Friday, 3 August 2018

"The Josh Windass Situation"

This Josh Windass situation is a little curious, and it’s been intriguingly managed, if we’re honest.

We praised the first six weeks of Stevie, were a bit more critical following Shkupi, but things look much brighter right now and we’re happy to get on board the Gerrard Express again.

However, we do find his handling of Josh Windass a bit strange, and, of recent times, one of the things we’re struggling to grasp.

Windass is a pure 10 – we’ve known this for a long time. An attacking midfielder who is more of a second striker than anything else. Pre-season showed Gerrard individually managing Windass, giving him attention, and if Windass’ own account to RTV was anything to go by, Gerrard saw him as a pivotal part of his Rangers jigsaw, whether us fans wanted it or not.

However, the Anfield legend elected to play Windass completely out of position wide on the right and the ex-Accrington man was absolutely useless there – he looked lost, and didn’t know how to play the wide flank.

We’ve seen him on the left, with varying and patchy results, and while he’s flirted with pace and form there, he is much more at home free-roaming centrally. Indeed, his purple patch of late January through to early March was utterly sensational and, along with the shifting of Ross McCrorie to midfield, the big success of the Graeme Murty era.

However, his isolation on the right has seen him lost under Gerrard, and then he suffered the ignominy of being dropped. Now, a lot of fans are quite happy with no Windass in the team, but we do have a slight concern – if the plan is to sell him, surely making it clear he’s not in favour Barrie McKay style is only going to hurt his value?

However, it may well be Gerrard does see him as pivotal, just, not right now. Maybe Rangers’ manager is managing the player the way he thinks is best – by kicking him out the team and making him fight for the jersey. That said, if his insipid sub appearances are anything to go by, it’s probably not having the desired effect yet.

If we’re honest, Windass doesn’t strike us as a fighter. And perhaps backing him into a corner won’t work and will just expose his petted lip. Equally, we don’t know the boy personally so perhaps it is absolutely the right way to deal with him.

For now, Windass is benched and we must also bear in mind the 4-3-3 Gerrard is deploying wouldn’t fit him anyway – Ejaria is in ‘that’ position but again, it’s not his ideal slot either – given he’s a very similar position to Windass, if not similar style.

Either way, Rangers are getting results without Windass for now. And that works.

We just do wonder what the long term plan with him is.

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