written by Robert Gray
On Sunday, our pathetic, gutless players were dismantled by a Celtic team that barely had to get out of first gear. On Monday, the Sports Direct cavalry came in with five Newcastle United loan players. Two defenders, two midfielders and a forward. Our very own Newcastle 5-a-side team. I get the feeling that a lot of Rangers fans will feel uneasy about this. Mike Ashley continues to tighten his grubby hands around our neck and now essentially looks like he’s picking the team.
Is that such a bad thing?
On Twitter yesterday, Keith Jackson floated the idea of whether Kenny McDowall would be forced into playing these players. I actually kind of hope that he is. These incoming recruits are young, which is something our management team doesn’t tend to like. They aren’t their pals. Should the management team stay in place, it does feel like someone will have to force their hand to get deadwood like Lee McCulloch and Nicky Law out the team.
I’m optimistic about these signings. Assuming they are given a chance (or if Ashley steps in and demands they play) they should create a competition for places which has been completely absent from our squad for far too long. So if they are all to play, who will they replace?
Ferguson is a left sided player who can play full back or left midfield. This is instantly good news. Hopefully this will be mean we no longer have to suffer Stevie Smith in midfield anymore. Nothing bad can come from this. Unless Ferguson is worse than Smith of course. But since a plank of wood could contribute more than Smith, I think this is unlikely.
A central midfielder, I’d like to see Bigirimana take the place of the worse than useless Nicky Law. Of all the offenders on Sunday, Law was the most offensive. Being swatted away by Van Dijk like a fly on his shoulder was about as embarrassing as it could get from a professional footballer. I hope to never see Law in a Rangers shirt again and hopefully Bigirimana will be the man to take his place.
This Slovenian forward sounds like an interesting player. He can apparently play out wide, up front or behind the striker. From our squads perspective, I’d like to see him played wide right at first so we can get Fraser Aird out the team. If he can cross the ball without hitting the player in front of him he’ll instantly be an improvement on Aird. His reported versatility though should come in handy. If he can play off the striker he could be another player that could replace Law which would allow Bigirimana to replace Ian Black/Kyle Hutton.
From what I’ve seen written about Streete he seems to be fairly highly rated and a defender with a lot of potential. My preference would be for him to take McCulloch’s place. The ‘captain’ is beyond past it and is never a centre half. Darren McGregor hasn’t been great lately either but at least centre half is his actual position.
Our final Sports Direct present is another defender who can play centre half or right back. Even if his main position is centre half, I still think it would be wise to play him at right back. No more Richard Foster! This calls for a celebration.
The most surprising thing for me yesterday was that deadline day came and went without a single player leaving Ibrox. Now, I know most of these players aren’t exactly going to court a lot of interest from many clubs but the surprise was that we actually knocked back two bids. Hamilton wanted Dean Shiels on loan. According to the ‘Inside the SPFL’ Twitter account, Rangers wanted a 50% wage contribution on any loan deal that came in. It says a lot about the kind of wages we’re throwing at these players that no one could come close to matching those kinds of demands.
Even more disappointingly though, Bolton came in with a late bid for Nicky Law and we knocked it back.
I’ll say that again. We knocked back an actual money bid for Nicky Law.
They offered £120,000 for him. I think there would have been a queue of Rangers fans willing to drive Law down to Bolton for his medical if we’d accepted that bid. Rejecting the offer, I think, will look even crazier if Law loses his place to Bigirimana or Vuckic.
We need to cut the deadwood. Being paid to do so would have made a lot of sense. Come back, Bolton! We can still do a deal!
You can follow Robert Gray on Twitter @RGray279