Ferguson: Hard not to get carried away with Defoe and Davis signing's

Recoba

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#1
Rangers signing Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis makes it hard not to get carried away - Barry Ferguson
Ibrox legend has heaped praise on Steven Gerrard and reckons standards have finally been raised at the club.



  • 06:00, 11 JAN 2019

The temptation is to allow yourself to get a bit carried away.

Bluenoses up and down the country will know exactly what I mean by that after the signings of Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe.

But let me start by paying Steven Gerrard the ultimate compliment by saying Rangers suddenly feels like Rangers again. For the first time in almost eight years.

Listen, let’s get this straight. I’m not going to say my old club are going to win the league this season on the back of two January arrivals.

But what I will say is it feels as if they genuinely could. And that’s the biggest step forward there’s been at Ibrox since Walter Smith won the league title at Rugby Park in May 2011.





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When Gerrard came to the club I knew there would be big changes in terms of raising the standards of professionalism. That was an absolute certainty given the mess the previous manager had made of things behind the scenes having been so clearly out of his depth.



But even so, when the new campaign kicked off I was crossing my fingers and toes in the hope Gerrard might be able to make a decent fist of this fight. That Rangerscould at least put up a respectable challenge by cutting into the gap at the top. That was it. No more, no less.

Now though the whole game has just been changed. I look at Davis and Defoe joining the camp in Tenerife and I think, ‘Here we go!’ Overnight a team that went into the shutdown with a chance of taking Celtic all the way now looks like one that truly believes it will. Like a proper Rangers team should.

There’s only one man to thank for that and it’s Steven Gerrard.

All that said the first thing to realise is Celtic will not just roll over from here on in. I watched an interview with Brendan Rodgers the other day and it seemed clear to me he is nowhere near finished with his January business.



I’d be very surprised if he’s not got something very big up his sleeve between now and the end of the month and that’s why Rangers fans shouldn’t get ahead of themselves just yet. Celtic are a wounded animal right now and they will be desperate to bite back.

Timothy Weah and Vakoun Issouf Bayo look like a couple of excellent young prospects and they could be very exciting additions if they can hit the ground running alongside Odsonne Edouard.

But will Rodgers allow himself to go into the second half of this season with three strikers who are pretty wet behind the ears? I’m not buying that for a second. Not when Rangers have just upped the ante by bringing in a proven goalscorer of Defoe’s quality and standing in the game.

A lot of people have said to me this guy is 36 and coming towards the end of his carer which is all true. But I don’t see him as someone who has been looking for a final contract.

This guy is still fit as a fiddle and as good a striker as I’ve come up against. His CV speaks for itself – he scores goals at the very highest level.



He has everything a top striker needs and, after being starved of football this season, he’ll be hungry to prove he’s still the player he always has been.

On top of all that he’ll excite the rest of that dressing room and set standards for young boys like Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Jack, Ross McCrorie and Glenn Middleton. They all have big ambitions to get to the top and now they can see with their own eyes every single day exactly how hard they will have to work if they are to achieve it.

It reminds me of the lessons I learned as a youngster when people like Ronald de Boer and Arthur Numan walked into the dressing room.

Put it this way, if you can’t learn from top-level professionals like Defoe and Davis then you are in the wrong game.

What will be fascinating is to see how the team lines up in the second half of the season. Defoe and Davis have not come up here to sit on a bench so the question for Gerrard now is how does he accommodate them into his starting 11?



Davis is straightforward enough. As far as I’m concerned, even at 34, he’ll be the best midfielder at Ibrox and very possibly the whole of the league.

And, having played with him in a Rangers shirt, I feel reasonably qualified to make that assessment. This guy is an absolute dream to play beside with an incredible work ethic and desire to win. So he walks straight into that side.

Up front though Gerrard now has some serious options and decisions to make. With Morelos, Defoe and Kyle Lafferty to pick from what a wonderful headache he’s given himself.

You can forget about Morelos being sold unless some ridiculous offer comes in for him. And even then Gerrard would be dead against it.


  • So I’m really excited about the prospect of seeing Morelos and Defoe in the same side and I’m intrigued as to how the manager will go about it. I’m sure that’s what he’ll have been working on all this week in Tenerife.

The most exciting bit of it all for me is that Gerrard has just put another two born winners into the mix. Two guys with experience who will know how to handle the run-in and lead from the front.

Since Walter won that title in May 2011, standards have been allowed to slip.

A culture of accepting second best has crept in. That’s never been the Rangers I know. But it’s all starting to look a lot more familiar now.
 

GBTQ

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#2
It’s funny when an ex rangers player does a column we praise their signings but whenever any of their bitter lot talk about our signings it’s with a snide dig somewhere.

Let’s be honest no Celtic fan I’ve spoke too is excited about Weah or the other boy. They are both completely inexperienced at a decent level. Rangers should smell blood and I fully expect a proper title challenge now.
 

Recoba

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#3
It’s funny when an ex rangers player does a column we praise their signings but whenever any of their bitter lot talk about our signings it’s with a snide dig somewhere.

