Despite a humdinger of a win over Killie, Allan McGregor aside, it seems the ‘deserters’ experiment has failed.
Since summer last year, Steven Gerrard has brought back three of the infamous 2012 crew, and with Kyle Lafferty’s increasingly poor season putting him into the freezer while Steven Davis is unable to impress on pretty much any level, it is starting to look like only one of the three have been a success.
In all fairness, what a success McGregor has turned out to be – easily the best stopper in Scotland and one of the best in Britain, the 37-year old has gotten better with age and while the needle in his game could use a bit of cooling down, he’s been a sensational success.
The same just can’t be said for Davis or Lafferty. Lafferty appears to have peaked at Hearts, playing his ‘heart’ out and trying to engineer the move to Ibrox, which was what he wanted in 2017 anyway, and has finally succeeded – but his form has dwindled along with his importance, possibly aided by his ‘personality’ which we know to be high maintenance at the best of times.
Meanwhile Davis has just not done it since he came back – while raking out some good distance passes, and initially looking like a composed and high-quality player, his limitations have started to lay bare as he plays in an SPL which is just too fast for him now – and we start to understand why he wasn’t in Southampton’s plans any more nor were they resistant to him leaving.
This is not to pick on the pair of them and slaughter them unnecessarily – both are decent guys whatever their motivations for coming back were, and no matter how you look at it they’re upgrades over the kind of squad depth we’ve had in years gone by.
But that is what they are – depth. Neither of them are good enough any more to be first picks, and we’d actually be surprised if Davis remains at Ibrox beyond the summer.
It’s curious how McGregor got better and better as he aged, while his Northern Irish friends faded quite noticeably.
But it’s a good place for Rangers to be in that we can say we have far better options than both of them, and that’s not something we could say early in this journey of ours.