How returning Rangers star could give Pedro a big headache

 Article by: Ibrox Noise

He has been one of the most intriguing signings of the past 12 months (18 if you include the ‘pre-contract period). Initially impressive, before tailing off badly, and being viewed as surplus, rarely being played at all.

Then Rangers got a new manager, and from the complete cold, attacking midfielder Josh Windass got a second chance. In truth his displays under Pedro last season still did not really convince the majority this kid was Rangers class – indeed, Ibrox Noise has been quite critical of him following his form slide despite initially being sure he was the real deal.

But Sunday’s impressive display at Hillsborough brought Windass back to the support’s eye in a way they have not viewed him for many many months. Indeed, his performance was every inch the one we discussed Rangers building an entire team around – while hardly Gazza at his best, Windass looked a different player.

Now, we should point out he did exactly the same thing last pre-season – he was extremely impressive in the summer League Cup group stage, looking to all intents and purposes like a player Rangers could be inspired by.

Many of us advocated a significant role in the team for the lad based on those showings at the likes of Fir Park et al, but then he was struck by injury and honestly failed to live up to a single expectation thereafter.

A number of supporters never really stopped believing in him though, his dad being an especially vocal defender of his qualities, always asserting that with better players around him he would thrive.

Well, that certainly happened on Sunday and many would argue it was his best show in a Rangers shirt.

But again we urge caution – he did the same thing a year ago and it was a clear false dawn. And while the condition and environment is now different, and maybe more conducive to a extensive run to show what he can do longer term, it does not force the conclusion that Windass has proven his critics wrong.

One swallow does not a summer make – in his favour, though, is the fact he was actually out of position on the left wing, a slot expected to be occupied by Jamie Walker in due course.

But equally that does beg the question of where he would play in the developing 4-4-2 formation Rangers seem to be settling on. The only position for him, other than slightly out of position on the wings, is behind the striker. And there is significant competition there in the shape of Kranjcar and Miller for the time being. Not to mention Jason Holt.

But nevertheless it is nice to see a possible renaissance for a player this site and the support had high hopes for a year ago. They may yet be doused again, but if Windass can carry his pre-season form into the competitive action this time, it gives Pedro Caixinha the kind of selection headache he wants to have.


  1. Yeah I hope Josh continues to impress. I wish we'd kept Crooks too as I'm sure he'd have come good.

  2. Sorry but guy still has a lot to prove for me. Contributed to loss of both goals in away leg of Luxe tie…so as a minimum, let's wait and see.

  3. Josh was very impressive playing in the left wing. He is tall for playing in that position (5’ 10”) and he looked sharp, focused and tuned in to what was required from him.

    Considering he only cost us a compensation fee of £60,000, what a bargain! He scored the all important opening goal and displayed everything good about his game.

    He scored 17 goals for Accrington the season before moving to Rangers in 2015-16, which shows if given a good run, he does have goals and a fair turn of pace in his locker.

    Josh didn't get the chance to show what he could do last season because of niggly injuries.

    To think that Rangers were reportedly prepared to accept a ridiculously low fee of around £150k / £200k for a player with his potential.

    For Windass to keep Niko Kranjcar out of the starting line-up, shows you that Pedro has latched on to how good a Rangers player he could become. Josh was my man of the match and showed a great attitude and appetite for the game. It was a lively, clever, pacy performance and he was back defending on many occasions.

    On what I saw, he could knock Wallace out of the left-wing back position, as he glides past full backs and can work on his defensive duties. Against defensive teams at Ibrox, Josh would create more chances down the left than Lee Wallace possibly would. He is strong in the tackle and not scared to get stuck in.

    He was creative and is not shy to take his man on, and has a keen eye for a pass. Josh also has a good work-ethic and will run endlessly for the team, his penetrating runs are effective and cause panic as he opens up their defences and creates space for others to use.

    With Pedro bringing in nine new faces so far, Windass should look at this as an opportunity to shine as others might take more time to adapt to their new team.

    He showed glimpses last season that he had something special, but his raw potential is ready to burst open now that Pedro is on to his natural ability of beating a man with ease.

    He proved to Pedro that he has a good football brain, and showed enough desire to prove himself capable of a high quality performance, with the ability to turn a game around. He just needs his manager to believe in him.

    If Caixinha gives him the chance in the first team, hopefully, he can prove that he will score goals and be able to supply chances for his fellow team mates.

    • Spot on Richard. I hope our current scouts continue to keep a close eye on the lower leagues in England as there are some really bargains to be had there. Look at Jamie Vardy's rise from non-league to Premier League champion in just a few short years. Other recent 'non-league to EPL' examples are Michail Antonio, Andre Gray and Chris Smalling.

      Of course, a consequence of having EPL clubs spend hundreds of millions on foreign imports is that many top academy players, upon release, end up in the lower leagues in search of first-team football. One player I like is George Glendon (21), who was a midfield star in Man City's academy for years, and only just signed an 18-month contract with Fleetwood in January. A player like that has more to offer than what he can achieve at Fleetwood IMO, and I do hope our new DoF keeps an eye on that type of player too.

  4. I think the article makes sense. We as Rangers fans have castigated our players, many of them and most Warburton signings. He did as the previous manger did in playing players out of position or in a strict set up with little or no room for flexibility.
    Windlass might flourish under the new regime, as might other players too. We have to give them a chance to prove themselves, as do we have to do with the management team. I like many others think that the winter break is Pedro's limit of time and as I have said in these comments before. I don't give him as long as that; he has 11 games in the league to prove his teniour as our manager; if we are adrift by 6 points of the leaders by then, he can go.
    So Windlass and a few others have until the winter break to prove themselves.

  5. Agree that time will tell with this lad. It's only a friendly he produced a good game. And it was his inept performance against Progres that led to their both goals! SPFL is a different animal and he will be in a dog fight in midfield, so we will see what they are all made of come the Motherwell game, so lets take things a game at a time before either criticizing or bumming up our players. They ALL have something to prove!

  6. Good player but still a lot to prove changing subject are we meant to be surprised at the Celtic fans latest chants about murdered soldier just filth send the guilty ones to fight Isis shit bags would rather join them

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