Welcome to the first part of my season analysis. The analysis has been divided into 3 parts, namely:-
1) Players (First Team only)
2) Finances and Scotland’s place in the world
3) Awards and Youth
PART I – THE PLAYERS
Well this was a pretty successful season for the Rangers, we had won the treble and had advanced further than we were expected to in the UCL. Despite a few hiccups in the beginning of the season, we did not lose a single game in thereon and are currently on a 36 match unbeaten streak.
How the players lined up in all competitions sorted in terms of average rating:-
Here is the player’s performance in the UCL sorted by average rating:-
And here is the final list of players lined up in all competitions in terms of goals scored:-
Well, as you can see, I have tried to give as many chances to all the players possible as there are only 3 players in a 25 man strong squad with less than 10 starting appearances (Jamie Ness has 17 appearances if you count his sub appearances). Kane Hemmings was away on a loan for most of the season (6 months) whereas Darren Ramsey and Ness were given their matches only in the second half of the season.
Analysing the player’s, by the position:-
McGregor is the undisputed star goalkeeper of the SPL. His awe-inspiring performances in the Champions League, helped us. His amazing one-on-one work prevented some key goals that would have surely gone in. He may be 30, but the way he has been performing, he looks more like 25. Amazing. I am not selling him, despite my rather strict 30 and above policy.
Neil Alexander was complaining and cribbing about his lack of appearances in the beginning of the season. So I gave him his chances. 17 of them. He simply didnt do well enough to challenge McGregor for the top spot. He showed flashes of brilliance, but those flashes werent consistent. He is leaving at the end of the season because 1) Performance 2) Age (33). Hope to bring in some new blood next season.
Bocanegra started the season in this position. After revising my tactics, he was made to play at left wingback. He failed to adapt to it, but since at the time I did not have much faith in Lee Wallace, I continued with him. He struggled. He was consistently beaten by faster wingers and did not provide any help to the wingers up front. He is 30+ and will be sold in the transfer window.
Lee Wallace had a slow start and was eventually used as a rotation option. But then again, consistent good performances and his ability to put in good crosses made him dethrone Bocanegra. Dominated the position of wingback in the second half of the season.
Diogo bought in on a free transfer was played at wingback, but unlike Bocanegra, quickly adapted to the position. He may be on the wrong side of 25 but he can tackle and is great in one-on-one situations. He is sometimes beaten by the faster winger but then again, very few can defend like he can. In the SPL atleast. Prone to losing his temper which earned him 2 reds and 15 yellows.
Whittaker was average even though his rating doesnt say it. He was defending decently but same problem with Bocanegra, he didnt come ahead to support the winger. And no, he wasnt playing out of position, his natural position IS wingback. If I find a good enough replacement, I might sell him. Any suggestions?
Well, we had some pretty amazing performances here by all 3 of my defenders. Goian was an evergreen performer and was a force in the defence. He was truly a big game player. Broadfoot was also good. Both Goian and Broadfoot scored 8 goals a piece which is amazing for a defender. Broadfoot tapered off a little in the end but then again, was pretty consistent for the rest of the season. Prestia started off a little shaky, going from superb to supremely average. But he found his footing in the second half, and has not looked back since. Looked every part if the 1.7 million spent on him.
Muralha arrived in January and performed brilliantly. He made some very vital challenges in the UCL matches against Barcelona and managed to keep Xavi quiet for both the matches. His playmaking abilities also have not gone unnoticed. I bought him as a DM and he has performed well so far. And he’s just 18.
Two of my new recruits, Liam Polworth and Saul play in this position. Polworth was brilliant in the first half of the season, scoring on his debut. But then, something happened to him and his form dipped. I tried to send him out on loan but no club would take him. He was shunted to the youth team, but brilliant performances in the youth team made me take him back up. And his average performances continued. I play him in as a central midfielder which is out of position, but then he doesnt even perform in his preferred position. Luckily, he is just 17 and I hope I can send him out on loan.
