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Rangers Football Club are a team based in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city. Rangers have won more league titles and trebles than any other club in the world, winning the league title 54 times, the Scottish Cup 33 times and the Scottish League Cup 27 times, and achieving the treble of all three in the same season seven times. Rangers were the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final and won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972 after being runner-up twice in 1961 and 1967. A third runners-up finish in Europe came in the UEFA Cup in 2008. Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm. Founded in 1872, Rangers were one of the eleven original members of the Scottish Football League and remained in the top division continuously until the liquidation of The Rangers Football Club PLC at the end of the 2011–12 season. With a new corporate identity, the club gained admittance to the fourth tier of Scottish league football in time for the start of the following season, and were promoted three times in four years to return to the top flight where they will face off with a rampant Celtic team that are on a quest for the ever elusive 10 in a row.
Stadium and training facility
The club used a variety of grounds in Glasgow as a venue for home matches in the years between 1872 and 1899. The first was Flesher’s Haugh, situated on Glasgow Green, followed by Burnbank in the Kelvinbridge area of the city, and then Kinning Park for ten years from the mid-1870s to the mid-1880s. From February of the 1886–87 season, Cathkin Park was used until the first Ibrox Park, in the Ibrox area of south-west Glasgow, was inaugurated for the following season. Ibrox Stadium in its current incarnation was originally designed by the architect Archibald Leitch, a Rangers fan who also played a part in the design of, among others, Old Trafford in Manchester and Highbury in London. The stadium was inaugurated on 30 December 1899, and Rangers defeated Hearts 3–1 in the first match held there. Rangers’ training facility is located in Auchenhowie, Glasgow. The facility is known as Murray Park after former chairman and owner Sir David Murray. It was proposed by then-manager Dick Advocaat upon his arrival at the club in 1998. It was completed in 2001 at a cost of £14 million. Murray Park was the first purpose-built facility of its kind in Scotland, and incorporates features including nine football pitches, a state of the art gym, a hydrotherapy pool, and a video-editing suite. Rangers’ youth teams are also accommodated at Murray Park, with around 140 players between under-10 and under-19 age groups using the training centre. Various first-team players have come through the ranks at Murray Park, including Alan Hutton, Allan McGreggor, Chris Burke, Stevie Smith, John Fleck, Danny Wilson and Charlie Adam.
In terms of expectations with the club they are perhaps a little higher than what the quality of the squad could achieve. The minimum expectations from the club are that you win the league, reach the semi final of the league cup and reach the final of the Scottish Cup.
Goalkeepers – The goalkeepers at the club are pretty decent for this level of football and Wes Foderingham should be your number one goalkeeper. Matt Gilks is a decent back up option but at the age of thirty-four has nothing to offer the club going forwards. A better choice of back up would be young Robby McRorie who has the potential to far exceed Foderingham. He may not have the stats but he performs well and could progress into a good player if he’s given the chance.
Fullback – This is perhaps your strongest area of the park in terms of starters as James Tavernier and Lee Wallace are fantastic fullbacks and should remain first picks for at least three years. Lee Hodson is an able deputy in both positions so keeping him as back up is a good idea. Scott Gray is a good young player and could be given some game time should he be needed in a crisis. Has some good potential and a cracking couple of stats.
Centre Back – This is a tricky area of the team as on paper the tentre backs at the club are strong. I didn’t think Philippe Senderos, Rob Kiernan or Clint Hill were up to scratch though and I quickly binned all three of them. Which would leave you with just Danny Wilson and Matt Crooks. Wilson is a great centreback in Scottish football and he could be another player that would warrant first team football for at least three years. Crooks, for me, doesn’t quite have what it takes to be a player of the standard you would expect of Rangers. Some much needed strength in depth needed here.
Centre Midfield – Joey Barton just about has the edge of Jordan Rossiter as the best midfielder at the club. Aside from those two though, your strength in depth at the heart of the midfield is seriously lacking. The versatile duo of Matt Crooks and Josh Windass could cover here but I would strongly suggest bringing in reinforcement’s. Personally, I felt that it was best to get rid of Barton as he’s on a decent wage, isn’t getting any younger and I don’t think he’ll be back playing for us either. I would rather play Rossiter and bring in a couple of midfielders, like I did do in my own season.
