How Rangers dodged a bullet in Joleon Lescott


Yesterday Rangers’ surprising move for Joleon Lescott fell through after contradicting reports from various sources ranging from family reasons, to better offers from other clubs to the player failing a medical at Murray Park.

I say ‘surprising’ because this is a player with a frankly awful reputation, who had last seen his best before his excruciatingly drawn-out and overpriced switch to Manchester City seven years ago, and who had made more news for insulting his club Aston Villa and posting narcissistic photos of his latest ‘wheels’.

It was all the more surprising that Mark Warburton was genuinely interested in Lescott when he had a 52-time Swiss cap training at Murray Park in Philippe Senderos, a sub-32 year old defender working professionally and hard to earn a deal and prove himself.

It is not every day a former Arsenal and Milan stopper is aiming to prove they have what it takes to compete in the backwater of the SPL.

Ergo, Warburton will not look back too fondly at the Lescott episode – he went out of his way to work with bringing the former Everton stopper to Ibrox, and it says even more for this curious affair that Villa were happily willing to pay a chunk of the 34-year old’s wages in order to get him off their hands.

To describe his performances last season as abysmal is doing him a kindness.

One Villa supporter described his legs as ‘gone’ and that former Ranger and Villan Carlos Cuellar at his worst was still a million times better than Lescott; add to that him slurring the supporters and club with a poor attitude, including being relieved at relegation, not to mention the poor approach to matches of looking disinterested, and the fact Aston Villa could not get him off their hands quick enough says volumes.

Warburton desperately needs a leader at the back. We really get this, and sometimes desperation leads to very bad calls of judgement. Lescott was clearly one of these, especially with the correct and professional approach of Senderos being the alternative.

It will never truly be known if Warbs was keeping his options open regarding Lescott, and felt obliged to offer him a deal after making such effort to engage with him, but it really does feel like a bullet dodged when one really examines the former England international’s recent failing career.

This article probably smacks of knee-jerk bitterness, and sure, maybe I will concede annoyance on some level that a player has acted in this way towards Rangers, wasting our time and effort when our management could have been acquiring someone who actually wanted to be at Ibrox; but when one is also rational and honest about it, this was a move most fans simply positively spun because he looked like he was coming to Rangers.

Yes, his form was once England international quality, and there is no denying if he had joined this article would spinning him very positively (hardly going to smear a Rangers player, are we?), but that Man City released him happily, he underwhelmed at West Brom then Aston Villa absolutely hated him says all you need to know about what he might have ‘brought’ to Rangers.

Did he really fail the medical? Did he not want to come? Did Sunderland offer more?

Truth is I do not care; the whole thing was a waste of a week when Rangers needed to secure a defender, and hopefully they will do so imminently when Senderos finally puts pen to paper to sign up at Ibrox.


  1. You always speak your mind and call it as you see it, well done! Why would Lescott and his agent come up to Glasgow on Wednesday, have his medical on Thursday and later in the day Rangers politely say he has decided not to sign because of family issues. Who wants to sign a player who fails a medical because of a dodgy knee problem, so Aston Villa and Rangers don't announce the medical. Unfortunately, they both gave the game away by telling different stories. I don't think David Moyes will take him to Sunderland now, and as you say – Villa couldn't get rid of him quick enough, even topping up his wage at Ibrox if necessary!

  2. I totally agree with your comments. Could not understand why we were considering him and would not have changed my view had he signed. Watched him going through the motions for villa on MOTD last year. I do not think he would have brought anything to the back four whatsoever. I am not impressed with the change of direction in the signing policy. Also if I were Senderos, I might actually be reconsidering my position not wanting to be an afterthought. While someone is on trial we should not be looking at other possibilities unless we were taking both. It reeks of doing business in car parks so to speak. We are better than that!

