Why Nicky Clark will never cut it at Rangers

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Clark celebrating a rare Rangers goal

(editor’s note: Forgive me for the woeful headline pun)


Signed two and a half years ago, Nicky Clark came to Ibrox with a stunning reputation. Having smashed over 40 goals for Queen of the South in 2012/2013 at a higher level, he looked a ready-made talisman, a 20+ goal a season striker who would bag them for fun in Govan.

The harsh reality, 30 or so months later, is he just is not good enough for a club the size of Rangers.

This is not meant to attack his actual ability – even in the-then Division Two scoring 40+ is a brilliant achievement and worthy of praise. The problem is Clark seems to suffer ‘small club mentality’ – as soon as he dons the shirt of a big club, he loses confidence, belief, and his vital first touch deserts him, and more often than not he runs around aimlessly. Many fans have described him as a headless chicken.

17 goals in over 60 appearances for Rangers is not the tally of a clinical finisher.

He has been through four managers at Rangers, and none have believed in him. Rarely making two starts in a row, Clark has epitomised a player with heart, effort, but a complete lack of quality.

He started yesterday’s match through Miller’s injury – but for that he would have been on the bench.

This article sounds like it is absolutely slaughtering the lad, and maybe that is true and I am a little unfair – he is certainly one of us, and gives everything he has – the truth is though it is not good enough.

He is acceptable as a bench option, but in a fully-fit Rangers he would never start unless to give the first-choice players a rest.

It is telling that from League One through to the Championship, he has never asserted himself as a first choice. It is time to believe in young Ryan Hardie and make him the first-choice sub instead of Clark.

Clark had his chance and just never took it – Hardie deserves his.

16 COMMENTS

  1. The old adage – "You might be a good player, but can you play for The Rangers?" rings true.

    A lot of fans blamed McCoist for playing him out of position, but deep down we all knew that he just couldn't cut it at our level against packed defences. He deserves 10 out of 10 for effort, but his finishing and (as you well point out) his first touch are not up to it.

  2. The season Clark scored 40 odd for queens allan Johnston was their manager & he played with two wingers who could cross the ball, since Clark has signed for us under mccoist he has played with with players who couldn't cross the fuckin road & to be fair he hasn't had a run under Mr Warburton, now I am not having a go at our captain here but yesterday he made several crosses where he cut the ball back behind Clark who was leading our line so someone should have been bursting a gut to get in behind Clark, now on the other hand if Wallace had crossed the ball flat then maybe Clark could have got on the end of one, now with all this said I do believe we need a big arsed striker who can hold it up against big arsed defenders because right now I would rather have waghorn starting wide right than anyone else as he seems the only one who can take a man on in that position

  3. The boy needs a run in the team not a game here and a game there ,on as a sub ,he has proved he can score goals ,give him 6 or 7 games then if he doesn't cut it then its time to consider his future .

  4. never mind nicky clark what about that defence the keeper is a fuckin bombscare most weeks centre half is no better and right back id fuckin send him back and as for tactics its time warbo did his own thing and not what weir tells him to do

    • Behave yourself!! We've lost one game and even then we completely dominated.
      Foderingham has saved our skin plenty times this season, centre defence is quite slow but they've been solid on the most and Tav may not be the finished article, he may lose possession from time to time but he's been good otherwise and chipped in with the odd goal or 8. Typical doom and gloom merchant! Onwards and upwards

  5. Warburton should never have altered the team structure he should have played to our strength and not fearing Hibs Wilson was really poor and didnt look fit and then he brings on Zelema who looked as if he didnt want to be there this has been apparent in the last few games he has played I know Nicky Clark is not the best finisher but take away Waghorns penaltys and how many goals from open play has he scored even so we had two stonewall penalties and at the second one not one but two Hibs players touched the ball with their hand We also hit the woodwork twice and Waghorn missed a good chance at the end on another day the game would have been won and big Lurch wouldnt have been gloating about his Edinburgh Celtic

  6. We are miles away from the top guns in the higher tier,2 many gers fans r getting carried away not me,it's a part time league,never a shock that hibs beat us,Warburton has to bring in 1 or 2 players who can make a difference because if we loose more games and hibs go top all of a sudden this gears team may bottle it

    • As your teacher at your non-secular one dimensional school always told you Declan, 'you're only cheating yourself'.

  7. We need to be looking at having players that are SPL quality or better and in reality Clark is not of that quality. He is not alone in that respect and for once I agree with King that five or six players will be needed if we are to put in a serious challenge. Indeed I would suggest that our priorities should be, as have been suggested by many, to secure a top quality holding midfield player and a goal scorer. After that we should be looking for a solid centre half. Lets hope that our new Scouting Department can find a few gems.

  8. How many goals do you think big DJ or MH would score with this type of football we play, a lot of their goals came from crosse into the box , it now looks as if we have to make three or four passes in the box before attempting to score. The goalkeeper will get caught out with his dribbling the ball out of goals. We had a far superior keeper in Stephan Kloss, but , could you imagine him trying to play a pass out

  9. I liked our performance on Sunday, not the result. We had them on the ropes in the second half but couldn't put them away. Warbs has worked magic with the very limited budget he's been handed by Dave King. I read somewhere our budget is currently a third of Celtic's. The squad depth is paper thin. Warbs says they are all there on merit but I don't see Walsh or some of the other youngsters getting a start. He needs to blend them into the team. The big worry is if King Dave and the rest of the board will hand over the money required to make the step up. Dave King promised upwards of 20 million pounds investment. The fact is he has only given the team a loan of a million or two. Dave, in this new era of transparency, explain what your plan is to the Rangers fans.

    • whats your problem? dave king said he would spend when required, this squad is going to win the championship hands down, why should he spend now? when rangers are back in the premier,that is the time to strengthen.stop pressing the panic button because we lost a game, we should have won that game! hit the wood work twice,denied a stonewall penalty,really dangerous at the start of the second half. we are 5 points clear!!!!!WE ARE THE PEOPLE NO DOUBT.

  10. I used to blame Clarks lack of confidence on mccoist and his frequent dropping of the lad.However having watched him closely since then it's obvious your post is correct.His 1st touch is pathetic and lacks the mental approach required of a Rangers player.Thanks for your efforts Nicky but time for a change !

  11. Nicky Clark,and many of the rest of the team could cut it at Rangers today but not in the past,yes we are a good Scottish team top six or nine in Scotland but that is about where it stands aberdeen hearts celtic st johnstone inverness are better than us, and a few more clubs are on a par with us that is where we are yes they all can cut today at rangers but we not going win much,Dave King has never puit the money in he said he would and now he is going ask us for more,i want him and the board to stump up the money then i will put in again.

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