Today we have a mountain to climb as we play Rangers Reserves in the 2nd Round of the IRN-BRU Cup (Now known as the Tunnock Caramel Wafer Cup IRL) but before then we have a ton of stuff to go through – transfers, awards, stats, all that good stuff.
Our U18 drew 1-1 with Newtongrange Res, 16yo Striker Alex Gourlay with the goal.
Our Res lost 2-1 to Dunfermline Res, 18yo striker Ross Gilmour with the goal.
Andy Doig (17yo AMR) has gone out on loan to Pollok for the season.
I also had to turn Clyde down over a deal for our budding 18yo left fullback Lewis Faulds – Just under £1k was offered but I want him to be my starter in the next 6 months or so, with his 5* potential £1k was nowhere near enough.
NEW SIGNING ON DEADLINE DAY
Aaron Dunsmore (24, 5ft 10in) comes in on a free after leaving East Fife at the end of last season. I’ve mentioned him before as a target and he picked us over Cowdenbeath. At £130/wk he’s our most expensive player, and I expected him to come in as the best as rated by Current Ability but that isn’t the case. We also have a conundrum as he is our best right FB/WB/Winger but Marky Munro has been so strong to this point, and I also have Hamish Morrison and a now unhappy Ross Meechan all vying for those spots, so I’ll need to do a bit of juggling. I do see Aaron as a long term signing though, and will get him starting in the next couple of weeks. He’s overall a very strong wingback for this level. IRL He’s still with east Fife, plying his trade in League 1 as a stand-out player for his team, but he seems to be a little bit of a whiny bitch in game (Said I wasn’t worried if he didn’t produce in big games as long as someone else did, trying to reduce any pressure on him in a Press Conference, he didn’t like it!, plus he was always unhappy at East Fife).
Big Rod came 3rd in player of the month for League 2 for August.
Sean Slaven and Harry Nicolson made it a 1-2 for Young Player of the Month for League 2 for August
As expected I got Manager of the Month for League 2 for August 🙂
Now to Stats.
Lots of positive changes to attributes this month, special mentions to Dean Cornelius with 6 increased attributes, and Harry Nicolson, Kieran McGrath, Sean Slaven & Tom Sutherland all with 4 increased attributes.
Kieran McGrath has also put a bit of weight on (1kg to 72kg). Liam Watt (26) however has lost another kilo (Now 74)
Headline stats as follows:
Passing – very good percentages for Lewis Barr, Andy Turner & Tom Sutherland, but not enough key passes/game for my liking in what was a very good month.
Crossing – Marky Munro – 23.5% completion on his 4 Crossing attribute 🙂
Heading – Sean Slaven completing 2/3rds of his headers as a striker & having 11 key headers is superb. Harry Nicolson completing almost 9 out of 10 as a defender is equally as superb.
Offsides – Kieran McGrath strays offside a bit too much – over 2 per game last month.
Goals Scored – Both Sean Slaven & Kieran McGrath with 4 in the month, Sean with almost a goal per 90 minutes.
Assists – Conor McLauglin with over an assist per 90 minutes stands out.
Overall and looking at the above the Wingplay tactic should work a treat. I’ll play that v Stranraer in our next league game I think.
xG – Average of 1.970 for the month v 1.655 overall for Berwick, 16 shots on average in August v Average 13.966 overall for Berwick, 8.75 shots on target in August on average v 7.966 overall
If we look at the expected we scored 0.22 goals/game less than expected in August and had 0.561 shots on target less than expected. I think by not playing the scattergun Gegenpress we should be able to improve on this somewhat.
I’ve got a few players getting sniffy about game time (Reserve Keeper Shea Dowie & right back Ross Meechan) and i’ll need to keep on top of it somehow so as not to overly affect morale.
So today we travel the 109 miles across the country to the Rangers Training Centre at Auchenhowie in North Glasgow (Milngavie). The scouts give us no hope at all (Some of the players available are on over £5k/week wages) so its a bit of a free hit.
Back to Control Possession for this one – McGrath & Slaven swapped after the Elgin craziness, with Marky Munro hopefully hitting Sean Slaven rather than Kieran McGrath today. Sutherland plays as his preferred AP, Cornelius in for Barr in the middle. Everybody else as you will for this formation – This will most probably be a backup trained formation for hard games in future as I plan to roll out the Wingplay tactic next game. Rangers Res go with a 5-2-3/4-5-1 WB Wide formation, could be interesting, though all I want is a solid performance here.
HT Rangers Res 1 (Mayo 31) Berwick 0
A bright breezy start, but you can see the physical danger Rangers second-string provide, they are so quick to close-down and press. It should have been 1-0 though to Berwick in the 6th minute – Slaven fluffing a 1-on-1 after a long ball from Big Rod. Strangely Rangers have a couple of players in the low 60%’s for condition after only 15minutes – I wouldn’t think they are short of a player or three. But it was 1-0 Rangers Res in the 31st minute – pinball in the area from a corner allowing Mayo to finish. The half finished 1-0, slightly unlucky but you can see the difference in class when rangers get forward. Going to try Wingplay in the second half – 4-4-2
Dunsmore on for his debut for Cornelius, McNiff on at left wingback for Big Rod. This allows us to see how the formation might operate.
FT Rangers Res 2 (Mayo 31, Middleton 88) Berwick 0 Att 716 (3 Away)
Again, a good start, Dunsmore with some expansive passing and a decent shot, drawing a good save. Barr for Sutherland after 65. And we couldn’t break them down, a break in the 88th gave Rangers their 2nd – Middleton with the goal. And it finished 2-0, a pretty fair result and it shows the gulf in players at both teams’ disposal. Another £6k goes in the kitty.
Next Saturday we go away to Stranraer for the first time this save (Including today’s game we have 5 away games in a row, the whole of September in game) – They look decent from the scout report but are 9th currently and only won 1 game in August out of 8 – Expect a tough game! I’ll roll out a new Wingplay/Press gestalt tactic as we have 5 league games on the spin before the Scottish Cup 2nd Round in mid October. See you then.