Has Graeme Murty just made his first big statement?


David Bates must be wondering how he can hold down a first team slot. For the last two times he was unexpectedly called upon, Aberdeen and Celtic, he won MOTM.

Meanwhile Bruno Alves reportedly made direct threats to Graeme Murty that he would be off in January if he did not play.

One of these players is most definitely in fans’ favour now, and one is not. And after the hype and around September October, no one would have ever guessed the current order of preference.

When David Bates was introduced by Pedro Caixinha last season at Rugby Park, few gave this ex-Raith stopper much of a chance of impressing. And indeed, his start at then-boss Lee McCulloch’s place was not great either, and ‘Bambi on ice’ comparisons were made.

He grew into the role and by the end of the match had had a solid 90 minutes.

Fast-forward to the present day – his name remains unglamorous and fans do not get excited seeing him in the starting XI, but if any one player has not let us down when called upon, it is Bates.

A major reason Celtic could not score yesterday, Bates was stellar. Nothing got past him and he even read the game magnificently, every inch as well as the man he replaced if not better, with the added bonus he has the pace to cover gaps.

It is safe to say Alves is not the toast of fans any more. If our poll yesterday is to go by, two thirds of the support are done with him. And the truth is, if Bates and Wilson can handle Celtic, they can handle the SPL. And Murty might be ready to make him number one alongside Wilson.

We are delighted with how Bates has won his doubters over, and grown to become, unexpectedly, one of our best defenders. Meanwhile Alves has created doubters and grown to become, unexpectedly, toxic among fans.

Fair or not, Graeme Murty has a big call next month, and we would be very surprised if Alves is part of his plans moving forward and Bates is not.


  1. If this site has a fault it is a tendency to either laud players as the next big thing after a couple of decent performances, and completely write off others after a poor performance. The truth of the matter is that each and everyone of the current squad has to prove that they can go out on the park and perform consistently, individually and as a team – and do so over the next dozen or so matches. Then they will have earned the right to be called 'Rangers class'!

  2. I don't agree with Bruno being toxic among fans. I'm not one of them. I do think that it would be great to see Bates get a chance. THE problem is Rangers are poor against lower teams and that's what the problem is. We keep making a backside of it, we do well for a couple of games and then we mess up. I'm expecting to see more of the same since it's been like this for year or so. One good game against an underperforming Celtic is good and encouraging, but I think we need to keep our feet on the ground and be realistic. There is a huge amount of work to be done yet and I'm not convinced by the board, or by Murty to be the man to change that. This is my own opinion and I'm Yaoundé to hear others….

  3. If David Bates can keep his game simple by breaking up attacks and playing simple balls to the more creative players, or play it long if under pressure then he will do for me.

  4. Have to say,I've been a fan of bates since first time I saw, I feel he's had unfair criticism, everybody got to remember he's still a youngster and will take time to become the finished article, the criticism he got before during and after the Aberdeen game even having won motm was imo shameful, these youngster need support and encouragement, not a slagging when not having a great game.

  5. Wilson seems to be a better player when he has the added responsibility of being the senior man . He comes across as being a better captain than Alves or even Wallace , as he is more vocal and encouraging than these two . He's not slow in pointing the finger in the dressing room at the guy's who aren't pulling they're weight either . No reason why he and young Bates can't go on to become a great double act . I think we should also go for the big young centre back at Dundee , to give us more physicality when required , as he's solid and would be a great option for playing three at the back . Could have won that game yesterday , but lets hope we're turning the corner and this is the beginnings of something good !

    • I like your point I just have one minor criticism: you said "or even Wallace" as if Wallace was a good captain and not one of the worst we've ever had.

  6. Whoa Ibrox Noise! It's not about turning up for one game and failing to show in the next 3 games. That has been the curse of our team for years, inconsistency!!
    Dare I bring up Hamilton and Dundee after beating Aberdeen and Hibs?
    I have been a critic of Bates and Wilson, and albeit they both did play well against the beggars, my opinion stays the same, they are not Rangers class. Lets not forget Wilson was the centre half when shellic beat us 5-1 at Ibrox, he was shocking that day as well as other days! We still need 2 big strong and athletic centre halves that can header a ball for fun.
    We drew against shellic. Yes it's a fair result, but please lets keep our feet firmly on the ground guys. Other teams have drawn and even beat them this season! All the Rangers players "should" be playing at that level in "all" our games, its what Rangers FC demands! Not just turn up when it suits them, because that is just unacceptable. Proved the doubters wrong? Not a chance!

    • And Bates played in 5-1 defeat also. And gave away goal in Luxembourg. Alves was outstanding against Motherwell on Wednesday when McCrory was inexplicably given man of the match. Alves is old and expensive but perhaps we need him till end of season.

  7. Can I just say I'm excited for the future of the club in this aspect. Mccrorie will be a top player for years to come, Bates has been excellent and even players like Aiden Wilson (who was excellent when called upon). I really wish we'd stop signing these big name players like Alves, Kranjcar, Barton etc because they can not comprehend whats required to play for Rangers and are only coming for one last payday at a major club. Punt Alves in January if he doesn't want to be here and pair Wilson and Bates with with McCrorie infront of them.

  8. For me Alves can book a taxi to the airport and head back to Portugal!! He shit it when the game started amd 1st chance he got he fled the scene!! Bates has that Rangers mentality, he knew what it was about to play them, he is one of us and didn't want them winning as much as anyone in the away end!! Same as Wilson!! If Bates is gonna play lime that and not how he did against Killie then I have no problem with him in the team. The only thing I would have done diff yday though was have Barjonas playing instead of Niko

  9. Not so long ago folk were writing Bates off and surplus to requirements. He was out injured and adding two and two together made five. Anything I've ever read emanating from Ibrox was always how highly regarded he was by the Rangers coaches. He's a fine centre half and can will get better with games.

  10. Look we did do well but lets not go over the the top we should have won this game but we did not win it,we need to keep our feet on the ground did we not draw the same game last season yes we did we need to beat them,it is as simple as that its ok to say we should have won and be very happy for what we did but will Selltic be in the same shape or will we still find it very hard to beat them only time will tell i do hope we do not just have a draw with them once a season and think we can turn them over at will.

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