and then some in their late 30's that you should look for long term successors for but there is no hurry. Be prepared, you are going to get an influx of bids for most of your players but hold out and you will get some big fees. For most players in the team I valued them at £30m and wouldn't accept anything less. Players coming under the £30m category are Katic, Goldson, Edmundson, Helander, Tavernier, Barasic, Bassey, Paterson, Kamara, Jack, Aribo, Roofe and Itten. I valued Hagi at £40m, Kent at £50m then decided I wasn't selling him for any price, Morelos for £60m then decided I wasn't selling him for any price either. If you do want to sell any of these players don't actively look to sell them you will get plenty offers just be patient and hold out for these price tags at a minimum. Of the aforementioned players I have sold Goldson, Edmundson, Helander, Tavernier, Barasic, Aribo, Itten and Hagi for the price tag stated so far, in to my third season. You have loads of promising young players that can fill the gaps of any departures with ease and with Brexit it's a whole lot easier to just go with home grown players this year, something which I have favoured for a while anyway.


COMPETITION REVIEW




In season one we managed to prise the Scottish Premiership title from the hands of rivals Celtic and end there ten in a row pursuit at the last hurdle. The gap was down to a point midway through the season but we went on to win our last 14 league games. Aberdeen prevented us from winning the treble though, with a fluke win in the semis of the Scottish Cup. A double is a decent season still I guess as we picked up the League Cup with an emphatic win over Motherwell. There wasn't much joy in the EL but I wasn't too fussed as it allowed us to focus on the league this season which was the priority and the board didn't kick up too much fuss as you'd expect with a domestic double the consolation.

TRANSFERS

I only made one signing and it was because he was available cut price after agreeing to sign him on a free(Matias Moya). Had a couple of outgoings early on, I let Arfield, Barker and Stewart leave as we had more than enough better options in the squad. We had too many central midfielders and I only use two, with Arfield being the oldest it made sense to sell him for a decent fee. Steven Davis and Allan McGregor left in Jan, we got a fee for Davis and let McGregor go for free and recalled Robby McCrorie from Livingston to be #1 for the foreseeable future. Shunted around some loanees the rest of the window and sold Jordan Jones as he didn't do too much with the chance I gave him. I let my DOF sign the other four players signed for the reserves/youths, none of them are anything decent. Andrija Zivkovic became my first big money signing but he joined at the end of the season so he's next years news. A player I've loved on the game since FM15 or so and I had big hopes for him.

SQUAD

I used a much rotated side all season as you can see, the main point of this was to see who stood out in certain positions where the ability was similar and also to get the youths a lot of game time. I've been so impressed with the youth, particularly; Patterson, Bassey, Edmundson, Lowry, Ebiowei and Dapo Mebude. I gave Middleton every chance to impress and improve with plenty game time but he hasn't improved a bit despite some decent performances so going to move him on most probably... I got a possible 5 star youth(Rudy Manfrin) through this season which was a massive shock although he doesn't look that impressive I'm hoping he does turn out to be.



COMPETITION REVIEW






Season number 2 done with Rangers and it brought my first treble and a run to the EL 1/4 final. It was almost a breeze domestically as we won the league with a further point than last year and a further 2 away from Celtic. A seriously hard fought League Cup Final with Celtic resulted in our 2nd consecutive victory in the cup. Further progression was made this time in the Scottish Cup though as we took it a round further to make the final where we easily won the trophy against Hearts. In the Champions League we were handed a bit of a tough draw in the group stage and actually only snatched 3rd place on the last match day to drop in to the EL. The EL started with five fine wins but a 2-1 loss to Sevilla saw us exit the competition in the 1/4 finals on away goals.

FIXTURES V CELTIC

Our two league defeats came against Celtic away from home so that's where I'll be looking to improve next season. They hammered us 5-0 and then won 2-0 quite comfortably. Our record against them is decent but still needs to be improved on. It will just take some tinkering to find a winning consistent formula against them though.

