The Cowardly Captain

Lee McCulloch, courtesy of Robert Gray

written by Robert Gray

I started going to Rangers games in the early ’90s. My first season as a season ticket holder was the four in a row year, 1991/92. In all the years that I’ve been going to games since, yesterday was the first time I’d ever expected us to lose at home against a team like Raith Rovers. The main problem with these players, for me, is a lack of leadership. A lack of desire for someone to step up and take responsibility. We are a rudderless ship bound to smash to pieces on coming into contact with the first rock. Sadly, we hit that rock quite a few weeks ago and now we’re struggling along in a dinghy, throwing buckets of water overboard to stay afloat.

The problem is, every team we come up against now knows this. Raith showed up at Ibrox yesterday knowing we were there for the taking. Leadership should come from the top and our management team is obviously failing at this. But on the pitch, leadership should come first from the captain. Sadly, our captain is a coward. I’ve said this before on the Rangers Report but no player has benefited from our demise more than Lee McCulloch.

There’s a section of our support who still seem to view this guy as some kind of Rangers legend for ‘not walking away’. But think about it. When we went down, McCulloch was a squad player who was already finished. Where could he have gone? The other players who left were in the prime of their careers. Other clubs actually wanted them. McCulloch though would have ended up at a bottom half of the SPL kind of team. A Partick Thistle or a St Mirren and for a pay cut at that. Who else would have been crazy enough to pay him the wages that Rangers would give him? McCulloch is as much of a leech as Ally McCoist and the rest. Sucking every last penny they can out of a club that can barely afford to keep the lights on.

Lee McCulloch, courtesy of SNS

It’s depressing to think that a player who has played the majority of his career as a forward is the most untouchable member of our current squad – at centre half. A position he struggled in against part-timers and now is being exposed weekly against marginally better opposition. Aside from the fact that he is beyond past it, he was never a centre half in the first place. I had hoped bringing in Remie Streete would be the end of McCulloch – but instead, Darren McGregor, probably our best defender this season, gets dropped to accommodate him.

My biggest problem with McCulloch though is his attitude. Last week, we had him cuddling up to Kris Commons at half time having a laugh and a joke. I don’t care if they’re friends off the park but when you’re getting destroyed at half time by Celtic, having a chuckle with one of their players isn’t something Rangers fans want to see. But it wasn’t just that. We were thoroughly outplayed last week but when you want someone to show leadership, our captain instead goes and stamps on one of their players and was lucky not to get sent off. Would he learn his lesson? He would not. Yesterday, he elbowed and stamped on a Raith player in the first half and was lucky to avoid a red. Then, when we were 2-1 down, he cynically took out a Raith player and should have seen a second yellow. This isn’t how the captain of our team should be conducting himself. He needs to be a leader and keep his head. Elbowing and stamping on players doesn’t make him a hard man. It makes him a pathetic coward and it makes him the biggest problem on our team.

You can follow Robert Gray on Twitter @RGray279



32 thoughts on “The Cowardly Captain

  1. You have every right to criticise McCullochs performances this season , I happen to believe it is a case of one season too far .He is not a natural centre half and while he got away with it in the lower leagues , he is getting found out this year, when, to me , it looks like his legs have gone.I too would have hoped for Streete to form a partnership with McGregor , but that is a sign of our incompetent manager .
    Where I think you are totally out of order , is for criticising the guy for staying when all the others walked , whether he had other choices or not he did stay and led the team and club well for a couple of years when we needed it .He played a number of positions and scored a lot of goals and was a major factor in the club surviving .There are a number of the guys who left who have faded into obscurity and are not even playing at lower SPFL level , so his decision to stay and help , should not be criticised retrospectively .
    As for the alleged stamp …..he did go through Canning but he didn`t stamp on him , he trod on him as he put his foot down as he landed . Sometimes these things look bad when slowed down but it looked accidental to me.The other tackles whilst fouls , are nothing to get excited about .Some of the greatest captains we have ever had messrs Greig Butcher and Gough weren`t adverse to putting in the odd cynical challenge when the occasion required it.


    1. William I think this article is bang on the money I am led to believe big jig is on about 12k a week which is totally mind boggling, now where I think big jig is out of order is that he accepts this money & he must know he is finished as a centre back but refuses to say, look to whoever is manager I can’t play this position anymore that’s what a real captain would do but do you know what, not only does he still play centre back but he plays left centre does he think he is John Terry do me a favour the boy McGregor must be sick because he knows he will be dropped for him, as the article says he was a squad player nothing more nothing less


      1. Darren “All at Sea” McGregor? Jimmy Bell should lay out a lifejacket for him in the dressing room. If ever a boy needed an old head and not a converted midfielder/centre forward to show him the positional ropes he’s one.


