Declan John


Regular readers of Ibrox Noise will know not only do we have a lot of time on the site for Declan John, but we personally consider him our POTY last season.

Daniel Candeias got the official vote, but not ours – John’s consistency, professionalism, attacking qualities and overall contribution to the team merited our distinction in that category.

Yes, he wasn’t always perfect, and yes he had a touch of the Tavernier-itis of sometimes being caught out of position, but he was and is simply a better left back than the man he replaced in Lee Wallace. Again, we have huge respect on here for Wallace, but the hard, brutal truth is John is a superior LB and Wallace lost his place due to John’s form and ability as much as anything else.

In theory too, John’s imminent loan to Swansea City is a surprise – an international left back who was excellent last season and a borderline ever-present suddenly being farmed out on loan?

But the reality is this was predictable – he has had next-to-no part to play in Steven Gerrard’s new era, for right or wrong, and Rangers’ manager has clearly run the rule over the squad and reckons John doesn’t cut it.

The signing of Jon Flanagan didn’t initially seem the end of John’s time at Ibrox, but when SG elected to play him in his slightly weaker LB slot over the Wales international, the writing was on the wall.

And we have to admit the England cap has justified his position. Extremely impressive in all but one (Osijek away) matches, Flanagan, in his weaker slot, has been a completely merited selection. It’s hard to argue against his pretty perfect display at Pittodrie.

And now with Rangers close to clinching another left back in Borna Barisic, Gerrard, currently, will have literally six options for that place, transfers notwithstanding; Flanagan, John, Wallace, Hodson, Barisic and technically even halliday.

Some theories are that Barisic will fill in at his natural position, while Flanagan will switch over to the right. Where that leaves Tavernier is unknown (just after he put in his best shift as a Rangers player) but it certainly leaves Declan John nowhere – he wouldn’t be happy on the bench.

He will go to Wales, and while we admire him, like him, and would rather he stayed, we are beginning to really trust Stevie’s judgement – he’s earning that.

It’s a disappointment for the player, and for some fans who rate him highly, but Rangers FC must come first and very few fans would make a strong case that Flanagan RB and Barisic LB isn’t the strongest theoretical selection we have for full back.

We wish John the best and have only good words to say about him. He’s also only just turned 23 and has the best years of his career ahead. We see him having a very bright future in the game, just sadly, not for Rangers.



  1. Barisic is a superior LB when attacking, Flanagan (even out of position) is a superior LB when defending. This makes John the odd man out. A loan might be a good solution (if he performs well there he will be even more expensive if teams want to buy him next year)

  2. Why not keep him &play him in front of barasic & while we’re at it play tav in front of flannagan ?

  3. This is a baffling decision from SG and while i trust his judgement i have to say that i am hugely dissapointed. If there isn't a slot at left back for DJ then surely he has to be moved into left mid in place of Jamie Murphy who has been pretty awful so far this season. I think the only reason Murphy has escaped major criticism so far is because it's all being directed at Windass.

    Ryan Giggs played DJ at left mid for wales and he was excellent and we have also seen ourselves that he is an excellent attacker and isn't afraid to take players on.

    However, maybe it's not Gerrards decision. With DJ recently losing his Grandad maybe it's the lad himself who wants to move back home to be closer to his family?

    Either way i wish him all the best. A good lad and a top professional.

  4. Both John and Tavernier are better going forward than defending. Maybe there is case for both in the midfield at times but Tavernier would be better bet. Got to trust the managers judgement. Moving on Hodson & John probably funded Barisic signing.

  5. Dec J has been decent at Gers. He goes forward well at times and can be a threat. I’m not sure he’s defensively as good. Physically he’s not imposing or as aggressive. I’d like to keep him inthe squad but if he has the attitude ‘start me every week or I don’t want to be here’….then I’m afraid he can fuck off. He’s not great and we need fighters.

    Barasic is a major upgrade. Flanagan likewise on the other side.

    No one is happy on the bench, but if they don’t fancy the fight to be in our team they can go if they find someone prepared to meet our valuation. Simple as.

  6. Shame to see the lad go gave his all for us,

    LETS GO WATP 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

  7. Doesn’t matter if he was our best player.. were wanting to do better than last season, so buying better players for every position is the way to go. Some positions need upgraded still but that’s the back 4 and keeper sorted for sure

  8. Ever since 2012 our club policy should've been to gradually upgrade every position. That may knock a few noses out of joint and upset some fans as their "favourite" gets replaced but it's what we must do to get back to where we belong. John was a decent player but too small and lightweight for me. Barisic is an upgrade and I think will prove to be a significant upgrade. Another bonus will be to move Flanagan to RB giving us a very solid and physical back 4. Right mid for Tav who is a better player and more creative than Candeias.

  9. My main arguement is that there are greater priorities than LB, eg CB and CF.
    Second issue is that I have only seen Barisic twice. Is he always good? Dependable? I don't know if he is better or not, so will trust SG.
    BUT, how good is it to be discussing stuff like this again after 6 years. Selling or not selling an international as a sub.
    Here we go!!!

    • U don’t become club captain. Knock PSV out of Europe or get 3 Croatia caps if you haven’t been doing it for a couple of years

    • SWH I agree about priorities but a good player is a good player and the more we have of them the better. As I said earlier it also gives us more flexibility across the pitch, e.g. Flanagan moving across, Barisic left mid, back 3, moving Tav into offensive position etc.

  10. I always enjoy the healthy debates following a new signing.
    Where is he going to play ? Who is he going to make way for ?
    Sometimes the decision is unpopular… ultimately the hope is improvement is reached, to make the team stronger.
    I have a sense the often dubious pre-requisite of a player being brought up as a die-hard Rangers fan is simply enough to qualify for a place in the team is now becoming a thing of the past.
    For sure, it is disappointing to find a few of the players moving on who have provided a decent level of service.
    The Manager appears to have a strong will, though, and a mentality that suggests emotion and loyalty will not come into play in making decisions.
    The signing policy, thus far, has proved to be nothing other than positive, with creative players arriving who are capable of performing in all areas of the field.
    And not a Gregor Stevens, Terry Hurlock or Kevin Muscat in sight, thankfully.

  11. As much as I appreciate that Barisic is a Quality LB
    …Getting Rid of DJ is not the Answer

    Get Rid of Hodson and Halliday!

    We should have it like this :

    Flan at RB
    And Tav as back-up Fighting for the Jersey
    Why not?!? …Let me guess, cause hes the captain, well tav has had it too easy for too long! 🤔👍

    Barisic at LB,
    John as Back Up Fighting for Jersey
    (But id like Wallace to stay too haha)

    Like has been mentioned LB was not a prority but we managed to spendd £2.2mill on Barisic when we couldnt afford £3mill for Marriott or Even 500k for Laff!

  12. Who said we couldn't afford £500k for Lafferty. We simply, for the moment, chose not to pay a Hearts an over inflated fee for a player now in his 30's.

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