Let’s be honest no Celtic fan I’ve spoke too is excited about Weah or the other boy. They are both completely inexperienced at a decent level. Rangers should smell blood and I fully expect a proper title challenge now.
Agreed mate, for me its not only the signings its the fact the players beat them and beat them well, the lift and the belief they will have gained from that will be huge.
 

JD1872

Well-Known Member
#5
Good article but I don’t think that lot are planning anything big, their signings so far suggest there is not much of a budget or they are not backing rodgers because they know he will be gone in the summer
 

Recoba

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#8
Good article but I don’t think that lot are planning anything big, their signings so far suggest there is not much of a budget or they are not backing rodgers because they know he will be gone in the summer
I think they will spend a decent amount on a right back but thats it.
 

two2tango

Well-Known Member
#9
Celtic will probably sign another couple on loan

What they lack will a real quality player to come in

They have gambled on signing young players

It may work but will they perform when the going gets tough? Will they handle the physicality? I don’t think they will
 

essexbluenose

Well-Known Member
#10
Celtic will probably sign another couple on loan

What they lack will a real quality player to come in

They have gambled on signing young players

It may work but will they perform when the going gets tough? Will they handle the physicality? I don’t think they will
Its all about what we do really mate, must win our games.

Need to start winning away games on the bounce and killing teams off!
 

Crouchy

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#12
Decent article.

We need to keep the momentum going now though.

We have to start dispatching teams home and away.

We really need a run of 9 or 10 unbeaten.

We’ll start to play first again whilst the tarriers are in Europe. We need to crank up the heat.
 

Div1872

Well-Known Member
#13
The next few months football will be very interesting and hopefully really exciting for us

The team need to keep the standards up we showed v the Scum game.

That’s the challenge and if we can repeat that and possibly improve with Davis and Defoe then we can be optimistic but not too over confident as that could bite us on the arse

I don’t think the management team will allow complacency to kick in

As above our next few league games are vital. Killie and Livi away. Win them and it’s game on and hopefully we can go on and win 7/8 in a row and build the confidence
 

RichmondVARFC

Well-Known Member
#14
I think Davis will do a decent job, but at 34 I can't help but feel we shouldn't expect too much. I'm not excited at all about Defoe, 36 ffs, done nothing of note while at Bournemouth, I'm not really sure how anyone can see him as anything else other than backup to Morelos and, God, hopefully a better alternative to bring on than Lafferty when chasing a game. Forgive me though, I can still recall Wright, Ljungberg, Kranjcar and Barton performances up here.
 

Barrymoped

Well-Known Member
#15
An accurate piece from Barry and probably in keeping with how most bears feel, I certainly do, this finally feels like Rangers again with our signings, pumping them, everyone feeling positive. We have to keep it going though, we have a tough next 4 games in the league, if we can take 10 points from 12 I’d be happy.
 

Bowery Boy

Well-Known Member
#16
I think Davis will do a decent job, but at 34 I can't help but feel we shouldn't expect too much. I'm not excited at all about Defoe, 36 ffs, done nothing of note while at Bournemouth, I'm not really sure how anyone can see him as anything else other than backup to Morelos and, God, hopefully a better alternative to bring on than Lafferty when chasing a game. Forgive me though, I can still recall Wright, Ljungberg, Kranjcar and Barton performances up here.
A glass half empty type of guy, eh?
 

TQ3

Well-Known Member
#19
Good article but I don’t think that lot are planning anything big, their signings so far suggest there is not much of a budget or they are not backing rodgers because they know he will be gone in the summer
I agree, the way they have tried to hype Weah as if it’s his dad, and the other boy was described as a top signing by Skysports. They are prospects but not finished articles like Defoe and Davis!
Let’s go!
 

temperance

Well-Known Member
#20
A
I think Davis will do a decent job, but at 34 I can't help but feel we shouldn't expect too much. I'm not excited at all about Defoe, 36 ffs, done nothing of note while at Bournemouth, I'm not really sure how anyone can see him as anything else other than backup to Morelos and, God, hopefully a better alternative to bring on than Lafferty when chasing a game. Forgive me though, I can still recall Wright, Ljungberg, Kranjcar and Barton performances up here.
Ah well, let’s just give up then :(
 

jackstar

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#21
Good article but I don’t think that lot are planning anything big, their signings so far suggest there is not much of a budget or they are not backing rodgers because they know he will be gone in the summer
Surely they would've brought someone big in by now and they still haven't really addressed that defence,I know they signed the American but it's still nowhere near what they need. That support of theirs will be panicing because they haven't got anyone in of decent pedigree.
 