    2. Absolutely WRONG to call Jig a “coward” or a “leech”. This is a Rangers player who was the FIRST to offer to play for FREE during Administration in order to save the jobs of Ibrox non playing staff when some other players didn’t want to. Jig made that happen,the behavior of a leech and coward? I think not.

      You do yourself a serious discredit when you write an article with many valid points in it but then you make your whole argument invalid by slandering a Rangers man as a coward and a leech when he isn’t. Why do the blogs on here consistently give out personal and below the belt remarks towards Rangers staff? I don’t get it!

      Yes as paying fans we are all entitled to our opinions on whether someone is fit for our team or not but when you start questioning more than their footballing ability is when you lost me. I cant take a blog serious when it calls a man a coward and a leech and the same man works closely with Rangers Charity foundation and he gives up a LOT of his free time to visit sick kids in hospitals and MANY other generous things he does behind the scenes that fans don’t always know about.

      Jig might not be the player he was and IMO he was NEVER a defender in his life and it IS wrong that he keeps guys like McGregor on the bench just because he is the captain and has to start every match,that IS wrong. If you had left out the vile comments about his alleged cowardice and him being a supposed leech,then you’d have written a good blog that many of us would share and pass it round to fellow Bears. There’s no way i can share this now when you turn it into a personal attack on a mans integrity. Wrong,Wrong,Wrong… although you were right about everything else you wrote. As i said,those comments betrayed your otherwise good article.


      1. That’s your opinion but the author is right (again, in my own opinion). McCulloch knew he had no better options and played rangers for mugs, picking up a paycheque that he doesn’t deserve.

        Cowardly. Leech.


  2. I agree McCulloch is now past it and this looks like season too many for Jig – but really I find it quite disgusting that you refer to him and especially McCoist as a leech! Both men stood by Rangers and showed leadership in our darkest days and maybe it is no coincidence that Rangers have really collapsed since McCoist left the club!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robert, you are way off the mark mate! Lee McCulloch had approaches from English Championship sides after administration yet chose to stay for family reasons. Calling him a leech is a bit much and dare I say it, out of order. But somehow I think you would’ve criticised him had he left with the others. The guy is a dyed in the wool bluenose who once he’d realised his life’s ambition to pull on a blue jersey wasn’t about to give it up easily. It’s fair enough to not like him as a player and justifiably criticise his performances, even though he is playing out of position, but to call him a leech is as unfair and unmerited as it is crass.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Spot on, been saying this for 3 years, the guy is not a defender nor a captain, I never rated him at any time at Rangers, but the past few year our defence has been nothing short of abysmal, have a look at the goals againt this season in a poor league. I for one would like to know the kind of wages he is on.


  5. What you said about our captain is partly correct, I am old enough to remember Shearer, Caldow and Greig, we are a rudderless ship both on and off the park. We have a goalkeeper (if you can call him that) who is without doubt the worst keeper at Ibrox in living memory yet he will almost certainly get a game on Friday night. The fact you are continually crap is no longer a barrier to pulling on a Rangers jersey. Lets get our club off the front pages of the newspapers and back to the sport pages were we belong. We have wasted the last three years so lets get our rudder attached and get our great club back on course


      1. Absolutely right about Simonsen , definitely the worst I have ever seen , although I was trying to remember the name of that French guy the Le Guen brought in before McGregor ousted him .He was fairly crap too !


  6. Robert Gray, yer a bawbag. The guy has been played out of position for years. McCoist signed Jon Daly when he had the perfect target man in McCulloch. He’s proved that throughout his career. Daly does fuck all to improve our team so with McCulloch playing that position, we would have freed money to buy a proper defender. As for the £12k per week, what a load of shite, he’s on nowhere near that. Also agree with TCWNS 1872 when he states that championship sides were in for him….I know for a fact the guy wanted to go nowhere and actually played for NO wages for 6 months. You need to have a good hard look at yourself and identify the real problem players that pull on that jersey….starting with the goalkeeper (goalkeeper my arse).