Saul was completely different. He started as well as Polworth did, scoring in his 2nd match. But despite that, he continued his form as a CM and played quite well. He is still 17 though and has been labelled the next Pep Guardiola. That is flattering.
Steven Davis was sensational. He racked up, believe it or not, 35 assists this season. He has been instrumental. His amazing corners resulting 12 goals for Goian and Broadfoot. His ability to create the killer pass has been instrumental in helping Naismith and Griffiths scoring the number of goals this season.
Fleck was fantastic in the first half of the season. Despite being given an inside forward role, he created 20 goals in the whole season. Add to this 22 goals in the whole season and you have a fantastic goal scorer/creator in Fleck. His performances fell by a lot in the end of the season. He shows incredible maturity at just 20 years of age and his performances this season have resulted in his star rating increasing from 1.5 stars to 3 stars. And an inclusion in Scotland’s EURO 2012 squad.
Jamie Ness was bumped up from reserve squad. He played only in the second half of the season and has impressed. He created some good chances for the strikers and his ability to win the ball back is impressive. A good and young replacement for Alejandro Bedoya if you will.
Darren Ramsey was promoted from the youth squad. His performances have been average but then again, he is just 16. I hope I can get a feeder club next season to allow him to get more playing time.
My two young wingers, Reimerink and Wylde have been pretty good this season. Wylde’s performances in the CL (see above) had the highest average rating in the whole squad. He is fast and pacy and his dribbling causes many problems. He is a decent finisher too. His only problem is that he tends to go for goal if he is in the penalty area, no matter which position. His performances have led him to get a spot in Scotland’s EURO 2012 squad.
Reimerink enjoyed a good run as a winger and his ability to play on both flanks really helps me out a great deal. He is not as fast and pacy as Wylde is but his crosses are perfect (12 assists). His only problem is that he lacks the composure to finish off one on one chances (he missed 4 this season) but no problem, he is still young and will learn.
Ortiz is one player whose performances range from average to worse. He always used to do well against very inferior sides like Dunfermline but suffered poorly against superior sides like Celtic, Dundee Utd and others. His pace wasnt much to save his life and a deal to Vitesse was done and dusted. He WAS leaving. Finally.
Naismith was played as a winger but I have covered him in the forwards department.
Except for Lafferty, this area was a huge plus for the Rangers. Our forwards’ clinical finishing helped us out of many tight and sticky situations.
Steven Naismith was a revelation this season. 43 goals in 48 appearances. His ability to score goals from half chances and his ability to score most of the clear chances are simply awe-inspiring. He continued banging them in, even though I moved him to the right wing. He even had 12 assists. Inspirational stuff.
Leigh Griffiths was probably my signing of the season. Came for a million from Wolves in January. He was decent when he played for Hibs in the first half of the season scoring 6 goals. However, on 10th of January when he arrived at the Ibrox Stadium, he took Scotland by storm. He proceeded to score 17 goals in 20 matches, with an average rating of 7.64. He needs to work a little on his assists but when it comes to the goal scoring, we have a winner.
Kane Hemming is still young (19) and I considered him a flop when I played him for a couple of matches when both of my strikers were injured. However, a loan move to Falkirk changed all that. He played well enough but needs to work on his finishing and composure.
BTW I have Carlos Fierro coming in next season. SPL Defenders, be afraid. Be very afraid.
Players who are leaving:-
Steven Whittaker ( If suitable replacement is found)
Darren Ramsey (loan)
Liam Polworth/Saul (loan)
Kane Hemming (loan)
A new left back (less than 23)
New centre backs (less than 25)
A right winger (less than 20)
A goalkeeper (less than 20)
A new striker – Carlos Fierro
Best Players in each area of the field:-
Dorin Goian (he will be missed)
SIGNING OF THE SEASON
That I leave upto you guys. Who do you think?
Have I left out any players that I should be selling/keeping?