Search

Beat around the Bush

PUBLISHED: 17:25 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:48 24 August 2010

By Adam Boxer IN a period of mass upheaval at Loftus Road, one thing has normally been as reliable one week as it is the next – the defence. Structured by Iain Dowie and maintained by Paulo Sousa, Rangers supporters were forced to watch several shut-outs

By Adam Boxer

IN a period of mass upheaval at Loftus Road, one thing has normally been as reliable one week as it is the next - the defence.

Structured by Iain Dowie and maintained by Paulo Sousa, Rangers supporters were forced to watch several shut-outs due to the defence's effectiveness coupled with the profligacy of the forward line.

What a difference a year makes - while Rangers' attack has been rejuvenated and revolutionised, the defence has been left to fester.

Conceding from set-pieces is one of the cardinal sins of defending and despite time and planning, Rangers still cannot communicate effectively across the back line.

A far cry from Villa Park last season where the Rangers rearguard reigned supreme in keeping a Premier League attack quiet. Could the disjointed performances be attributed to a lack of consistency?

Jim Magilton made a change to his back four for the last six consecutive fixtures. Couple this with the statistic that Rangers have had 10 different combinations in the back four this season alone and it makes for grim reading indeed.

Is it a problem with the personnel - namely, Fitz Hall bursting back into the line-up and breaking what was a formidable partnership of Damion Stewart and Kaspars Gorkss? Is Mikele Leigertwood a right full-back? Was Damien Delaney a more integral cog than he was given credit for?

Some have attributed the problems squarely at the door of Radek Cerny, with the muted goalkeeper not communicating with his back line and costing Rangers with a couple of individual errors.

While Cerny received the Golden Glove award in the Championship last season, he didn't appear in the top five goalkeepers in the Actim Index - telling you that saves were at a minimum and the defenders did their jobs - and his - effectively.

This season, much in the same way as Ossie Ardiles and Kevin Keegan's tenure at Newcastle United, defending has taken a back seat as the crowd will their side to get forward and play with flair and attacking prowess.

Questions are being posed, theories are being formulated and ultimately goals are being shipped as the most water-tight defence in the league is leaking goals and sinking fast.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Brent & Kilburn Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Kilburn Times