written by – John McIntosh
March 6, 2015…
Dave King, Paul Murray, & John Gilligan sweep into power at our beloved club in a convincing EGM victory – much to the delight and relief of our much-battered support. In the weeks and months since then it was often said, that movement was slow on a variety of aspects, but there definitely has been massive improvements.
Rangers Football Club today is unrecognisable to the sad state it was just six months ago: the doom and gloom has been replaced with new found optimism and a support reinvigorated to the point Ibrox was sold out on the opening league game of the new season.
You may think that isn’t anything special, but when it is a Friday night match, live TV coverage and fans had to sort out work and travel plans at short notice due to how late the match was changed for TV it is an incredible feat. Interestingly, Celtic managed 4,000 less fans than we had for our league opener for their flag day, the same fans who thre years ago had laughed at us saying “your grandchildren will be Celtic fans” not quite.
Moving on to the appointment of Mark Warburton, this is not only a massive coup for Rangers but also for Scottish football – he is innovative in his methods, loves younger players and our new brand of short passing attacking football has delighted our support to the point there is a scramble to buy tickets, where fans can’t wait for the next game instead of dreading another embarrassing, inept display.
I am and have been a member of my local Rangers Supporters Club for quite a few years now and over the last three seasons I’ve seen numbers deplete as we made our “journey” back up, the main reasons for this has been the dreadful football and boardroom troubles.
The ones that made it almost every week over the past few seasons, looked forward to the pub before the match more than the football itself and many said things along the lines of “this feels like a chore, but it’s all I know” a support not only battered from pillar to post by the rest of Scottish football but having to deal with boring long ball, uninspiring football and boardroom crisis after boardroom crisis was beginning to turn top bears away.
Fast-forward not even six months, and in the local pubs, in the stands, on social media and on my supporters’ bus I have never seen such positivity in my Rangers supporting life.
Others have noted that they have never seen someone be so taken to by our support as Mark Warburton or “Warbs” has been, he wears a magic hat and there is even a song for him with fans bringing Warburton loaves of bread to games, with one taking it further than most with a Warburton inspired magic hat. Yes, this happened.
As a support we now have a fantastic management team of Warburton and Davie Weir, a strong board with Rangers interests at heart, nine new signings some of which have made quite the impression, young talents such as Barrie McKay brought in and playing some great football under our new style of play and a share issue due for October.
Moving to on-field matters, we have played three competitive games this season scoring twelve goals and conceding only three. Some statistics that I think may interest readers are – we have conceded only four shots on target in three games, we have won the majority of possession in every game with the last two games seeing us dominate with 66% and 63% possession. Meanwhile our intent to play from the back has seen us keep the ball into the opposing half 74% of the time against Peterhead and then 86% of the time against St.Mirren.
These stats show that Rangers efforts to play from the back is working as we are keeping the ball more entering the opposition half, dominating possession is imperative and has seen us control games, however we have been punished by individual mistakes with shots on target conceded to goals lost quite high. However, this will surely even out more in our favour and that in both of our last two games we have hit over 20 shots, it’s very pleasing but backs the managers view that we need to be more clinical to reap the benefits of our good play.
It is certainly a work in progress, and with a few more additions possible with just over two weeks of the transfer window left, the signs are encouraging and so far the support is delighted with what they are seeing. Warburton has previously stated he wants to win games but expressed a need to entertain the crowd as they are the heartbeat of any club.
A “send them home happy” sign has been put up within the home dressing room; a real work ethic has also been installed within the side which the fans love whilst the club are excelling themselves with content from player interviews to U20 highlights which is seeing the fans get closer to the club they love than ever before.
We may have missed out on Scott Allan, but we only want players who want to play for this magnificent institution – we move on and there is plenty to be positive about.
Rangers are coming, expect us.
You can follow John McIntosh on Twitter @JohnMcIntosh19