  3. This piece reeks of bitterness and would never have been written had Lescott signed.It goes against the "In Warbs we trust" mantra that has been a feature of some of the deluded fans who think that buying Players from the £1 shop will win the League and secure a place in the CL.Di Matteo gave the reasons Lescott did not sign and unless you are calling him a liar it fits in with all of our transfer dealings so far.

    • Anonytroll, the piece clearly states that had we signed him, the article would have been written differently.
      Anonytroll, it reiterates that we trust in the Magic Hat
      Anonytroll,we are not deluded. We will not spend unsupportable amounts of money, we trust Warbs to get good value for every £ he spends. So far, we are extremely happy. The level of quality in our current team would probably have cost over £20 million in days gone by, we have spent a couple of million which will be recouped many times over as a player leaves now and then – Tavernier being quoted at over £2M alone. Rossiter will go for a substantial sum, hopefully after 2 years rather than one.
      Anonytroll, players do medicals after agents have agreed the deal, not before. Out of politeness and class(ask one of mummy's customers to explain those words to you while he dresses)both clubs gave polite reasons for the failure which would not jeapordise a future move.
      Finally, Anonytroll, please do not use the word "our" when speaking of Glasgow Rangers. Crawl back to your terrorist supporting brethren to use the word our
      Have a nice day

    • In fact do one twice he showed a total disrespect to the club the manager and the fans, no matter what way you slice it

    • So Dr Tony Xia, Villa's owner, basically states Rangers are lying. That scenario would fit in well with all the broken promises from the man who has a Court certificate stating he is a glib and shameless liar.

  4. I think he failed the medical and as a courtesy to the player and villa Rangers said it was family reasons knowing they want him moved on. I think rangers are unwilling to risk 10k a week on top of the villa wages on someone who might not play, especially when senderos was very fit and healthy. I think even Warburton was surprised at his fitness in training going on his comments. I think senderos was the safer option and rangers have decided to take it.

  5. Ergo, perhaps Warbs, having seen Senderos train for a week and the fact he only spent 6 months at his previous club and doesn't seem to be attracting interest from anywhere else, feels Lescott would have been a better option all round. Ergo, that's why he tried to sign him, ergo, not offering Senderos a deal first, ergo, would be a fall back option, ergo, ergo, ergo………ERGO

    • I agree with this piece. If he had signed I would have welcomed him of course but looking back at the case against him, it does look like a bullet dodged. Warburton has made one or two signings that are questionable in this window, but he has little money to play with and perhaps he will be proved right over the course of the season. I had my doubts about Waghorn last year and look how that turned out! I am not convinced by Kranjcar so far but time will tell. I worry that we are populating the side with old players and rejects – rather than the youthful vibrant team I had been led to expect but we will see. In Warbs we trust. For now.

  6. Sounds very unlikely that a player agrees terms, flys up and does a medical to say I don't want to move my family. If that was the issue he wouldn't have came up and prob the same with regards to money… Unless he's seriously bored I can't imagine he came all the way up here knowing he wasn't moving. The fact that the bbc has reported he's failed his medical (and usualy they prefer to lie to hurt us, where as that more hurts lescott) has prob more to do with it, and with Aston villa trying to flog him off they are quite right contradict those reports. But another injury prone defender like hill could have ruined. Our budget and seasob

    • The fact that BBC said he failed a medical. Are you on a planet of your own, At no time did they say that. Who do I trust Warns or this editor when it comes to their opinion on a player. Man up, He didn't agree finances,End of.

    • What reports have u been reading? Warburton has said that it wasn't finances and everything was agreed, sky sports also said on Thursday that a contract was agreed… Go bk to 2nd place since im suspecting that's where I team is and will be for the rest of the season

  7. Your previous article, when originally linked with Lescott, paints a very different picture…you thought he was a fantastic signing. Why the change of tone ?

    • Different author mate.There's more than one writer on this site.Do a bit a research before makin a cnut of yersel! Ergo.

