The John Lundstram code cracked as Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst learns from Celtic mistakes


Giovanni van Bronckhorst got it in the neck for his tactical choices in last week’s disastrous Old Firm humbling at Celtic Park.

But he has shown that he’s a man that can learn from his mistakes after plotting what turned out to be an absolute thrashing of Hearts at Ibrox by Rangers yesterday.

Of course, tactics and style at home are always going to be different and undoubtedly more offensive.

However, there was an intensity and better pace about Rangers’ movement as they pressed Hearts high up the pitch from the outset.

And van Bronckhorst utilized his players in a far better way with John Lundstram and Ryan Jack playing significant roles in the heart of the midfield where they dominated.

If only they had played at Parkhead, the Rangers fans will be lamenting.

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Lundstram is a player the Ibrox faithful are fairly lukewarm about. Indeed, many were hoping the rumors of a move to Middlesbrough where he would be reunited with Chris Wilder were true.

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However, he showed in the 5-0 drubbing of Hearts that he can offer solidity and drive from the middle of the park while Jack brings such control, energy and aggression.

These qualities were desperately lacking in Glasgow’s East End last week as more forward-thinking players were told to sit back and try to soak up Celtic pressure.

Of course, you can set a team up any way you like but you need each player to do his bit and van Bronckhorst will be heartened that he saw vast improvement.

GvB might be onto something here because Glen Kamara’s form had dipped – although he came on and scored an excellent goal against the Jambos – and Steve Davis is just back after injury issues.


With Aaron Ramsey easing his way in with game time minutes it might be two weeks before he starts a match so Lundstram may be a useful man allowing Joe Aribo and Scott Arfield to play further forward until Ramsey is ready.

Ryan Kent was a far better performer than the one who offered so little at Celtic Park – even if he did miss glaring chances.

However, the over-riding catalyst to Rangers’ excellent reaction was Alfredo Morelos.

While he was away wasting his time with the Colombian national squad – he wasn’t even on the bench for the matches against Peru and Argentina – Rangers were shipping vital points.

They lost seven out of 12 and that has handed the title advantage to their great rivals – even if it is one point.

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Would Rangers have dropped points at Pittodrie or Dingwall with Morelos in the side? Probably not.

And they would have been more of a threat to Celtic last week with the striker in their ranks.

Two clinical finishes were highly impressive, but it’s the way he intimidates and out-muscles defenders.

He is such a focal point for the team and undoubtedly pivotal to Rangers’ hopes of retaining the title.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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