Giovanni van Bronckhorst couldn’t have asked for a much harder start to life as Rangers manager, not only does he face a crucial Europa League tie that is, potentially, worth millions, but, he has to pick his side up from their worst result and performance of the season.
He has already hinted at changes but whether or not this in approach or personnel remains to be seen, however, there is no doubt that there has to be a definite change in focus from those that are chosen to start against Sparta Prague.
Gio will be unlikely to make huge calls early doors, if the fans were in charge though, Allan McGregor, James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and Alfredo Morelos would all be watching from the sidelines, at the most, we might see two of them on the bench.
If he has looked at recent games where we have performed well, I’d expect the new gaffer to go with something like this to see us all but secure knockout football after Christmas:
As with most fans, I think there should be a few senior members of this team looking over their shoulder, but, I just can’t see there being wholesale changes to the starting XI – yet.
If our experienced defenders can’t sort out the issues we saw against Hibs they shouldn’t be at the club, they are the same ones that broke records last season after all, however, they are all skating on very thin ice.
Ryan Jack must be nearing full fitness and if he is able to start, then he should, at the expense of Steven Davis alongside either Glen Kamara or John Lundstram, the latter having a strong claim to being our best midfielder this season outside of Joe Aribo.
In attack is where we might see the most tinkering, albeit subtle, more creativity and more pace in the shape of Ianis Hagi and Fashion Sakala – two players that can’t have their work rate and commitment to the cause questioned, with more space likely to be available, the combination could be invaluable.
It’s going to be one of the most eagerly anticipated line-ups of the season, and a real glimpse into what we can expect from Van Bronckhorst as a manager, let’s hope he can get his Rangers career off to a winning start regardless of who he picks to do the job.