We really do find the whole Josh Windass story really intriguing. A little disturbing, very odd, and overall one of the stranger player sagas we’ve had in recent times.
Back in the day, Mark Warburton had his eye on Accrington Stanley pair Matt Crooks and Josh Windass.
Crooks, it turned out, is actually an attacking midfielder, and he struggled to understand why people had him as a defender/defensive midfielder. Windass, on the other hand, was a clear and able AM and after a protracted saga including lots of mudslinging from Stanley’s owner, the pair were secured on a pittance in a pre-contract.
They arrived summer 2016.
Windass made an immediate impact – a couple of goals in the League Cup that pre-season, the youngster looked like someone Rangers could build a team around. Unfortunately injury and inconsistency blighted his first season plus an increasingly fractious relationship with fans through social media, including his father who rather stained the family name going by his actions.
However, much hope was pinned on him for the 2017/2018 season and for the first 20 minutes at Motherwell on the opening day, he really looked like a corner had been turned. As he faded dramatically, it was obvious he was going to struggle. And possibly become something of a pariah.
Indeed, last season was a combination of amazing form and ignominious anonymity. For every match where any shot on target seemed to be a goal, there was another (or even two or three) where his shirt would be better served on a dummy.
His delightful father did say once that his best position was one of the three in a 4-2-3-1, but evidently that wasn’t true, and Windass clearly struggled anywhere other than the 10 or 9 position. However, the 9 was somewhere he never played once until Pittodrie at the weekend, and from what we now know, Windass and Gerrard spoke in Dubai about that position, with Stevie telling him he probably wouldn’t be playing there.
This may explain why his wing displays pre-season this year have been even worse than normal – while he was never the best out there, this pre-season he clearly wasn’t interested, and only showed real effort that one time – in the 9 at Pittodrie.
And then there’s the social media side. We at Ibrox Noise are not social media monkeys, we aren’t interested in such platforms. Because it gives rise to the kind of attitude and personality we saw from both Windasses, and neither was appealing. Dean’s parting insult at Rangers fans is no surprise – he’s an Aberdeen man through and through, and he never liked us. But the way both of them behaved so poorly towards the people who paid their son’s wages really was rather contemptuous.
Let’s not forget the relating ‘shhhh’ incident as featured in the headline photo – Windass clearly telling the fans to ‘shut up’ over comments and criticism he received. Just adding to the contempt.
Windass was at Ibrox for two years, and during that time the circus surrounding him never faded. He divided fans more aggressively than any player we can remember for years, and frankly we’re glad to see the back of all that.
Yes, his form this spring was excellent, and he was scoring for fun over a purple patch, but it seems Gerrard wasn’t interested in accommodating his need to be the main striker and that self centred attitude appears to have been his undoing.
Selfishness on the pitch was a huge issue with the kid last season, and it infuriated us as he appeared to play the sport for himself – it did improve over the past few months but it seems he still hasn’t matured fully and become a team player.
A two year soap opera is finally over and we can all move on at long last.