    • Eh…how would I know it's a different author mate ? Doesn't have an authors name against the article. Thanks for clearing that up though. WATP

  8. Your words ² days ago…….The signing of a genuinely top-quality centre-back will come as a huge relief for Mark Warburton given the inherent weakness of his backline, and with Lescott’s experience in the game, he is the first marquee signing in defence for Warbs following similar in midfield with Barton and Kranjcar.

  9. I couldn't understand why we were considering a move for Lescott and I'm relieved it fallen through for whatever reason. In saying that I'm not convinced about Senderos either, if we sign him then I hope I'm proved wrong.

    Looking forward to seeing Garner menacing opposition defences, that' something we've really missed for a long, long time. He's someone who is going to get right their noses and make sure they know he's around 🙂

  10. As has been said no way does a player have a medical until the t's are crossed and i's are dotted . Rangers tried to act with dignity for a player who they owed little too. and its backfired. no further comment required from rangers. Lescott is hated by fans at his last 3 clubs , bullet well and truly dodged.

  11. What a load of horsesh*t, simple truth is, if he had signed without a fuss your article would have been raving about him and his experience and abilities…as were the previous ones to his move failure (for whatever reason). The 'desperation' that lead to 'bad calls of judgement' are something that Warburton doesn't do, at least that's what he tells us, but then again we have a notice on the dressing room wall to the players 'Send them home happy'….that would be Plan A then? and as we all know, we don't do a Plan B, even if Plan A doesn't work.

    • You are totally right my friend, sitting at Ibrox again yesterday, the team got boo'd off at half time. People are not being sent home happy despite what all those with blue specs on would want to believe. But dare to give an honest opinion on here and you're one of the dark side, I applaud your honest support.

  12. Ffs we shouldnt have even been considering a 34 yr old CB in the first place.
    Aye i know a lot of readers are think you cannae bring age intae it, just look at Davie Wier.
    But lets be honest, Davie and his situation was one in a million, it will never happen in our life time again.
    You cannae tell me theres naw a CB somewhere in eastern europe that cannae do a job for us with sell on value thats a better punt than lescott or hill

    • The problem Billy is ,Warburton hasn't a clue about defending, look at the goals Rangers lost towards the end of last season.the warning signs were there. What did Warburton do, bought an over the hill CB Clint Hill.enough said.

  13. Could it be that Lescott was being used to get Senderos to accepting terms and Lescott actually being plan b? Whilst Senderos is a gamble he's a better option than Lescott imo.

  14. Agree with most of this but just wanted to clarify that in his year at West Brom he was their player of the year so hardly accurate to say he underwhelmed…

    Might have been a good signing and if Warbs wanted him that would have been good enough for me. Any signing is a risk and this would have been no different

  15. Well as a Villa season ticket holder I have mixed feelings. Most of us would do anything to get him out of the club. Whatever he had as a player has long gone and most of us can't forgive his complete lack of ability, interest, commitment and contempt for the fans and the club. Of course if somebody offers you a barrowload of money to come to Villa you take it – but we have to face the fact that Villa under Lerner had an inept non football management team rotten to the core. Even Dr Tony said Villa were prepared to pay £15K of his £25Kpw (halved after relegation)

    Mixed feelings? Always had a soft spot for Rangers and I wouldn't wish him on you guys. HE'S AWFUL!But if there's anyone you can suggest stupid enough to be interested let us know – we'll drive him there ourselves! (PS Brendan Rogers isn't stupid enough I'm afraid!!!)

  16. By way of another PS – Senderos when he was at Villa Park was hard done by I think. He's always been injury prone, so be prepared for a six month layoff – but he was professional, competent and always committed to the cause. Pity he picked up another long term injury but by the time he was ok he wasn't given a look in. Wouldnt be a bad buy for the SPL I'd think.

  17. Villa fan again – yeah, I never understood how he was their player of the year. All the Baggies fans I spoke to around here thought he was awful and were glad he was moved on to Villa. Wasn't sure why………until I saw him play!