TRANSFERS

In terms of transfers; I brought in Andrija Zivkovic for £4m as he's always been a favourite of mine but I actually think that opinion has changed massively! He started poorly, always performed badly in training and really inconsistent. Whinged about me complaining about his poor performances and training then about my team talks! He did actually end up getting a fair amount of goals and assists but the damage has been done. As soon as someone bids an acceptable amount he's going I can't wait to be rid of him. My other free signings done well and I actually went on to sell one of them(Hendrix) in Jan for £15m so great business there. Aaron Hickey has filled Barasic' place with ease and looks to be a great player for us going forward. Hamsik was a nostalgic signing and played decent enough without excelling but will be leaving regardless.
Edmundson, Barasic, Aribo and Goldson were all allowed to leave after £30m bids were accepted. Leon King stepped into Edmundson's shoes in the summer as did Hickey and Gauld for Barasic and Aribo. Goldson left on January 31st so I recalled Adam Devine from loan, as he was impressing at newly promoted Alloa, to replace him.

SQUAD

Like last season I continued to give our youngsters plenty of game time as I want to have as strong of a British core as possible with just a few foreign players in the squad. Robby McCrorie played in every single match this season and has developed immensely as a result. I know he isn't going to be world class but I want him to be my #1 throughout this save as he's good enough. Paterson and Bassey continued to shine whilst King and Devine came in, played and developed well. My youth graduate Rudy Manfrin didn't play in as much matches as I'd have liked to the numbers I had in his position but I hope to use him more next year. Ebiowei and Mebude again showed their talents and will continue to feature in the squad next year.
My outstanding performers for the season are Morelos, Katic, Itten, Roofe, Kent, Hagi, Hickey and Tav. The last two were good defensively and also setting up plenty as well as scoring a few from wing back. Katic was solid at the back and got a few goals too. Kent and Hagi got well in to double figures on goals and assists, weirdly they both had 30 goals or assists from the same amount of games, a nice coincidence. Itten has been amazing as a fairly bit part player and over the past two seasons he has 46 goals from 48(10) games which is a fantastic games/goals ratio. Next best striker and performer is Roofe who I thought was great last year but this year he's just took it to a whole other level with 42 goals in 33(9) games which leaves me gutted he's getting on a wee bit. Morelos... Had it not been for a couple of injuries he'd have played every match but he still managed 53 and in those games he got 55 goals with 17 assists too. A fantastic season he had and I'm hoping for more of the same as I want him to be the man to break McCoist's record so he's here long term and won't be going anywhere despite the bombardment of bids every window. He ran riot and won almost every possible award at the end of season bash and he also managed to win the Golden Boot, something McCoist was also able to do at Rangers. I have some other prospects returning from loan like Weston, Lowry, Young-Coombes, Ritchie-Hosler, McKinnon, McPake and Cervantes that I will be trying to integrate in to the first team if I can. I've also made a host of pre-contract signings that are buy-to-sell types of players so will have a task moving them on or fitting them all in to the squad.


Congratulations on your success at Ibrox, Imagine! Five trophies in two years, plus all the sales, is really painting Glasgow blue and setting you up for the future.
2020-11-19 20:40#278966 jahendricksi : Congratulations on your success at Ibrox, Imagine! Five trophies in two years, plus all the sales, is really painting Glasgow blue and setting you up for the future.

Cheers mate. That's it, nearing the end of season three now too.
1
Welcome back mate. Glad to see you back to your usual ways and bringing success to whenever you go.









It was much the same for us in season three as we scooped up the domestic treble once again. The league wasn't as straight forward this time around as it took until matchday 21 for us to actually go top but once we did that was it. We won the league by slightly less points as the previous two seasons as our results against Celtic still flattered to deceive this year. We scored 21 goals in our 4 League Cup games which shows how easy that was this year and apart from needing penalties against Celtic in the 1/4 final of the Scottish Cup, that too, was fairly straight forward. In Europe we were half decent as we beat Zenit twice in the CL groups and managed to hold Real Madrid to a draw away from home and only lost narrowly in the return tie. RB Leipzig smashed us in both games though and as a result we dropped into the EL once again where we were drawn with Borussia Monchengladbach. An oversight on my part saw us knocked out of the competition as I was unaware that it was a one legged tie and therefore didn't properly prepare. I was raging with this because I know for a fact we'd have went through had we gotten a second leg.

