Where did it go wrong for Nathan Oduwa?


So, as we now know, on-loan Nathan Oduwa has travelled back down south and rejoined Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur, his time at Ibrox terminated with a slightly blunt statement from the Club informing fans the winger had gone.

There were no thanks, no good luck wishes, just a very unsubtle message that his loan had ended and he had returned to White Hart Lane.

Whether this was a clerical error on the part of the Club, or there was somehow ‘bad blood’ we will probably never know, and while his exit came out of the blue, it was not a departure greeted with a lot of sadness among Rangers fans.

The majority reaction was to thank him for his time at Ibrox and reflect fondly on ‘that’ display v Raith, while wishing him well back in England.

And that general absent of regret rather sums the lad’s time in Scotland up. Whether you attribute his fade from the first team to the hatchet jobs carried out on him by the SPFL’s various assailants or not, the kid just did not cut it up here and did not show sustained evidence that he has what it takes to get to the top of the game.

After the Raith match, we certainly believed otherwise – he was absolutely colossal in that 90 – assisting two goals, and repeatedly humiliating their backline. But a player cannot live on one display for his whole career, and Oduwa failed to replicate that glorious afternoon.

He had fleeting moments, and now and again his talent appeared, but overall his tricks, skill and imagination either deserted him or simply stopped working on Scottish football’s delightful opponents.

There is no question the brutality he suffered first from Kieran Gibbons then Hugo Faria as consented by then-Livi manager Mark Burchill during the cup clash at Ibrox had a part to play – in short, Oduwa was at the receiving end of combat, and not cup football.

He was taken off at half time to stop him being hurt further – and it notably happened again when Falkirk’s Leahy sliced him during the 2-1 defeat.

Yellow cards and no reds – no referee protected him, and that probably played a small part.

But the base truth is Oduwa did not show the fight needed for top-level football. He did not track back much, had little pace, and his shooting was absolutely atrocious. He played like the sport was a game of FIFA, with 70% of his trickery failing. He also had a serious deficit of strength, something crucial for senior football.

Which is not to say he was a total flop – he had talent, ‘has’ talent – he can beat a man, can pick out a pass, and he plays the sport in a good spirit; always has a smile on his face.

But it just did not work for him in Scottish football, and his eventual disappearance from first-team affairs reflects that.

We wish him all the best in England, but unless he improves a great deal of his all-round game, he will struggle to survive in the Premiership at all, never mind succeeding at an EPL giant like Spurs.

But, that is in the hands of Pochettino now.

However, we always like the readers’ views here at Ibroxnoise.co.uk; do you agree with us and think Rangers were right to let him go? Was it the best move? Or would you have kept him? Vote below.

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  1. Having lived in Scotland for nearly 40yrs and seen the hatchet type football that is played Rangers was never the club to bring on talent. Scottish football works on the principle that if it moves kick it. their referees are biased and weak. I'm glad he has left Rangers and come back to a football club

    • i couldn't understand why spurs sent him on loan there, didn't make any sense. scottish football would suck the life out of the young lad, destroy his ability and reduce him to a limping gimp. Glad he got out of there, the only logical reason spurs would have sent him up there was to toughen him up a bit and/or to show him that if he doesn't knuckle down he could end up playing at that level for the rest of his career. Time will tell if it was good for the players development. Personally I feel it was a waste of 6 months and might have negative repercussions. When I think of scottish hackballers I think of charlie adams and alan hutton. two bitter / jealous players who think injuring the opposition is the way to win football. Scrotland.

    • Maybe that's why he was sent up to Glasgow. Maybe Spurs knew his weakness, and needed to send him to a place to work on it. If that was why, it didn't seem to work. Hopefully he learns from this experience.

  2. Thanks for the assessment.

    It was not easy to track his displays up at Ibrox except through clips on news channels, and when Rangers were then shown on TV he was dropped.

    It might be the case that we will assess him to see if another loan in the Championship might help bring him on, but from your assessment it sounds like he needs to develop some mental strength as well as develop a physical presence.

  3. When a player at that age playing for a senior club like Rangers he can't have the mental stability to go past a certain amount of game ,so I hand it to mark warburton for knowing this,he gave him every opertunity to do so,because you never know,but Nathan is only human and having to fight for a place on the bench,and being away from home the lads had a change of heart,I think Rangers are paying the lads wages till the end of the season,I sincerely hope he makes it at a senior level,ans remember his time with the mighty Rangers.

