Tuesday, 2 October 2018

A 'who's who' of the best at Ibrox

We’ve been a grumpy lot here at Ibrox Noise Towers the past few days. The lamentable Livi result crushed some of our spirit and we’ve struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel as much as we had before it.

However, that said, we have found quite a few reasons to be cheerful, having got most of that result out of the system now, and those reasons are the players.

For the first time in well over half a decade, we can count on more than two fingers the number of players at our club we actually admire, rate, and downright like. In fact, there’s more than a handful of ‘favourites’ now and that’s something we badly missed.

Back in the day we’d admire McGregor, Boca, Davis, Naismith, Jelavic, Lafferty etc – all great players who gave us a Rangers, at the time, to be proud of.

In subsequent years your Cribaris, Perrys, Blacks, Laws and Airds were infinitely less inspiring, and the feeling of a squad who resembled a justified Rangers was becoming something of a rare specimen.

But now we look at our squad, on top of the box office manager, and it really does give us grounds for ‘affection’ towards individual players. We support all our players, of course, but we have favourites, genuine players we see as something akin to Rangers class and who make this club feel, to us, more like its old self again.

Everyone will have their own preferences, but here are ours:

Allan McGregor: Might have had a bad one on Sunday but we love this guy – he’s one of us, he’s the best goalie in Scotland and he’s the best goalie Scotland have produced since Goram. Top class.

Connor Goldson: A touch of understated quality, Goldson, on reflection probably isn’t quite as good as Cuellar was but plays much in the same mould. A chilled, classy defender who uses subtlety and reads the game well.

Nikola Katic: Absolutely love this lad – pure unadulterated heart who plays for his team, his shirt, his manager and the fans. Puts himself where it hurts, and thinks nothing of it.

Borna Barisic: It’s true to say he hasn’t QUITE got going yet, and hasn’t shown his best defensive qualities at present, but his crossing is marquee and he’s a Croatia international first pick for chief’s sake. Very much in the mould of Arthur Numan and physically resembles him too. By far the first pick at LB.

Ryan Jack: We might have rated him 6/10 for the season but it doesn’t stop us loving his qualities when he’s on his game. Vulnerability to injury is a huge issue, and he seems perennially out half the time, but when the fitness and form is there, arguably only Brown matches him at what he does.

Lassana Coulibaly: Ok, he’s been quiet since he came back, but we support him to get through it and regain the astonishing form he was in pre-St Mirren. He’s a monster of a boy and a hard worker, and we like his disposition as well as his ability.

Jordan Rossiter: We don’t really care that he’s only played 11 times for us in over two years, what we’ve seen we’ve loved. He has had a nightmare of injury problems, but seems fit and ready now, and if that legendary cameo at Easter Road is anything to go by, he’s something special. He also never has anything other than a smile on his face despite the trauma of the treatment table.

Scott Arfield: Has given us a real touch of assurance and quality in central midfield, and led it well too. Arfield is a real good player, a great touch, and he has top level experience to count on as well. We’re definitely better with him in the side than not.

Graham Dorrans: He’s the lockpick we need to elevate our currently rather unimaginative midfield. He showed v Villarreal and in patches v Saints and Ayr what he can do, and we need his quality and creativity on days like Livi where the rest just can’t do it.

Kyle Lafferty: He’s one of us, and we like him a lot – but we accept he’s been mostly poor aside his Motherwell debut. This doesn’t stop us seeing him as a favourite, and we know he’s capable of much better than he’s currently showing.

We know some of your favourites won’t be here, but it is all about opinions, and we wanted to do a piece on something positive.

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