TRANSFERS

A total of 18 players were signed this season as we looked to make some profit on the back of a few players signed on free contracts. Seven players were signed on frees and only three ended up in the first team after failing to secure moves away permanently or on loan. Sheyi Ojo's immediate departure to Watford earned us £12m for absolutely nothing. Chong, Alena and Zekhnini departed on loans straight away with a view to impressing for a move away next summer or for a place in the first team. Bailly, Kenedy and Lamela were given their chance in the first time whilst Zekhnini was recalled from his loan in January after failing to play for Fiorentina and was subsequently given his chance too. Scott McKenna and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were both signed for the first team due to some departures from the club. Maitland-Niles was our biggest outlay for a player but with the consistency of Tav departing it was vital we brought someone of a similar mould into the team and he fits that as he has plenty of traits I crave in a player. Ross McCrorie was brought back from Aberdeen for 10x the amount that he left for but he's a player I've always liked and he has great versatility and leadership which meant that I actually made him captain this season with his twin Robby as his debuty. We spent a fair bit of money on seven prospects in January who slotted into the reserves and under 18's for the season. In terms of departures, we once again racked the cash in as we offloaded At the tail end of last season Newcastle were quick to splash out £40m on Ianis Hagi after Sheffield United had done the same to sign James Tavernier for £30m. Itten, Helander, Park Jae-Sung and Andrija Zivkovic all earned us big fees as they departed too. Loan deals were found for numerous players but the ones of significance were; Malcolm Ebiowei, Tony Weston, Josh McPake, Adam Devine, Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Nathan Young-Coombes, Alex Lowry and Cole McKinnon. These are players we're hoping to implement into the first team in the near future or move on for some profit and so their loan moves were specifically chosen to get plenty of game time in. Only Weston's deal didn't quite go to plan and he was recalled in January.

SQUADS



Once again the promotion of youth was key as the likes of Nathan Paterson, Leon King, Aaron Hickey, Rudy Manfrin, Dapo Mebude and Tony Weston saw plenty of first team action. The development of Robby McCrorie continued in goal as he was given most games in goal again, with Cervantes and Hogarth being given just a couple of matches each. Morelos, Kent, Mebude, Weston, Kenedy Roofe and Manfrin are the special mentions this year. Mebude and Weston were given more of a chance to shine alongside Morelos this season after the departure of Itten and also ahead of the aging Roofe. Both players had excellent goal to game ratios much like the aforementioned Roofe who was also excellent. Manfrin really took his chance this year to score some great goals and set up a fair amount too. Kenedy was someone I tried in vain to sell repeatedly but in the end became a key player that may become a permanent fixture or earn us a significant fee. Kent took his game to a whole other level this year as his 45 G+A contribution meant that he averaged more than a goal or assist every game. Which shows just why I'm willing to keep rejecting £50m+ offers from him, much like I have been doing with Alfredo Morelos. Now this guy, is just incredible! He has been amazing throughout this save but, he too, took his game to a whole other level this year as he rewrote the history books to overtake Sam English long held record of 44 league goals in the one campaign. He left it very, very late as his one and only goal in the last game was his 45th league goal. An ever present in the side this year, Morelos hit 64 goals in 56 games but also got 19 assists too! This guy is going nowhere fast as he's just 102 goals away from Ally McCoist's record which I would hope he can achieve in the next three seasons.



YOUTH DEVELOPMENT











2020-11-21 20:37#279040 ScottT : Welcome back mate. Glad to see you back to your usual ways and bringing success to whenever you go.

Thanks mate! I wouldn't really like to take too much credit for success with Rangers as they are really well put together this year it's incredible. I've just been trying to mostly use the players that I have until a decent fee is bid for them and then essentially replacing them with players from the youth system.
Back with one hell of a bang! Great work so far to end that Celtic dominance :D

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