Glasgow Rangers manager Steven Gerrard knew that Celtic were apparently taking a chance by playing Christopher Jullien and Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo in last weekend’s Old Firm derby.
Both new defensive players were under immense pressure to perform against a strong Gers forward line – but what happened?
Rangers dropped Alfredo Morelos, Jordan Jones and Sheyi Ojo and played with Jermain Defoe upfront on his own. This meant the Ibrox side had no width, no physical presence and no chance of winning.
Nobody could have picked Gerrard’s Rangers starting XI, which bordered on madness. This was an ideal opportunity completely missed by the Gers manager’s diabolical decision making.
If you are changing the line up, there are better ways of doing it. Rangers have spent £3m to bring Filip Helander to Ibrox to help them win the league and do well in the Europa League, so get him in the team.
It’s the manager’s job to find a way of placing a new £3m signing into your starting XI – or you are just wasting money for a club that doesn’t have much to burn.
It is time for Gerrard to change his tactics as his Rangers side never lay a glove on Celtic last Sunday.
Legia Warsaw and Celtic both knew how the Gers were going to play against them. They became very predictable – time for a change!
Connor Goldson’s distribution has been found wanting recently, yet he is always in the team.
Nikola Katic is by far the best centre-half at the club. He is still only 22 and always gets stuck in and wins everything in the air. He also gets his body in the way of goalscoring shots.
I’m saying that Gerrard has a duty to do the right thing by Helander and give him the chance to show what he can do in a Rangers jersey.
There is more than one way of skinning a cat. Play a back three of Goldson, Katic and Helender, which will stop Rangers from losing goals from free kicks and corners.
I also suggest not playing with a typical left back to allow the team play an attractive 3-1-4-1-1 with the following players.
Goldson, Katic Helander
Tavernier Davis Aribo Kent
The above Rangers team lends itself to pushing forward at every opportunity with Tavernier and Kent as the wide players.
It also maintains the four-man diamond midfield shape to control the high tempo of the match, and cause havoc with their skills and hard running attacking tactics.
Rangers cannot afford to let Celtic build up a points advantage at the top of the league and Gerrard needs to get his tactics right after the international break.