As we reported earlier, the story about Greg Docherty’s rumoured exit is in fact true, and the former Hamilton man has reportedly requested to leave for game time on loan, something manager Steven Gerrard has granted.
There are a lot of ways of interpreting this news. Ibrox Noise regulars will know we rate the lad highly, high enough in fact we saw him as a future Rangers captain and Scotland international. While still having development ahead of him, his performances generally had been excellent, until he lost his sparring partner Sean Goss and got weighed down by the out-of-position Graham Dorran. So for us, on that level, Gerrard’s evident decision to exclude Docherty from team affairs is disappointing.
On the other hand, Docherty himself is showing the dignity and class of a true Ranger – rather than sitting around collecting his wages, he has shown initiative and requested a loan move out so he can continue to develop. This is the kind of attitude we expect at Ibrox, rather than less honourable individuals content to pick up a wage.
Plus if we think about loans, that’s exactly what was the making of Allan McGregor – his time away from Ibrox let him grow into the best goalkeeper the SPL has had since Andy Goram. But McGregor was never in favour before this in Govan, he simply seized his chance once Lionel Letizi (remember him) was exposed as horrific.
So it does beg the question of just what it is that managers have suddenly stopped seeing in Docherty that was clearly on display from late January till the Old Firm 2-3.
A number of fans have justified his exclusion, suggesting he needs to develop, and yet seem to have no issue with similarly aged Ross McCrorie and Alfredo Morelos remaining in the team on that basis. Indeed, the only complaint has been about form and in some cases attitude – no one appears to have a ‘needs development’ argument about these two, only Docherty. Why?
We are not wholly sure Docherty has been given a fair crack of the whip. He played great for about eight weeks, then was ditched. Did something happen at Hampden beyond that altercation in the circle to suggest why Alfredo Morelos remains a player but Docherty lost his place completely?
Whatever the cause, Docherty gets our respect. He didn’t complain, he got on with it, and put on a dignified face while working hard in training.
For whatever reason that wasn’t enough for Steven Gerrard who is happy to send him out on loan.
Maybe we see more in Docherty than others do, but the overriding response from fans about this is how can Andy Halliday come on in defensive midfield ahead of Docherty?
And that, with no disrespect meant to Halliday, rather sums up our confusion.