'Not a one summer fix' - Rangers title chances played down by Ibrox legend despite Celtic upheaval
Hateley believes the champions’ loss of manager Ange Postecoglou to Tottenham Hotspur does not materially alter the “challenge” faced by Michael Beale in seeking to mould a squad capable of knocking their two-in-a-row ancient adversaries from their perch. And sorting out what he presents as glaring deficiencies at the top end of the pitch for the Ibrox manager is a task he considers may not be able to be completed in the course of one summer window. The former England striker believes that three new centre forwards must be recruited by Beale as a result of Alfredo Morelos having moved on, Antonio Colak’s suitability for a high energy approach debatable, and concerns over Kemar Roofe’s fitness.
Postecoglou’s departure could tip the scales “a wee bit”, the 61-year-old conceded, but only if Rangers enjoy considerable success with their summer recruitment. The former AC Milan frontman appearing somewhat non-plussed over the Ibrox side’s £3.5m pursuit of Cyriel Dessers of relegated Cremonese.
“There’s a lot to be done at Rangers right now. I don’t think it’s a one summer fix, to be quite honest,” he said. “It’s all change now because certain players have left the club. The way the style of play can be adapted. Over the past two or three seasons, there’s been one style of play at Rangers. It’s been 4-3-3 and it’s never changed from that. Within that formation they’ve played slightly differently but it’s generally been a 4-3-3. It’s a big turnover. You can see that. And it’s not a one summer turnover for me. It’s far more than that. It’s going to take a lot of investment when you look at what is needed right now.
‘You need a goalscorer. You don’t need one, you don’t need two, you need three goal scorers. You need two that are in your starting 11 who can score more goals than your right back and your captain [James Tavernier] if you are going to have a chance of winning anything. That’s a given. Alfredo could only play as a one. He found it really difficult to play with another player around him. That’s out of the equation now. The way Rangers and Michael approach it now is a completely blank canvas. There’s a possibility of playing three at the back, five across the middle and two up front. All that sort of stuff. That’s what’s opened up now for Rangers.
“[In terms of what happens at Celtic much is] depending on the structure that’s in place for the agreement that Ange will have with Celtic and Tottenham about taking players. Until we find that out, we just don’t know. The way Celtic have played consistently over the period has been very, very good.
“That doesn’t change if the players stay the same. You are still going to retain one of the guys who’s been in the backroom staff. Whoever is going to come in will have the same philosophy. I would imagine that’s the way the Celtic board will probably go – with the same sort of principles the team has to have. If he [the new manager] does have then it just continues. But it depends on whether the players stay or are attracted down to the Premier League.”
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