So Joe Worrall has officially returned to Nottingham Forest and the search had already begun in earnest to find further bodies for central defence. But there’s been more than a few stories about the now-former Rangers defender, trying to smear his character and claim he didn’t want to join Rangers.
We at Ibrox Noise were far from his biggest fans, and infinitely preferred Nikola Katic, and while Worrall did himself no favours with his too-blunt honesty, he shouldn’t be misquoted either and should be at least shown the respect he deserves.
The headlines suggested he was appalled at coming north to Rangers, that this was the last place he wanted to be, when the reality is anything but.
True, he was indeed devastated last summer, but not at joining Rangers; he was devastated that Forest boss Aitor Karanka ditched him, wasn’t interested in him, and that this Forest boy through and through was being rejected by a manager who didn’t have a clue about the club.
Remind you of anyone? In case you’re still in the dark, Andy Halliday was binned in exactly the same way to Azerbaijan of all places by ex-manager Pedro Caixinha, and for a Rangers man that was bitter.
But while Halliday ended out on the border of Russia, Joe Worrall, by contrast, if unable to at least play for his team, still got one hell of a prize in playing for one of the biggest clubs in Britain.
Look at his words closely:
“I would not leave Forest for Rangers, no. I liked it there but I am a Forest man, aren’t I? I am looking forward to being back. I have missed home, I have missed Forest and I cannot wait to put on a red shirt again. I still have a couple of years left on my contract here and I want to stay here for as long as I can. I hope to be in the starting XI on the first day of the new season with Forest. Was I upset to go up there? Was I gutted at the time? Yes, I was. But if you asked me now, I would not say that. You have to learn from your mistakes and I can say for a fact that Rangers fans let you know about it, when you do make a mistake. The experience up there has been brilliant. The city, the people and playing under a huge boss in Gerrard. He was one of my heroes growing up so being able to learn from him has been really good. He has still got it on the training ground. He is still a very good player. He got involved a lot. It has been a long year for me up there by myself but the experience was invaluable. It has developed me more as a human being, I think. The crowd and the sheer size of Rangers is not something I expected. It is crazy. Just the buzz around the city is mad. The boys were all saying that it was the biggest derby game in the world. After being involved I can back that thought up. I have had plenty of highs and a few lows in my career already.”
Yes, he does say he was ‘upset to go up there’ but this is more rejection from his boyhood club, just like Greg Docherty was upset to have to ‘go down there’ to Shrewsbury, or Jordan Rossiter was ‘gutted to go down there’ to Bury. Everyone wants to play for the club they’re paid by, and in many cases are a fan of, and Worrall was no different.
We have no grudge against him, and at least he was always honest on the pitch. We wish him luck, but we would admit we’d like to never see him in our shirt again!
No offence Joe!