    • The boy painted a target on his back that day and paid the price.Not sayin its fair but I'd have reduced him if he tried to rainbow flick me.The modern game requires these winger types to defend and the boy hasn't got that in him yet.I like him but he won't cut it at top level.

    • Bullsh*t. Dele Alli is 19, are you telling me he couldnt perform in the scottish 2nd division? Your comment is idiotic.

    • "Not sayin its fair but I'd have reduced him if he tried to rainbow flick me", that comment alone says everything that needs to be said. A player shows a little bit of flair, skill and the balls to actually try it and your first thought is to lump him in to the stands. Skill players in Scottish football "Oh please no, I'd rather kick him than try to emulate him"
      No wonder the only good thing to come out of Scotland is the A1 south.

  4. lack luster performances some with little or no effort at all was Nathan's down fall
    plenty of tricks and skill in his locker but failed to deliver the end product
    still a young pro with lots to learn and to find his level, but will need to improve rapidly or he will slip out the back door at white heart lane to the depths of the english lower leagues and forgotten

  5. he is a tricky player but as you stated too lightweight for SPL also not a goal threat, could be rough treatment affected his confidence,I wish him all the best and he could prove me wrong ,but I think the gers have done the right thing letting him go back to spurs

  6. I'm a Spurs fan, and watching him get some brutal treatment without protection left a bitter taste. At least two of those tackles were straight red. He's an entertaining footballer, yet it seems the system in Scotland doesn't want that kind of player……they prefer blood & guts. I think for him, Scottish Football or lower English League football is not right. He needs to be bled into that kind of environment. I personally think that development of a player of his type, should be in the U21's or subbed appearances towards the end of a game.

    • I agree with you 100% and I'm a rangers fan, The officials in Scotland are aweful. I loved seeing this wee guys trickery and do believe his development would be better suited to U21's or the English championship as it's miles ahead of our version. (It pains me to say but any top half championship team could win the Scottish premier)

  7. Guy had no heart, seemed to go in the huff, wouldn't put in a shift like holt, will never make it he will be playing for Scunthorpe in years to come

  8. Quite nice to see a rational report rather than some of the vitriole often published.
    Its a difficult age for anyone and also being away from home can prove difficult. Not all players have the mentality of someone like Dele Ali for example.
    As someone else has commented its difficult to assess what has occurred as you only ever see the high and lows detailed in the press.
    Maybe he is too immature currently and that his technique and effort will increase as he himself matures.
    Time will tell I guess.

  9. Plenty of tricks but no end result. He defo has tallent but i agree with the other comments….i struggle to see him break into the first team at Spurs. I will be surprised if he isn't let go by them in the next year or so and will no doubt end up playing at Championship level. Not consistant enough

  10. When you suffer the brutal treatment from hatchet men that Nathan has had, why would you risk ruining your future Spurs career for a few months playing in Glasgow? He developed a fear in his game and I believe he didn't think taking the risk would be worth the reward. This can happen with loan players who struggle to fully commit to their temporary home. I reckon same has applied to Zelalem

    Not a fan of taking loanees myself, prefer permanent 100% committed players

  11. The same kind of things were said about Harry Kane when he first went out on loan so, as a Spurs fan, here's hoping!

  12. On many occasions Nathan's talent was overcome by the sheer determination of players directly opposing him on the park.Talent can only take a sportsman so far, dedication and character with commitment are all required to play in a top league whatever the sport. He never showed these qualities at Rangers. If he lost the ball he would fold his arms and expect a team member to chase and tackle when he should have done so. Lazy to the point of being a passenger at times. Work rate non-existent compared to Holt, Waghorn and Mckay when they double back and chase to retrieve the ball or tackle an opponent.

    • Zelalem seems to be doing alright. He was sent up there to toughen him up because as skilful as he is,in midfield he got too easily bullied. The fact he's not been sent back probably says more about him than Oduwa. Some players are just mentally tougher. Be interesting to see which one of them is eking out a living in the lower league's in a few years and which one makes it in the top flight.I know what my guess would be.

  13. he was surplus to requirements and its been said he was sent home to release up a wage,,what happened to weekend signings?

  14. It's a man's game he's a boy Good skills no heart don't c zelalem struggle with so called brutal treatment boys no good enough for the gers.n your English league isn't as good as yous muppets hink to scared to let us down watp

  15. Nothing against the boy but better players out on loan and on the bench .
    Dean shields got to be more involved.

  16. Nothing against the boy but better players out on loan and on the bench .
    Dean shields got to be more involved.

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