The Chalkboard: Formation change can rescue Rangers’ defensive crisis

Rangers have fallen apart defensively in recent weeks, and a change in formation could be the perfect solution for Steven Gerrard’s side.

The Chalkboard

After finding a colossal centre-back pairing with Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic earlier in the season, the Gers have been disastrous at the back in recent weeks.

Loan signing Joe Worrall looks like Bambi on ice with the ball at his feet, and Katic and Goldson are nowhere near the level they were earlier in the campaign.

Gareth McAuley’s recent return to fitness and the versatility of Ross McCrorie means Gerrard now has five towering centre-backs at his disposal, and a switch to a back three could aid the Gers at both ends of the pitch.

A new role for McCrorie?

McCrorie has yet to really settle under Gerrard, and he is unlikely to displace Ryan Jack from the defensive midfield position. He could excel as one of the wide centre-backs in a back three though, where a mixture of power and mobility is key.

The centre-backs in a back three should also be great passers of the ball, which is why moving a midfielder into the defence is not a crazy as it sounds. Mauricio Pochettino has done something similar at Tottenham, often deploying Eric Dier in a back three.

Good news for Tavernier?

James Tavernier has taken loads of stick in recent weeks, but the captain still has something to offer. His defensive frailties are badly exposed when he goes forward, and he could be much better suited as a wing-back.

This would allow the 27-year-old to focus primarily on attacking, and he has already proven he can get himself on the scoresheet.

Bye bye Flanagan?

Finally, a back three would likely mean no place for Jon Flanagan, who is simply not mobile enough to play as wing-back.

The former Liverpool youngster has come under intense criticism for his recent displays, and some time out of the limelight could do him the world of good.

This would also create a place for Borna Barisic, whose deliveries and overlapping runs would be absolutely lethal with the added protection behind him.

So, Rangers fans, do you think the gaffer should experiment with three at the back? Or stick to what he knows? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…