  18. I wrote the other day that Lescott was a dumpling, why doesn't Warburton give the young boy Bates a chance, he can't be any worse than Hill or Keinan.Put Gilks in goal his experience will help young Bates

  19. Totally agree with the article. surprised MW wanted him in first place. Smacked of trouble which we do not need. Hopefully Senderos still can play at a good level as a decent centre back is the priority.

  20. Ha, ha, ha

    Lescott goes from superstar to clown and Senderos goes from clown to superstar. ….ffs make up your mind.
    At least the CB combined age will drop from 72 to 70………think about it, 70.

    If this is value then I can't wait for the next arrival.

    Forrest, Sinclair, Robert, Dembele and Griffiths will run rings around our back 4 in the upcoming game.

    Hill and Senderos…'s a feckin nightmare.

  21. 3 shots on target today……scraped the 3 points.

    The Tims ran this lot ragged, 5 could have been ten, McGhee was spot on with his assessment of the strengths of both teams.

    The pace up front that Celtic have concerns me, especially with a Hill/Senderos pairing at centre back……..combined age of 70, I suppose that's what Warbs means when he talks about value.

  22. Garner in, close the door before he changes his mind !.
    The last time we signed a center forward from PNE we went on to win the treble, same again please.
    we now have more english players in the 1st team than any scottish team ever… does that mean we are cheering the english every week, just a thought

  23. Rossiter and Barton don't work together.Its got to be one or the other.Barton is screaming at everybody yet he done nothin all day.Halliday FKD him off a few times today.Poor performance but scraped the points.Sick of this no plan A pish and tippy tappy.Best move was taking McKay off,should drive at the defender every time but wont/cant. Big improvement needed.

  24. 100% agree tam burns every team play a dif system so surly if u can't break a team down you change yur system to break them u must change if u have to n stop being pig headed n also was sayin to ma mates the day Barton halliday n rossiter cannot play together only one of them can play. As for McKay time n time again he doesn't get by a man n Jst looks for the easy pass bck to Wallace. Wud also like to see him push tav up for afew games n pt hodson in at right back tav has 10 times more attacking flare than McKay n can put very dangerous balls in box nufin to lose,try it warbs. Also this no one in the box pish Miller gets dragged out wide to try n get involved cos the wingers are glued to the shy line n yur playing with 3 defensive midfielders , quite a few things needing sorted same things I'm watching week in week out warbs must change.

  25. Fro manother news source it's said the Villa Chairman Dr. Xia is claiming Lescott wasn't happy with the terms offered but that's refuted by Warburton saying all was well then Lescott decided he didn't want to move his family. Then there's the story about the failed medical so why does this have to turn into a major mystery ?
    As for Joey Barton, well I wasn't very happy at his signing and from what I've seen so far he's contributed nothing except try and get into the headlines via social media. He's a complete liability in many ways !

  26. hello there from Canada
    Has it really got so bad there that you lot get a hard-on from an english accent, WTF, you are embarassing the shit out of scottish football by cowtailing to these english hasbeens. Is there no youth development at rangers, surely a big teenager with half decent pace or a CB at another scottish club is better than the OAP's Warbs is bringing in. Barton is doing a stellar job of getting you in the news here, so in that respect he is paying back his fee, but the others.

    As a heats fan I saw a lot of rangers games on the internet when in the championship and hearts were on a par with that gers side then. Now I think rangers have dropped a long way behind hearts in quality.
    King & co are doing a great job of managing the fans, just feed them what they want to hear and do nowt.

    I guess its all part of the rehabilitation, just dont get ahead of yourselves when you beat Motherwell and say 'bring on the celtic' this will be a long haul to even place in the top half never mind challenging for the title.

    I had a good laugh from an earlier post that said something to the effect "bringing in Garner is a statement of intent from the board"
    Really, $1.5 Million.

    addressing the original post…signing Lescott would have guaranteed celtic the league for he is def one of the worst in EPL.

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