Monday, 12 June 2017

"But they're all foreigners..."

Few could deny there is a distinct Hispanic flavour now to Rangers’ ranks. Over the course of this incredibly eventful transfer window, manager Pedro Caixinha has called on every trick in his Portuguese book and every contact he has ever known to recruit swathes of players from both his homeland and elsewhere.

There has been a touch of concern from some quarters of the Rangers support about just how many overseas recruits are being sought, and how it does seem a little like bulk purchase of unfamiliar players, with the question of how they can all gel quickly.

Well for us slightly older Bears, we went through this kind of upheaval before, with an overseas manager coming in and essentially signing an entirely new squad filled with players from his homeland, and the majority of readers will instantly know I am referring to the Little General himself.

Yes, in 1999 Dick Advocaat signed half of the Netherlands, admittedly with a slightly more lavish budget than Caixinha is privy to, but under the same principles; an aging or insufficient squad was cleared out and a barrage of shiny new ‘foreigners’ came in. Few complained back then, and in truth, the majority do not seem overly worried on this occasion either.

The fact is the existing squad was something below feeble. Filled with Mark Warburton’s rubbish, it was a pathetic excuse of a Rangers squad and it had plenty of Scots and Brits in it. In fact, for the eagle-eyed, Ghanian-born Joe Dodoo aside, the only overseas players Warburton actually signed were Niko Kranjcar, Philippe Senderos and, if you remember him, Maciej Gostomski. The rest of the squad was English and Scottish.

So going home-based is no guarantee of success, even if feels morally ‘better’. No, the harsh reality is Pedro is getting the best he can from wherever he can, and few can, on a football level, complain about Bruno Alves, Fabio Cardoso and Alfredo Morelos. And add to that the signature of Ryan Jack, plus potentials in Graham Dorrans and Jamie Walker and the blend of the squad really is not too concerning.

Yes, there are a lot of Portuguese, Mexican and general Hispanic players either coming in, in already, or heavily linked, but the truth is Rangers need quality, wherever it was born. While we would all rather have a Scottish team, or a British team, we have tried that and it did not work.

For now, we have to back Pedro, trust his judgement, and hope the majority of his signings if not all, work – it is in Rangers’ best interest they do.

Whether the signings are from Portugal, Paraguay or Paisley makes no difference to me.

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