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The wrong men for the job

FOR me, Rangers' problems begin with the back four.

I have to be honest and say I was surprised Ally McCoist and his backroom team of Kenny McDowall and Ian Durrant went down the route of bringing in foreign players such as Emilson Cribari and Anestis Argyriou to play in Scotland's Third Division.

Ally is the manager, not me, but there were guys about in the summer like James McPake who would have fallen within Rangers' wage structure and, for me were more like the type of player they needed.

He is a solid and reliable centre-half who will give you the same week in, week out. He will organise things and get you through the game, and make sure you win the points whether the performance is good, bad or indifferent.

Give me a James McPake over a Cribari or an Argyriou any day. I was at Berwick when these two turned up for the first game and they must have wondered where the hell they had landed. They probably did not expect to be playing their football at grounds like those you get in the Third Division.

They look like the sort of players who want to get on the ball and play, but that is not what is required to win this division and it has been affecting young Ross Perry and even Lee Wallace. I can't see Rangers continuing to play the way they have been. There is too much wrong for it not to be addressed.

The first thing to do is to move Lee McCulloch back, but that alone won't solve all Rangers' problems. One of the things I have noticed is they are not doing enough off the ball. They need to get in people's faces and work hard when their opponents have possession, and then when they get the ball pass it a bit more quickly.

Instead, they seem to think, 'these teams are not great so we will get the ball off them'. But if they pressed from the front backwards they would steamroller teams. The players are not getting the chance to enjoy games.

Rangers will win the league anyway, but it shouldn't be like this. The worst thing for the fans about last week's Ramsdens Cup defeat to Queen of the South is that the malaise is starting to spread from away matches into home games. Some players are on long-term contracts, earning anything between £4000 and £10,000 a week.

I worked with Queens and work at East Fife now, and the simple fact is teams like that should not be beating Rangers. I saw Queens play Hibs in the League Cup and they were comfortable and clearly a dangerous side, but no team in the Third Division, barring the odd freak result here and there, should have enough to hurt Rangers.

There is no chance of McCoist walking away. I'm no longer sure how the fans would feel if he was sacked. There is no doubt he is a Rangers man and a big hero of the supporters, but the more you look at it – losing a double-figure lead in the SPL last season before administration, getting knocked out of Europe by Malmo and Maribor, and the League Cup by Falkirk last year, and now being beaten in Ramsdens Cup by Queen of the South – the more evidence there is that it isn't going the way McCoist planned.

If things go badly against Motherwell in the League Cup on Wednesday night, that could be another black mark. But McCoist knows all this. I was at Murray Park on Monday for a bounce game with East Fife and he isn't hiding away.

YESTERDAY, a newspaper published details of the punishment Rangers had been "offered" by the SPL and SFA over their alleged use of dual contracts – stripping them of five titles and four Scottish Cups.

At first look, the way the news came out didn't look good, as if the case had been prejudged and the punishment decided before Lord Nimmo Smith's inquiry sits.

But whether you believe the independence of the committee is compromised or not, this kind of thing should never be a bargaining situation. Whether Rangers agree with it or not, at least people are scrutinising the matter now – and a decision will be made one way or another.

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