The puzzle of Carlos Pena

 Article by: Ibrox Noise

When Mexican Carlos Pena arrived this summer from Guadalajara, the transfer stood out as much for the fee as it did for the player’s own CV.

Pena is a 20-cap Mexican international but a 27-year old one who, till Rangers, had never played outside his homeland; the fee has been speculated anywhere between £2.2M to £3.5M – but the point is Pedro paid a pretty penny for the ex-Leon man’s services and so far his complete absence from the first team has been a talking point among fans.

The lad’s abilities are well-documented – described by his new manager as a box to box midfielder who helps out in defence as well as making runs into the box to bag a goal or two, Pena seems to be a player who, on paper, could be a real asset to Rangers.

“Pena is that type of box to box player.” Pedro stated.

“He is a really offensive player, those players who easily get in the opponent’s box. He can score goals, he can assist. He can play in all of the offensive roles, but especially in the middle of the park. If you ask me where he can play, and the formation that we are using now, he can play with two in the middle and the one that goes further forward. Or he can play as a shadow striker. Or even a little bit on the left coming inside. But mainly within the central spine, that’s his position.”

But we definitely are puzzled as to what the situation with him is. Rumours about his state range from homesickness to simple lack of fitness, but Pedro did concur that whatever it is, Carlos appears to be a little bit off readiness for action.

“When you have a group, especially a new group of players with 10 new players coming to this massive club, they are players you know are going to adapt easier than others,” said Caixinha. Carlos came with another Mexican [Eduardo Herrera] and the other Mexican adapted differently than him. So it’s not about being a Mexican, it’s more about yourself. We are definitely very glad to have Pena with us. He’s a great player and he is going to show very good things in this football. It’s just a case of him adapting and needing a little more time. We are all the time giving him that confidence and all the time giving him that support. We know he is growing day by day and he is adapting. He wants more day by day and that is the important thing. Pena is starting to know that the game here is more physical so you have less time and less space. He needs to understand that and that comes with a rhythm that we are trying to get him into. He also needs to get fitter so he is working hard to make sure his body is ready for when he is called into action. He will totally get it that he won’t have the same amount of time and space because the good players and the clever players anticipate the actions. He just needs to get the right rhythm and the right fitness.”

And we have since learned that the Mexican international is now on a special training regime:

“Carlos is having special training in order for him to get the right rhythm and levels. It’s specific work with him not just on the pitch but off it as well. That’s because when it’s the right moment we want to give him the chance. So far we think it’s not the right moment. We want to have him involved as soon as possible but he is getting there. He wants to be ready and we are working to make that happen.”

We cannot dare to speculate what the issue with Pena really is; all we can really do is hope this training regime sorts him out, he adjusts mentally and physically to life in Scotland and he is fit and raring to go some time soon.

Good luck Carlos!


  1. Pena is a similar build to someone like Wayne Rooney and what you find with naturally stocky guys is that when they've have stopped playing for a while it can take weeks to get them fit again. As long as they are playing every week the juggernaut keeps turning and they are fine.

    I hope it's just a fitness thing and not anything more serious

    • On a separate topic, I hear Newcastle are keen to offload Mitrovic – a proven International striker who could be available on a loan deal.

      Unlikely we'd afford his wages to buy him but a loan might work for the season…

  2. As we're playing Hibs tomorrow, I'd like to highlight an issue that used to be on the fringes of society, but has now been growing for years. It simply cannot be brushed aside any longer. And that subject is hairism…

    As I watched BBC Sport's live text last weekend, I saw this sentence – "Red-haired striker Simon Murray steps up and sends the keeper the wrong way." I can only assume that the journalist believed Murray's hair played a part in making the keeper dive in the wrong direction.

    There's no place for this in 21st century football, guys. I have nothing against segregating gingers from normal people in day-to-day life. I wouldn't even be against sending them all for anger management courses at the age of 1. But, guys, for the 90 mins of a football match, we have to try to treat these people as humans!

  3. Personally think he's just not fit as yet and our boss wants him 100% before letting him loose.
    He's a class act. Go on to you tube, and that's him unfit.
    We won't be able to keep hold of him he'll be off to England.
    Once the boss let's him loose enjoy the quality!

  4. If Pedro knows him that well then surely this was anticipated?I understand the boy represents a gamble but at the fee reported you want the guy on the pitch.A full half the other night would have been ideal for his fitness when we were 4 up.Rossiter was out all season and if he's fitter you've got to ask why.

  5. The Mexicans in General are great hardworking people They have a lot of similarities to the Scots and Know their, around 50 points ahead of Scotland in World Rankings

  6. So if he is a good player then there can be no more excuses as he should be able to play anywhere any country it's not as if we are short of Mexican food in Scotland so offload him before it costs to much he must be laughing coming here and getting big wages for watching football

    • Good point, hadn't thought of that. If McLean is on, something must be up because we seem over-supplied with midfielders already.

  7. Give the guy a chance, we are doing ok without him just now, so let the gaffer decide when the right time is for to introduce Pena into the team.

  8. Red headed burds all have, lets call it a "unique" aroma to them.Leave it at that,trying to eat ma muesli here.

    • I hope Unknown's better half isn't online today, otherwise he's gonna get his arse kicked.
      I had muesli today as well…strange coincidence!

  9. If he was thrown in straight away and didn't keep up everyone would be on his back from the start. Well done for ped to realise this and to keep him away until he can hit the ground running and show us his best.

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