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Unconvincing Gers Make 100% Start To Season

The first four games of the season for Rangers have not seen the most convincing performances with some stuttering displays so far. After a roar of optimism swept through Edmiston Drive after the Gers signed Vladimir Weiss, James Beattie and Nikica Jelavic, the fans were brought right back to earth after some average displays against Kilmarnock, Hibernian, St Johnstone and Hamilton.

James Beattie makes Gers debut

The SPL Champions unfurled the league flag against Kilmarnock on August 14th and kick started their season with a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Kenny Miller and Steven Naismith. The visitors looked surprisingly comfortable at Ibrox under their new manager Mixu Paateleinen and made it very difficult for Rangers to break them down. The first new addition, James Beattie,  made his debut in a Rangers shirt and put in a very solid performance but could not add a goal to his decent performance. Steven Naismith was the standout performer as he deputised in centre-midfield with Steven Davis out with a virus.

Miller nets hat-trick away to Hibs

The tough trip to the new-look Easter Road awaited the Gers on the second weekend of the season and Smith’s men passed with flying colours after an impressive second-half performance. After a lacklustre first-half, the game was changed when Kyle Lafferty and Kevin McBride were sent-off and allowed the class of Rangers to shine through. Vladimir Weiss came on as a substitute and created a buzz amongst the supporters with his fine skill and pace. Kenny Miller netted a hat-trick in the last half-hour to give Rangers the three points from Edinburgh.

Miller scores late winner against Saints

Nikica Jelavic was added to the squad before the St Johnstone match and was named on the bench after his £4m switch from Rapid Vienna. The Saints silenced Ibrox after Danny Grainger fired in a stunning goal from the edge of the box on 21 minutes. Sasa Papac then bundled home the equaliser just before half-time and Kenny Miller netted his 5th goal in 3 games near the end to secure the three points in a stuttering performance. Jelavic came on with 20 minutes remaining and would need to wait until after the international break to make his first start for Rangers.

Jelavic and Miller steer Gers to win at Hamilton

New Douglas Park was next up for Rangers after what was an eventful international break as Scotland picked up four points from their first two games against Lithuania and Leichenstein. Nikica Jelavic made his first Rangers start alongside James Beattie and deadline day loan-signing Ricky Foster was on the bench. Jelavic took only 6 minutes to net his first SPL goal after superb wing-play from Kyle Lafferty and he delivered a cross right on the head of Jelavic who eased the ball home. The Gers then slipped into an awful performance which allowed Hamilton back into the game through a Bougherra O.G, but it was deserved after a lot of pressure on the Rangers goal. It took Rangers until 89 minutes for substitute Kenny Miller to net his 6th goal of the season with a neat lob over Tomas Cerny and you could hear the huge sigh of relief which kept Rangers at the top of the SPL.

Gers Make Strong Start In Champions League

In midweek, Rangers completed their first month of the season with a stunning 0-0 draw against Manchester United in the Champions League. Walter Smith left Beattie and Weiss on the bench as he opted for a 5-4-1 formation which came in for some heavy stick amongst the British press. At least, there were the few journalists who admired Smith’s tactical awareness to stop the Manchester United attack and force them into some long-range efforts from Darren Gibson. Papac, Weir, Bougherra, McCulloch and Edu all put in outstanding performances to give Rangers a superb start to their group and keep up an excellent record of Matchday One results.

The next month though will give a huge indication of how the SPL will go this season. The Gers will face Dundee United this weekend at Ibrox before games against Aberdeen, Hearts, Motherwell and Celtic. In the Champions League, Rangers will have a crunch home clash against Bursaspor before taking on Spanish giants Valencia. Between a gruelling month of competitive football, Rangers will take on Dunfermline in the League Cup as they attempt to hold on to their trophy from last season.

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