Saturday, 2 May 2015

If McCulloch plays, Rangers can forget promotion

With victory today, Rangers only needed Falkirk to continue their fine run against Hibernian, and second place was assured for the Ibrox men.

As it transpired, the result at Tynecastle (2-2) was immaterial due to the visitors’ thrashing of the Bairns to secure runners’ up spot.

Unfortunately today’s match highlighted, once again, that Lee McCulloch’s mere presence in the team is enough to ‘infect’ it and once that virus spreads, the defence turns to mush.

0-2 up and cruising, and manager Stuart McCall in his wisdom decided to bring Jig on, who had been benched for the first team in three years. Whether the clause is now gone is up for debate as the decision itself was beyond ludicrous – upset a strolling defence with 10 minutes to go and lo and behold Hearts snatch a draw thanks to the defence crumbling.

There was zero logic in this move, and it forces the notion that the clause has been watered down to ‘appearance’ rather than ‘start’.

But that aside, the capitulation of the defence literally the second McCulloch appeared proved that if he features in the playoffs in any capacity, promotion is a busted flush.

He ruined this match – Rangers were cruising, with Bell only forced into a few stops all match.

The second he was on, that was it. Many will argue it was McCall who ruined the match by bringing him on, and if there is no clause, that is true. But what sane man would bring on the world’s worst defender with 10 minutes to go when the existing defence does not need altered?

Either McCall’s judgement is diabolical, or the clause is still there in some form.

Rangers are capable of promotion, with a bit of luck, and a few breaks against Fowler’s Queen of the South.

But if McCulloch is part of the equation, you can forget it.
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