Signings, Rebuilding and Optimism at Ibrox

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May 1st 2012 – the summer
transfer window opened for Scottish clubs and excitement built for fans as they
read newspaper article after Internet rumour after Twitter story – all to one
end; the sheer adrenaline rush and thrill fans of football clubs get from the
anticipation of a shiny new signing joining the ranks of their team.
Of course, I flippantly made the
rather facetious use of the word ‘all’ there because one club’s fans were
significantly denied the peace-of-mind in summer 2012 to get excited about what
new players would sign on the dotted line, because that club’s fans were more
worried about whether they would even have a club to support come the new
season.
That club was of course Rangers,
a team whose fans went through the absolute wringer last year, and who are not
entirely free of it now.
However, the one exciting
difference is while the club had to suddenly rebuild last summer with the utter
dregs available at short notice both at home and abroad, this time good
planning has gone into the summer break, and not only has the club arranged a
very productive-looking pre-season clutch of fixtures including Belgian cracks
AA Gent, EPL giants Newcastle United and Sheffield Wednesday from England’s
League One, but new signings have been coming thick and fast for the Ibrox
giants building a very real sense of optimism among supporters along the way.
Not only have Rangers and Ally
McCoist been properly preparing for the new season, but it will be in Division
2, which, while not quite the Bundesliga compared to Division 3, is still a
step up and a new adventure rather than playing, with all due respect to them,
Stirling Albion 4 times again.
The biggest fillip for supporters
is the sheer rebuilding taking place in Govan, however. Instead of last-minute
panic signings which simply did not work out, real scouting and long-term
planning has taken place and acquisitions which have been linked for months
have been secured. McCoist, McDowall and Durrant have pondered these signings
for a considerable time rather than having to make quick-fire decisions.
The likes of Lewis MacLeod,
Barrie McKay, Andrew Little, David Templeton and Lee Wallace will be joined by
a flurry of genuinely exciting signings. Let us have a look at what each will
bring:
Confirmed signings:
Cammy Bell: An exciting goalkeeper
who has waited till his 26th year before he got the move his ability deserved, Bell is highly-rated
among SPL observers. Cammy is a Rangers fan and got his dream move to Ibrox
from Kilmarnock, a club who have provided quite a few successful players to
Ibrox such as Boyd and Naismith, and hopes are high that the former Queen of
the South stopper can grow from there. His signature surely means the end of
Neil Alexander’s underwhelming time in Rangers’ goal.
Arnold Peralta: With Rangers desperately in
need of a reliable defensive midfielder after the general failure of both Ian
Black and Kyle Hutton to establish themselves in that slot, manager Ally
McCoist has turned to Honduran international Peralta who has appeared for his
country on several occasions. The 13-times capped 24 year-old South American is
undeniably not the most familiar quantity for Ibrox fans, but his name is
another linked with Glasgow’s South Side for some considerable time, and it is
hoped his gritty abilities in the engine room will complement Lewis MacLeod and
the upcoming signature perfectly.
Nicky Law: If anyone was in any doubt as to what former Motherwell
midfielder Nicky will bring to the side, the man himself stated to yours truly:
                                   
                              “hard working, attacking”
In other words a player with a
solid work ethic who supports the strikers but will not let down his colleagues
in the middle of the park. Box-to-box is one possible way to label him. Law was
coveted by many clubs both north of the border and south, but chose Ibrox. It
was quite a capture for McCoist and the Englishman is sure to be a success for
his new employers if his excellent attitude thus far is anything to go by.
Nicky Clark: Queen of the South did not want to let their star striker
Clark go, but Rangers’ second Nicky was not
going to turn the Gers down. Division 2’s top scorer last season, Clark scored
against his future team at Ibrox in the Ramsden’s Cup and his attitude has also
been impressive, recently tweeting that having finished his summer break, as a
professional he has returned to regimented training. This certainly beats
players boasting about easy sessions or trips to restaurants. As an aside, he
scored 40 for QOTS – an astounding record and it is easy to see why McCoist
secured him.
Jon Daly: A depressingly ‘controversial’ signing because he is the
first Irish Catholic to join Rangers, Rangers’ fans, by and large, have been
the ones least interested in his ‘ethnic roots’ and more interested in what the
big man from Dublin will bring to the side. Aged 30, Rangers is the marquee
move Daly has waited for his entire career, and the huge 6’3 striker is also
imposing as a defender and may well play at the back. He will be a huge target
man if deployed up top and while his goal quota is not overwhelming, his
ability to hold up play and provide knock-downs et al for others will be an
excellent tool if needed.
Strongly rumoured:
Steven Smith: I was not entirely certain whether or not to include
Smith, given he has not officially joined as of yet and the story around his
capture has rather died down since Durrant publicly promoted the idea of him
joining, but on the off-chance the former Ibrox left-back does indeed rejoin
the ranks, it is a rather curious signature. Rangers require a right back given
the dearth of genuine quality there, but are blessed by arguably Scotland’s
best left back as it stands in Lee Wallace. So Smith’s arrival is a slightly
strange one should it materialise, and his first spell at Ibrox certainly did
not set the heather alight. A very modest and ‘functional’ left back, Smith was
never endowed with great positional sense or pace, and indeed struggled to
displace Gregory Vignal in that position. So is the ‘signing’ for cover or do
Rangers intend to cash in on Wallace and ‘downgrade’ to Smith for the purposes
of saving cash in Division 2? Who knows.
Marius Zaliukas: Another very strong link is that of Lithuanian
Zaliukas. Former Hearts’ captain Marius is 29 and a Lithuanian international.
The defender bowed out of Tynecastle and is currently a free agent. His strong
and aggressive style but with a hint of finesse would make him an ideal capture
and solution for some of the defensive frailties presented by Cribari and Perry
but his national team boss has warned him he would lose his place for Lithuania
if he joined so it would appear an outside bet.
However, the confirmed captures
are extremely promising and bode well alongside the better players in the
squad: Bell,
Daly, Wallace, MacLeod, Law, Templeton, Peralta, McKay, Little, Clark.
The quality here is clearly good
enough for the SPL never mind the second division but at the very least, along
with aforementioned pre-season schedule lined up for Rangers, the Ibrox club
have been able to plan for next season more than sufficiently.
Rangers fans can really look
forward now and hope the negative stories blighting the club in recent times
continue to fade as they have rather slightly in the past couple of weeks.

6 COMMENTS

  1. no surrender,up all the haters,yous can say what you like septic fans but were going no where you want us to die wont happin so keep talking rubbish and writting rubbish and go bother about the spl as we don't care what yous monkeys say rfc then rfc now rfc forever 55 and counting you tryed to take them but failed ha ha ha ha ha ha,we welcome the chase

  2. Jon Daly – Big, Strong, Clever and Experienced already in our kit, how soon can he start!
    Canberra Rangers Man

  3. Sad that you said neil alexander has been underwhelming he had a fair time at ibrox
    especially the eufa cup run !

    • agree with chamurd ,alexander had 2 or 3 howlers but so did mcgregor and others .Alexander will be fondly remembered as one of those who decided to stay when the club was on its knees

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