Jjbscotty

Well-Known Member
#22
I think Davis will do a decent job, but at 34 I can't help but feel we shouldn't expect too much. I'm not excited at all about Defoe, 36 ffs, done nothing of note while at Bournemouth, I'm not really sure how anyone can see him as anything else other than backup to Morelos and, God, hopefully a better alternative to bring on than Lafferty when chasing a game. Forgive me though, I can still recall Wright, Ljungberg, Kranjcar and Barton performances up here.
Mate if kenny miller can still be one of the top scorers in the country at 39 im sure defoe can score plenty of goals.
 

wsb&warmy

Well-Known Member
#23
I think Davis will do a decent job, but at 34 I can't help but feel we shouldn't expect too much. I'm not excited at all about Defoe, 36 ffs, done nothing of note while at Bournemouth, I'm not really sure how anyone can see him as anything else other than backup to Morelos and, God, hopefully a better alternative to bring on than Lafferty when chasing a game. Forgive me though, I can still recall Wright, Ljungberg, Kranjcar and Barton performances up here.
Negative much?
 

mkgers

Well-Known Member
#24
For me the most exciting thing about Defoe is the potential impact on Morelos. He is already exceptionally strong, hard-working and can turn any defender.

Now I'm not saying that Alfie can't score goals but you've got to think that watching, training and playing with one of the EPL's all-time top goal scorers every day will only help with his ability to score goals.

This either gives us a potentially world-class player in the long run or a world-class transfer fee.
 

Robbie Wilson

Well-Known Member
#25
Go unbeaten between now and going to the pedodome has to be the aim.
Rangers still 7/2, think I need to have a bit of that were not that price to win the Leauge....
 
#26
Barry hits the nail on the head there when he says there's no guarantee as to whether we will win the league but as things stand "we could".

Have read a lot of comments saying we need to win first four league games after the break. The players will be coached into only thinking about one game at a time. Might help if the fans think the same way and treat every game as a cup final. The first game against Kilmarnock will be tough and that's the only one that matters until it's finished.
 

Blue Tack

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#28
Its all about what we do however ill be amazed if they dont counter defoe with a big(ger) signing .

Their fans are okay-ish with who theyve signed but nowhere near the box office stuff we are signing ,if they dont make a marquee signing then its the clearest indicator hes on his way and that may be the reason he's not getting lots of money to spend,that and the fact that the market is lean as well
 

Hap Hapablap

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#31
Biggest obstacle in winning this league was never Celtic, it was our players believing we could.

Gerrard has managed to deliver that mentality. Reality is we are 1 year ahead of schedule. We have been presented with a chance to win the league this season. Every Rangers player and supporter now has to buy into that.
 

spirit_of_93

Well-Known Member
#34
Biggest obstacle in winning this league was never Celtic, it was our players believing we could.

Gerrard has managed to deliver that mentality. Reality is we are 1 year ahead of schedule. We have been presented with a chance to win the league this season. Every Rangers player and supporter now has to buy into that.
We now have a tremendous character and figurehead in charge, and strong characters and leaders down the spine of the team, McGregor, McAuley, Davis, Defoe, the experience these guys bring will be invaluable. Complimented with a great mix of young talent and players who are hitting their prime like Arfield, Jack, Goldson, Tav, the squad is in great shape. It’s all there for a proper go at the title, few realistically expected that from us this season.
 

Arminius

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Official Ticketer
#35
Its all about what we do really mate, must win our games.

Need to start winning away games on the bounce and killing teams off!
Absolutely, which I think is why a lot are really excited about Defoe and Davis.

We've been crying out for a lethal finisher (that's not a dig at Alfie, who's been terrific, albeit still liable to miss a few really good chances) and somebody who can stick a killer ball through tight defences.

So, Davis feeding both Defoe and Morelos is a prospect that genuinely excites me. Also, if we play both strikers at the same time, it'll definitely create more problems for defences and more space for each of them. At the moment, teams focus on Alfie on the basis that they figure if they can stop him scoring, they'll stop us scoring.

Honestly can't wait to see how this all pans out when the footie kicks off again (on the 18th?)
 

Arminius

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#36
Mate if kenny miller can still be one of the top scorers in the country at 39 im sure defoe can score plenty of goals.
That's actually a very good comparison.

Kenny Miler is another player who really looked after himself. He is still astonishingly fit for someone his age, as is Defoe. Defoe is also a clean living, non drinking, athlete.

I've genuinely got absolutely no concerns about the degree of fitness Defoe has maintained. Yes, he's maybe lost a little of his pace, but playing for Rangers that can often not be so important. Half the time we are battering teams with everyone behind the ball. So, what we need who is adept and getting a snap shot away or finding a yard inside a packed box.

Defoe 100% can still do that.
 

spirit_of_93

Well-Known Member
#37
Absolutely, which I think is why a lot are really excited about Defoe and Davis.

We've been crying out for a lethal finisher (that's not a dig at Alfie, who's been terrific, albeit still liable to miss a few really good chances) and somebody who can stick a killer ball through tight defences.

So, Davis feeding both Defoe and Morelos is a prospect that genuinely excites me. Also, if we play both strikers at the same time, it'll definitely create more problems for defences and more space for each of them. At the moment, teams focus on Alfie on the basis that they figure if they can stop him scoring, they'll stop us scoring.

Honestly can't wait to see how this all pans out when the footie kicks off again (on the 18th?)
Davis is ideal for wide players like Kent and Candeias as well, his range of passing is superb and he will get the ball to them at the right times in the right areas.

As you say roll on the 18th!
 
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