Lee McCulloch and the Hall of Fame

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The Rangers’ Hall of Fame is a
prestigious bastion of honour. It is a collection of, to date, 82 of the
greatest servants the club has been endowed with throughout its glorious
history.
It is a truly exceptional list of
players, from the Great Dane, to The Goalie and Der Goalie, along with the
Greatest Ever Ranger. Rangers fans know who these legends are, along with other
incumbents such as the Hammer.
The nominations are up again for
an 83rd entry, and the names in the hat this time around are:
Fernando Ricksen, Gary Stevens,
Dave McPherson, Alex Miller, Gordon Durie, and Lee McCulloch.
The criteria for picking a new
member to join this illustrious list are thus:
Service to the Club; Appearances
Made; Honours Won; International Caps Gained Whilst at the Club; Exceptional
Ability.
I do not think it is the most
controversial assertion to suggest some of the nominations this time around are
borderline scraping the barrel, with, genuinely, only two of those mooted being
even worthy contenders, those being Stevens and Miller.
Fernando Ricksen did have a very
good season in midfield for Rangers, and was a title-winning captain, but it is
a heck of a stretch to suggest he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. One
cannot help wondering if this is a sympathy vote in light of his recent
terrible affliction.
Dave McPherson was the Kirk
Broadfoot of his day. Loyal and giving, but quite honestly beyond limited on
the park, and while he gave his all and carried himself with utter dignity, he
was the very epitome of a ‘cult hero’.
Gordon Durie was a decent player,
and scored a fair few goals at Ibrox, but again, it seems over his head to
include him as a nomination.
And then we come to Lee
McCulloch. First off Lee, if you are reading this, we all know what a gent you are,
what a loyal servant you have been, and how we will never forget what you have
given to this club in terms of sacrifice and staying put when others walked
away. But in terms of Hall of Fame it is my (most likely very unpopular)
assertion that he is an awful nomination.
Prior to administration McCulloch
was firmly rooted as a rotation/bench player. 2009/2010 was his best season,
amassing 38 starts. That aside it varied between 20-40. Which, is not exactly a
terrible return, but, and I hate to say this; McCulloch was not a popular
player among the fans at Ibrox prior to admin.
He was regarded as a carthorse, a
player who could play anywhere but play well nowhere. A utility player, his
best slot was regarded as up front, mainly because his aerial ability was
without question. And yet even there his most productive season, as mentioned,
was 09/10 where he scored…6 goals.
Ally McCoist he was not.
I know all this sounds insulting,
but football fans have short memories, and when his name was on the team sheet
most fans sighed. And I really do feel bad for being so harsh on him, but I
also want to be as factual as I can.
Then you have the administration
period. 3 Scottish players showed incredible loyalty – Alexander, Wallace, and
McCulloch. McCulloch was given the captaincy by default and became absolutely
revered. Not because he is Messi, but because he stayed. And I have no issue
with that – Wallace is revered for a similar reason, although in his case, he
is closer to Philip Lahm than we deserve to have.
But the fact is McCulloch now
occupies a defence he does not have the right to reside in. He cannot defend on
any level, and I genuinely do not recall the last time I heard ‘good clearing
header by McCulloch’ from any commentator. It is always his partner because
McCulloch spends all his time with his hand in the air incorrectly playing
offside and being caught out of position. He also has a criminal lack of pace
and has no awareness of the opposition players around him, only his own.
At this level he is a very decent
option to have on the bench, especially given his scoring rate last season when
occupying the striking berth (a position he is effective in at the lower
levels). But after Rangers’ last two matches where we conceded 3 V
Stenhousemuir then ‘Keeper Bell bailed us out repeatedly V Stanraer, it is
abundant that McCulloch is one of the worst defenders the club has suffered. He
is no better than the absolutely abject Emilson Cribari.
But, I am going a little
off-track here. Do we thank McCulloch for his contribution to Rangers since
administration started – yes. Do we admire and appreciate his loyalty –
absolutely. And we respect his character because I am well aware the man has
done unknown public duties for those in need, things which do not make the
press.
But does he deserve to be in the
Hall of Fame? Against the last 5 incumbents Albertz, Ferguson, Amoruso, Klos and Weir…Lee
McCulloch’s name just does not fit. 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Absolutely spot on, McCulloch will always be regarded as a hero for staying and showing great loyalty to a club he undoubtabley loves. But to put him on the hall of fame would significantly lower how prestigious the hall of fame is.

  2. These are exceptional times, and his loyalty and commitment was exceptional. If he was up against some real Rangers greats, I would concede that he probably didn't deserve it.
    But looking at the list, he isn't.
    Not one Rangers fan who will live through this period will forget what has went on. And I for one, are willing to change the 'Legend' criteria to fit in the attribute of 100% loyalty from a lifelong Rangers fan, who wanted to play for his beloved team as much as I do / did.
    BTW, I don't think he ever claimed that he was a defender. He is a Ranger and would play everywhere or anywhere to wear the fine colours.

    • Think your being a wee bit unfair about Lee's ability , he's been a good player for Gers , though I do agree never a centre half . Infact I do feel at this current time Ali should be swapping him and Daly around , as the defence has been extremely poor of late . Daly hasn't been playing well up front either and sometimes looks like he's lost interest , maybe he'd do better at the back . Lee will still do a good job as the target man . While i'm at it , I also feel Lee Wallace is waisted at left back and should be playing in midfield . He has the potential to be a new John Greig in there and Steven Smith is a capable and reliable full back replacement . We owe a lot of thanks to Lee Mac for sticking with it and keeping the Rangers spirit where others faltered , so please , a bit more respect .

  3. I could not agree more with the second comment. I do agree with Ibrox Noise's analysis, BUT these are exceptional times. Anybody like to contemplate our season in the 3rd Division without the leadership of "Big Jig"?
    He stayed, he scored the goals and wherever he was on the pitch, he led. The first criteria mentioned was service to the club. I agree that McCulloch does not meet any of the other criteria. But he meets the first one. He owns it.

    Looking back over our history, how many players or staff have given the level of service he has? It must be noted, he would not have got any great offers elsewhere, so we could imply self interest. But he didn't run. When we didn't know if we could put 11 men on the pitch to fill our first fixture, we knew we had three men and some boys. He was one of the men.

    Sympathy for Nando notwithstanding, I don't even see this as a contest. Its a walkover.

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