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Thoughts on the Northern Tour


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So with pre-season underway and 2 victories under our belts let's have a look at the performances on the Northern Tour. I wasn't at either match so I am basing my observations on the highlights from RTV. So what can we take from these 2 games?

It seems like Ally is keen on 2 different formations. In both games he altered between a team playing 4-1-3-2 and 4-4-2. The only part of the team he was consistent with was the midfield - in both games McAusland, Macleod and Law played in the 4-1-3-2 and Hutton, Black and Aird played in the 4-4-2. I am sure we would all agree we would rather have a midfield featuring Law and Macleod than Hutton and Black, so is McCoist leaning towards the 4-1-3-2? Lewis Macleod impressed in both games with his driving runs from midfield and he commented on how it was good to have McAusland sitting in front of the back 4 so he could push forward. What I liked about the 4-1-3-2 was the numbers we had in attacking positions. All too often last season we had little numbers in attack, mainly due to Black and Hutton sitting deep in midfield. Although the highlights didn't show us defending very often, Bilel Mohsni has been singled out for praise. Ally is keen to hold talks with him and take him down to Bristol on Saturday.

We also looked like we played some decent passing football as well over the 2 games. Everyone was fed up of seeing the long balls last season and with signing someone like Daly, we all thought we could be in for similar football this season. But looking at the opener against Brora, the players appear to be gaining some understanding and McAusland, Clark and Daly were all involved before a cool finish from Macleod. The only goal against Elgin was a solo effort from Fraser Aird. He had a mixed season in SFL3, starting off really well before failing to make much impact as the season went on. He is great when he is driving at players and committing them. With Templeton out injured this is his chance to give McCoist something to think about.

Looking back on these two games we really should have scored more goals. Clark, Jig and Daly all had good chances over the 2 games but failed to take them. You would imagine this will come as pre-season goes on though. Overall it was good to see some of the new players in action and I think we have been given an early indication as to the formation Ally wants the team to play. It will be interesting to see if he does alter it once Templeton returns.

If you want to see highlights of the games then you can get them on Rangers TV for 99p a match or you can subscribe for £5 a month and see all the action from pre season. The coverage has been very good so far.

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A 4-1-3-2 with a midfield of Black holding and Law, Macleod and Temps supporting Daly and Clark is :drool:

But with Temps seemingly struggling with injury it gives the likes of Aird, Little etc a chance to grab a spot and make it theirs for the start of the season.

Overall the Northern tour has been a good workout. Getting away and gelling the new signings into the squad while working them hard. By all accounts this has been a very hard and hopefully productive start to the preseason.

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Jock Wallace used to do pre-season at Gullane Sand Dunes, is Ally trying to start something similar?

imho doing pre-season up north is a great idea, good PR for a start and must be a lot cheaper than flying out to mainland Europe. We should do a 'highland' tour early July every year, say 2 weeks or so, with a 2/3 day mini-tournament with 4 clubs, played over a long weekend with all matches at one ground, the 'host' club could change every year to spread the benefits.

and additional midweek friendlies the week before and after.

Linfield would be a good shout for one of the other 4 sides, they always start European qualification very early so some (semi) competitive matches would be a big bonus for them.

Then back down to Auchenhowie mid-July, facilities there are as good as anywhere we will train pre-season in europe and running costs have to be paid whether we use it or not, so it makes financial sense to use it. We could round off pre-season with some more low-key friendlies in central Scotland before a couple of high profile/glamour ties at Ibrox.

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Jock Wallace used to do pre-season at Gullane Sand Dunes, is Ally trying to start something similar?

imho doing pre-season up north is a great idea, good PR for a start and must be a lot cheaper than flying out to mainland Europe. We should do a 'highland' tour early July every year, say 2 weeks or so, with a 2/3 day mini-tournament with 4 clubs, played over a long weekend with all matches at one ground, the 'host' club could change every year to spread the benefits.

and additional midweek friendlies the week before and after.

Linfield would be a good shout for one of the other 4 sides, they always start European qualification very early so some (semi) competitive matches would be a big bonus for them.

Then back down to Auchenhowie mid-July, facilities there are as good as anywhere we will train pre-season in europe and running costs have to be paid whether we use it or not, so it makes financial sense to use it. We could round off pre-season with some more low-key friendlies in central Scotland before a couple of high profile/glamour ties at Ibrox.

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A 4-1-3-2 with a midfield of Black holding and Law, Macleod and Temps supporting Daly and Clark is :drool:

But with Temps seemingly struggling with injury it gives the likes of Aird, Little etc a chance to grab a spot and make it theirs for the start of the season.

