Giovanni van Bronckhorst beckoning his near-side wide midfielder towards the touchline is a now common sight at Ibrox.

Soon before Ianis Hagi reversed a ball into the feet of Alfredo Morelos leading up to a goal against St Johnstone, he had been motioned to pull towards the byline. In the first minutes of Sparta Prague’s Europa League visit, Borna Barisic was told to find Ryan Kent quickly wide on the left.

It proposes an entirely different threat to the two No.10s seen previously. And is, in Van Bronckhorst’s own words, the biggest change since he arrived at the club. To maximise the space opponents must defend – subsequently opening up central gaps his onrushing midfielders can occupy.

“I would say the biggest change since I came in is that we have started playing with out-and-out wingers - we have the players with those qualities to do that,” he told Dutch show Rondo.

When his team were struggling to find a way beyond Dundee United last Saturday – the half-time solution was to introduce width in the form of Scott Wright.

He explained post-match: “When you’re playing against a team that is defending really deep with five defenders I always try to play with wingers who can keep the width and pace.”

It’s a key principle that Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, a team Van Bronckhorst would’ve studied during his time with the City group, utilises.

“Normally people attack with the full-backs wide, we attack with the wingers wide,” Guardiola explains.

“I like that, I don’t know why, don’t ask me why, I love it, when the winger has the ball against the full-back and tries to dribble to the line, I like it. Since I was a teenager I like it.

“I would say that for our five or six years here we can negotiate many things but with the wingers, I don’t negotiate much.” 

One of football’s greatest minds putting a simplistic touch on a key facet of his tactical plan. Width in attacking areas is non-negotiable.

Its benefits are clearly evidenced. The defensive team cannot sit off these wingers as they would full-backs, such is their goal threat. Therefore, their defensive shape must be wide enough to engage wingers – leaving more space between the lines for others to exploit.

Against United, Hagi had started from the right and attacked infield. But with two defensive midfielders, the structure didn’t offer a great enough threat behind to stretch the opposing defence.

READ MORE: Does Ianis Hagi fit at Rangers under Giovanni van Bronckhorst?

Wright’s instruction to do so was clear from his first interaction.

He would have been encouraged to play infield and work quick combinations under the previous regime here. Trying to attack central spaces.

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However, as instructed by his manager he looked to stretch the pitch. Instead of attacking the half-space, that zone is opened up for the No.8s to occupy.

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Or here, picking the ball up from Scott Arfield the intention is to go around Dundee United where space is vacant – not through.

Rangers Review:

Rangers Review:

A look at the first and second-half pass networks shows how a greater attacking width from the right after the break. With Wright’s comfort to go inside or around, it’s no surprise the game-changing moment, a penalty, arrived from that side.

Rangers Review:

Rangers Review:

On the left, Kent has seen his instructions altered. Now attacking frequently from the left-wing, instead of starting centrally. 

Comparison of his successful carry map in games managed by Steven Gerrard (top) and Van Bronckhorst (bottom) this season in the Scottish Premiership outlines this.

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Rangers Review:

This width caused both goals against Hearts. For the opener, Taylor Moore is protecting against Joe Aribo running into a central position, his narrow positioning allows Kent space to turn.

With the ball in the air, Moore sprints from his central spot to close Kent down but is beaten easily. A goal would come as a result of the cross.

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Notice the spaces opened up either side of Hearts' right-back because of Kent's position.

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With this fresh in his mind, Moore defends wider and gets pinned to the Rangers winger soon after, leaving the gap necessary for Aribo to score. 

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READ MORE: Joe Aribo is destined for huge transfer but Rangers must command at least £15m for their prized asset - Derek Clark

Sakala too when playing from the left against Dundee benefitted from the structure set around him. Barisic’s inverted role allowed the left flank to often become a battle between Cammy Kerr and Sakala. The Zambian is a far more dangerous one-v-one threat than the Croatian left-back - which stretched Dundee's defensive banks.

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This principle is something The Rangers Review hypothesised the previous regime may adopt – to prevent predictable attacking rotations on either wing playing into the hands of opponents. 

"Inserting pace into the attack from wide areas, stretching the defence and crucially doing something different – this variation would make the space teams often surrender against Rangers in expectation of crosses a lot more dangerous to hand over."

Van Bronckhorst's biggest change is doing just that.