    1. Absolutely agree Billyboy!! Jig should have been played as a STRIKER and nothing else,I’ve said this since we began stage 1 of our journey back. I agree,why bring in Daly when we have Jig. Its bewildering. I’d keep Jig in the team as a striker in a heartbeat but hes never a defender. Your spot on about the keeper too…. Big Jig is NOT the “biggest problem we have”. I find it disappointing when we have Rangers blogs making personal attacks on current players. I didnt like it when it was Ally in the firing line either


  7. I would like to state first I have never rated Lee McCulloch in a Rangers jersey even back when the club forked out a massive 2.5 million for nothing but a player who at the time was a targetman playing out on our left wing. during his early days at the club he slowly became nothing more than a squad player before being utilized in our holding midfield role where somehow he managed to keep his place and this is where McCoist from then on had him as number one on the team sheet. after our demotion to the third tier of Scottish football he became a defender and a pretty awful one who had no pace. couldn’t command his penalty box and was always caught out of position. due to McCulloch being pals with the management and despite him and various others I will add playing terrible he was undroppable. I would also like to add at what he has earned and other money spinning sideshows since the clubs demotion. he has kept his massive wage packet which reputed is between £12,000 to £18,000 a week. he has also had a dvd done courtesy of the club and im sure that will add some digits onto his weekly wages and he has had an autobiography which was serialized by the Daily Record and foreworded by a very anti Rangers journalist. Lee McCulloch for me is nothing more than a glorified overpaid squad player who was lucky to get his dream move to Rangers and I cant wait till he is released by the club. his performances on the pitch have been nothing short of a disgrace. he is the worst captain in Rangers history and at times is nothing more than a bully on the park taking cheap elbows or stamps on opponents. and finally what Rangers Captain at half time in a league cup semi final where we are 2-0 down and being embarrassed has a wee talk and a laugh walking off the pitch with a Celtic player ? Exactly I sure a few of the readers will say. Lee McCulloch has took plain advantage of the Rangers crisis to his own good. and I can’t wait till he is released by the club come the summer. hard hitting this may seem to some people but not for me.


  8. I 100% agree with this. During the Raith game Kenny Miller was the only one trying to encourage his teammates. I’m not saying hand the captaincy over to Kenny as his legs are going away at a rapid rate aswell. However thats what i think we’re left with. McGregor has to partner Steele next time their both fit.


  9. I watched McCulloch at Wigan and he was feared by most defences he came up against. Step forward McCoist, (the worst manager I can recall in over 40 years of watching Rangers), and the guy is played anywhere but his right position and the aforementioned brings in the biggest load of dross in living memory. Fast forward to McDowall, (who doesn’t even warrant the respect of being called a manager), and you don’t even need to try to be a certain selection. As has been said above we have by far the worst goalkeeper that I can recall in living memory yet despite mistake after mistake he is in the team for the next game. The same with Foster, Black, Law, Miller and McCulloch. The sooner the five Newcastle Loanees are in the team the better. If we could give a couple of our youngsters, (for example Gallagher), a run of games it would also be a bonus. Lat but not least, what exactly is going on a Murray Park? One look at the grossly overweight Boyd, (I have seen fitter players on a Sunday morning Pub Team), and it is clear that there is no fitness training, no coaching and clearly, no tactics.


  10. This the worst Rangers team ever. From the day I was born 54 years ago i was a bluenose,through the good times & bad ,we have no leadership in the team the players have no backbone no bottle,no clue.They do not understand the institution that is Glasgow Rangers they do not know what playing for that Jersey means . We need a complete CLEAROUT from the board to 90+% of the players, this is my club and money men have done there best to Destroy It for personal gain. We are the GLASGOW RANGERS. I say get to the fundamentals & Traditions on which this great club were built. WATP.


  11. The most depressing thing about McCulloch is the refs ignoring his thuggery! With any other team he would be off regularly. He’s a shocking example for youngsters.


  12. The biggest problem yous have is kidding on yous are still rangers….liquidation means death…yous are an ex team..a tribute act…always on about transparency and truth well there have some…enjoy


  13. I agree with statements such as worst ever rangers team, out of position and is was only a squad player at best…

    I DONT agree with him being a leech as he did stay when he had offers down south, and to the idiot Dynafc,,, what’s the beef, jelious much??? Ur opinion don’t count as ur an idiot, so please find another forum like ur own teams for instance!!!

    I also think its bad that this story is about McCulloch, when there are worse players in the team than him, Law, Black, Foster, Aird, Smith, Boyd, all these players are either past it or just plain awful, Law n Black especially!!!


  14. Lee mcculloch’s wages are the same now as when he was signed, do you seriously think he was on less than 10k when he signed for 2.5m when the majority of the team were on big contracts? He is an average player, always was and it is pathetic he is a first pick. He has to resort to kicking out, jumping with his elbows everywhere and stamping on players. Do not be fooled about him wanting to stay, it is utter crap about him and mccoist getting credit for staying ‘through our darkest days’. It took mccoist about a year and a half to accept a “deferred” wage decrease and mcculloch’s kept his wages. They milked their fair share out of the club.


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