Attacking Midfielders and Wingers – A strong starting trio of Harry Forrester, Barrie McKay & Niko Krancjar is an exciting prospect for the club. Michael O’Halloran, Jason Holt, Josh Windass & Martyn Waghorn are all very able back ups for these positions too. On my save I let Krancjar leave on a free and loaned Forrester out but looking back on it I wish I’d started with a 4-2-3-1 tactic and gave the aforementioned trio a chance to shine alongside each other. I would recommend you keep ahold of all of these players as each of them have the potential to be match winners. I don’t think there are many wingers you could bring in for the budget that would improve the team too much either unless you find a good player to loan in. Your budget would be better spent in more important areas though.
Strikers – Going on past experiences of FM16 and seeing how well Joe Dodoo usually does and the amount of goals he scores I suggest making him your starting striker in the poacher role. I also have my poacher’s individual instructions set to ease of tackles and move into channels which I feel makes a big difference, not sure how or why but I believe it does. He scored 26 in 34 for me in my save. Joe Garner isn’t a player that I’d ever sign and from what I’ve seen of him in real life I’ve no idea why we have. He’s just an aggressive player that runs about like a headless chicken trying to injure people. Anyway, in game he done decent enough for me when I had to use him but ideally I wouldn’t like to. He’s not worth trying to sell though as he is decent enough back up. Waghorn can play here as well but I wasn’t convinced about starting him every game, possibly because in my mind Dodoo was the starter and even when I gave Waghorn a game he wasn’t anything special. I sold Waghorn in January for £650k and I wouldn’t say he’s worth keeping. Dodoo can be a bit inconsistent and hits some weird shots which is perhaps down to his weak mental stats. I’d be happy to keep Dodoo for two or three seasons before looking for a replacement unless there was someone available for a good price that was much better.
Overall verdict – If you want to win the league the first time around then I would say the best thing to do would be to keep the squad largely the same but added in a couple of central defenders and central midfielders. If you are willing to be patient and want to build a strong young team then I’d sell Senderos, Hill, Kiernan, Gilks & Barton, possibly Krancjar but I’ve changed my mind on him as he’d be good behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1. Promote McRorie to first team keeper or as a rotation/back up, give Scott Gray, Jack Thomson, Jamie Barjonas and possibly Ursene Mouanda some games. Give Liam Burt and Zak Rudden as many games as possible, particularly Rudden as I’ve found that he has goals in him when given the chance. Feel free to ask for any screenshots from my game if it’s related to Rangers or the Scottish leagues.
Transfer targets – The way I went about my transfer business was to bring in some proven SPFL players that were capable of fitting straight into my starting eleven. I highly recommend signing Josh Meekings, Michael Devlin, Fraser Fyvie, John McGinn & Diego Poyet permanently. I also brought in Mason Holgate on loan for the season and I’ve now extended his deal into another season on my game, had the chance to sign him for £400k after the first season but blew it by being stingy and by the time he would renegotiate with me he was back off the transfer list and they wouldn’t sell. I also brought in Kenny McLean from Aberdeen but he wasn’t very good and he then got injured for 8 months!! His ability has massively decreased now I brought in the above players for a combined £2.9m but some of the deals had some add ons too. I was able to spend that by getting the big earners off the wage bill and I transferred the added wages into the transfer budget. The good thing about these players is that they will sign for a pittance in comparison to anyone you try to bring in from outside Scotland.
P.S. Sign Barrie McKay onto a long contract, he started moaning about moving to a bigger club in January and I loaned him out thinking he’d drop the issue. He didn’t. I played him in games until about August in the 2017/18 season and then he said he was thinking about leaving on a free at the end of the season. So if you want to avoid him leaving on a free get him signed up! He’s a great player, was gutted to have to sell him.
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