Overall the Northern tour has been a good workout. Getting away and gelling the new signings into the squad while working them hard. By all accounts this has been a very hard and hopefully productive start to the preseason.

McAusland did well playing infront of the back 4 against Brora but I would imagine once Peralta comes in, McAusland will revert to being a right back/centre back. I think we are going to have a very good balance in midfield this season and Macleod will have more license to push forward and chip in with 10+ goals.

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Going abroard on preseason is about isolating the squad outside their comfort zone to encourage team bonding. The benefits of a European leg of preseason shouldn't be overlooked or scrapped imo.

I agree with making this Northern tour the kick off to preseason an annual thing with the primary focuson fitness.

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McAusland did well playing infront of the back 4 against Brora but I would imagine once Peralta comes in, McAusland will revert to being a right back/centre back. I think we are going to have a very good balance in midfield this season and Macleod will have more license to push forward and chip in with 10+ goals.

Fair point about Kyle. Sounds like he did well and I liked his interview on the website. Keep forgetting about Peralta but with Ally saying the likes of Shiels, McKay, Temps etc will have to catch up with the rest of squad on preseason before coming into the team, I assume Arnie will be in a similar position.

Hope so mate. Proud to say I was at Ibrox to see his first Rangers goal, and what a peach it was. See many more Rangers goals for young Lewis.

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Overall it seems like the players got a good workout which is what pre-season is all about.

The upcoming games against Bristol, Gutersloh and Emmen will be a much tougher test for the players and it'll be interesting to see how we do.

Sounds like McAusland performed well but I wont be surprised if he is sent out on loan again this season as we have plenty of cover in the central midfield area and also at centre back (providing Mohsni and Pandza come in).

Hopefully we can extend Mohsni's trial and play him in the next few friendlies as I wouldn't like us to sign him based on good performances against the likes of Brora and Elgin. If he plays well against tougher opposition then I'd be happy with him putting pen to paper.

As for formations I'd be happy if McCoist stuck with either 4-4-2 or 4-1-3-2. As long as we are playing with 2 strikers I'm happy.

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.

Hope so mate. Proud to say I was at Ibrox to see his first Rangers goal, and what a peach it was. See many more Rangers goals for young Lewis.

Was that the one against Montrose? If so, great goal.

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In both games McCoist went with the 'big man, smaller man' combinations up front. Jig/Little and Daly/Clark against Brora and Jig/Clark and Daly/Little against Elgin. Going by the highlights I was most impressed with the Daly/Clark combination.

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Was that the one against Montrose? If so, great goal.

Aye. One touch Cruyff turn on the edge of the box leaving the defender stunned, right hand side Copland end, then slammed it past the keeper... :drool: and a star was born in my eyes. Can still see it clear as day. :)

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Seems to of been a very worthwhile trip the players must be chomping at the bit to get back to football and our tactics seem much more what we all wanted last season with more emphasis on passing and keeping the ball on the ground. I think with good squad competition for places players will be more focused and sharper and will benifit from a more solid unit of players rather than the odds and ends we signed rather panicked last summer. The main problem now is how to fit so many good players in to a starting 11 and I hope squad rotation is used as it keeps players match sharp and not feeling left out too much. Roll on stage two! :rangers:

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In both games McCoist went with the 'big man, smaller man' combinations up front. Jig/Little and Daly/Clark against Brora and Jig/Clark and Daly/Little against Elgin. Going by the highlights I was most impressed with the Daly/Clark combination.

It's interchangable: Daly/Clark, Daly/Little, Jig/Little, Jig/Clark... Need pace Little/Clark, need power Jig/Daly.

Our squad is so much better balanced this season and the competition for places will ensure a more consistent level of high performances.

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Defo a good thing and a tough workout.

Not pretty, but couple of wins and couple of clean sheets - I'll settle for that.

Hopefully see a good performance and result against higher caliber of opposition in Bristol on Saturday.

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Good for the teuchtars to see so many Union flags in their midst...............re teuchtar not meaning Rangers fans unless those that are

silly enough to vote for the people who want to destroy the Union.

But yeah the players got game time and down onto the beach. I have to say find it strange that they have to travel when they have Auchehowie that they allowed Sheffield United to use.........maybe Davie Weir will take Jimmy Bell away from the club, not that would be good news

Well it's the 12th today.the sun is out the guys are finishing the triple glazing and have to say, what a job they are doing and a good pair of Rangers men. So if anyone looking for this or roofline PM and will give you their number. They come from East Kilbride area.

So on the Glorious 12th the Good Old Glasgow banter is alive and kicking.

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