Episode four of the Pure Fitbaw Podcast is out! Listen right here or subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or your chosen podcast provider: https://embed.simplecast.com/6a0d14e9?color=f5f5f5
The winter break is over! Wipe the sleep from your eyes, knock the remnants of a James Tavernier flung snowball from your hair, briefly register the shock of Auchinleck Talbot's giant killing triumph in the cup and strap in for the return of the Scottish Premiership. One of the stories of the season has been the appointment of Steven Gerrard as Rangers manager. Ahead of tonight's Kilmarnock versus Rangers clash (with added Jordan Jones flavoured spice ) two Pure Fitbaw writers had a quick WhatsApp conversation rating Gerrard's time at Ibrox so far.
You can feel it; that chill in the air, the darkness when you leave for work and darkness on your return home. The constant defrosting of your car in the morning and the taking down of the Christmas tree. There really is not a lot to look forward to in the month of January. Except for the January sales, of course. The thrill of trying to snag the bargain buys that will see you through the year. Well, my friends Dave King, Mark Allan and Steven Gerrard were first in the queue this year: picking up the bargains before anyone else even had a chance to browse through the rack.
Three lacklustre performances from Steven Gerrard's Rangers in a row have highlighted the side's lack of a creative spark in the middle of the park. Unable to break through the lines, playing in front of the opposition and not being able to break down low blocks are just some of the valid criticisms made about recent play. Are Rangers missing Josh Windass?
Steven Gerrard has made it no secret that the Rangers squad, on his arrival as manager, was not up to his expectations. Back to back third place finishes in the SPFL Premiership along with a lack of any silverware prior to Gerrard's appointment do seem to support his thoughts that, as well as there being issues with the leadership and tactics prior to his arrival, the standard of player has not been good enough. The addition of these new signings and the integration of youth prospects makes the current Rangers squad a group of between twenty-five and thirty players all of whom will be aiming to be part of the starting eleven. This is unsustainable for Rangers - having the bear the wage costs of a lot players who are unlikely to be first team regulars would be a clear waste of resources. Pure Fitbaw will take a look at three players (not including those we already know Gerrard has asked to leave such as Herrera, Cardoso and Forrester) who should look to leave Rangers as a result.
Alfredo Morelos and Moussa Dembélé are both 21 year old centre forwards and play for Glaswegian clubs in the SPFL Premiership. This season they have performed similarly in some respects; both averaging approximately a goal every two games and setting up a shooting chance for a teammate around 1.30 times every 90 minutes. However, despite these similarities there is a remarkable contrast between the two individuals. Given all the easy chances Morelos apparently misses is he more of a bull in a china shop than El Bufalo? If he isn't even trusted to start against Celtic it seems likely Rangers may explore selling him this summer. Morelos recently retweeted rumours of interest in him from Turkish club Beskitas and in some ways it would be understandable if he was looking for a way out of Ibrox. Celtic are likely to face rumours of the interest in Dembélé all summer and may be considering whether it is time to cash in. The players highlighted in this article can be viewed as both potential replacements or added depth and competition. They are all fairly young and are reasonably realistic targets - though some only as loan deals. Scout these players out and tell us your thoughts on them and who else both clubs should look at by tweeting @PureFitbaw and @OwenJamesBrown using #OldFirmReplacements - we'll be following this up with more suggestions in part two soon.
In a follow up to PureFitbaw's earlier piece. highlighting Liverpool players new Rangers manager Steven Gerrard could attempt to bring to Ibrox, Scott Rawlings casts the net a little wider and picks out more transfer targets. Let us know at PureFitbaw on Twitter which of these is going to happen, which you would like to happen and who else you would suggest for the Glasgow cl