Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughMcCoist needs some early Christmas presents - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough McCoist needs some early Christmas presents - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

McCoist needs some early Christmas presents

With the Christmas rush round the corner and the January sales not far behind, Rangers fans could be forgiven for approaching this festive period with some trepidation.

This weekend begins a run of games that could well shape their title chances.  The next 5 matches taking them to the start of January include this weekend’s trip to Easter Road, a trip to St. Mirren, a meeting with McCall’s impressive Motherwell and a wee jaunt to Parkhead.

Their form has been some way short of their best of late, and it is a cause for concern to see Davis and Jelavic both struggling to impact on games in a manner that befits their talent.

The Croat has scored enough goals already this season to keep confidence in him ticking over; his class is not in question. But he hasn’t managed to produce the form of last season when he returned from injury and it has caused some to speculate on faltering commitment. 

His work rate and body language are not the issue.  His attitude since being at the club has always been first class for a player robbed of the carrot that lead him to Ibrox.  It is almost as is he is fighting against his frustrations, his effort let down by his continued poor first touch and a succession of fluffed chances.

He will move one day, maybe sooner rather than later. He was brought to Ibrox on the belief that European football was a given, that his talent would gain wider recognition on the inevitable platform.  It could hardly have worked out worse for the club and the £4m striker.  So any frustrations he may be harboring can be understood, he is a Croatian international player whose total European action in a season and a half amounts to 2 lost ties against very modest opposition.

Since Naismith’s injury Steve Davis’ form has suffered dramatically. The centre of midfield is without doubt his natural position, but like last season he has been shuffled to the right flank and back again to cover the loss of Naismith. His form has dropped as a result, only offering fleeting moments of the quality he possesses.  In the beginning weeks of the season, adorned with the captains arm band and free from being shuffled around he produced a caliber of performance that backed up the much-used tag of best midfielder in the country.

McCoist has to find a way to reinvigorate them both in the coming weeks.

With McKay, Bedoya, Wylde, Aluko and Ortiz to consider, and the freeing of Davis a priority, a switch to a 5-man midfield would allow for 2 out-an-out wingers and extra scope for Davis to conjure some much needed guile in the last 3rd, given the base of McCulloch and Edu sitting behind him. There isn’t much of an argument at this time in favour of the pairing of Jelavic and Lafferty in a 4-4-2. Supporting Jelavic from midfield (again, something Rangers have lost with Naismith’s absence) and providing him with more frequent balls into the box would be aided in this formation. Currently it feels that there is too much of a disconnect between midfield and attack.

With both continually linked with a move across the border, the prospect could look all the more inviting for them if come the early weeks of 2012 they are the ones chasing in the title race.

The results of the upcoming sequence of games are doubly important, in the efforts to hold on to their star 2 and, in turn, the chances of holding onto their title.

Niall Miller

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