So, it appears according to reports this morning that ‘one of our own’ Andy Halliday, once the toast of fans, a hero to the supporters, has successfully managed his release from Gabala and will be returning to Ibrox for duty imminently.
Halliday undeniably lost favour when he struggled with the step up to the SPL last season – many fans lost patience with his generally underwhelming displays and believed he was in favour among other supporters on goodwill alone, on his support of the club.
On pure ability, he curried less and less sympathy as time went on and by the end few follow followers were sad to see him go out on loan to Azerbaijan.
In truth, there is a lot of falsehoods and unfairness about Halliday, and while he was probably treated too well when he arrived, he was definitely treated too badly by the time he left.
Halliday has never managed anything like a sustained run in his favoured position at Ibrox – attacking midfield. Probably best classed as a creative box to box midfielder, imagine Carlos Pena with less technical quality but a lot more effort, Halliday is never going to be a Rangers legend for his work on the pitch, but he has undeniably been done a disservice by being forced into the defensive midfield slot, for increasingly unobvious reasons.
Even Mark Warburton, when he brought in three DMs in the summer of 2016 (Joey Barton, Jordan Rossiter and Matt Crooks) still ignored pretty much all of them and kept Halliday there.
It was bewildering – but for fans who simply do not rate Halliday, he deserves a decent crack of the whip in AM – look what a sustained run has done for Danny Wilson. We now see what a fine defender he is, but it was less obvious to many when he was in and out of the team.
If Halliday does indeed return, he should get as fair a shot as anyone else – and with Graham Dorrans’ ongoing injury problems, and Carlos Pena’s likely departure, there is a vacancy in advanced midfield for a solid player to make his mark.
Jason Holt has been doing the best he can there, but for his energy and enthusiasm, he is technically insufficient and his passing can be painful.
Meanwhile Ryan Jack spends as much time injured as he does suspended, and Rangers clearly need to fill that midfield area up with some enhancements.
For those screaming that Halliday does not qualify as an ‘enhancement’, well given he barely got a shot for Rangers at AM, is that even a fair assessment to make?
He is our player, and Rangers have to make the best use of the resources at our disposal.
Rangers will have likely three ‘new signings’ this month in Michael O’Halloran, Joe Dodoo, and Andy Halliday while Brighton’s Jamie Murphy should also arrive. The more players, the more competition, and that can only be a good thing.