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Opinion: Rangers fans have big reason for optimism but mainstay should be dropped

The pre-season Veolia Trophy at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium, saw Glasgow Rangers winning the tournament in France on Saturday night.

World Cup winner Patrick Vieira watched Rangers beat his Nice side after goals from Jermain Defoe and Jamie Barjonas sealed a 2-0  victory.

The Light Blues played a strict and organised 4-3-3 formation, and it seems to be Steven Gerrard’s favourite way for his team to win away ties.

Gerrard against Vieira was a first managerial meeting, and Rangers made three changes with Allan McGregor, Glen Kamara and Defoe starting.

The game was far from exciting, but on the other hand the Gers defended fairly well and got forward frequently at speed on the counter attack.

A typical Defoe goal put Rangers 1-0 ahead in the 40th minute, and that’s how the first half finished.

Some Rangers fans got entry into the game, and that gave the players some welcome support as they ended up comfortable winners on the night. 

A pre-season trophy is obviously not the most important one to win, but it gives the Ibrox club a bright start to the season.

It would remiss of me, if I didn’t inform the fans that captain James Tavernier was, in my opinion, the worst Rangers player in both matches.

His timing is completely off, his tackling is a joke and he is very unaware of what’s behind him most of the time. He is lucky to warrant his place.

The taller, younger, fitter, faster 18-year-old Nathan Patterson looks a far better right back than the captain. He should be given much more time.

Vieira reckons there is “no doubt” Gerrard will bring success, as he says,.

“I think what Steven has done in the last couple of years shows that he’s about to bring success back to Glasgow Rangers.

“He has great experience as a player and he’s now building that as a manager.

“I think they will get close to Celtic this season and I know that’s Stevie’s target.

“He’s building something really interesting at Rangers and the team is improving every year.

“I’m sure he’ll do well and get closer to Celtic this year.”

Gerrard praised youngsters Patterson, Lewis Mayo and Barjonas and insists they will get other first-team opportunities.

The boss was delighted for Barjonas to score the second decisive goal with a tidy finish to help Rangers win the Trophy.

If Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent, Ianis Hagi and Alfredo Morelos are in form, it could make a huge difference to Rangers winning silverware this season.

Rangers’ pre-season has pleased Gerrard with a 2-1 win over Hamilton, plus two wins, two clean sheets, four goals and a cup against Lyon and Nice.

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