We touched on this a couple of days ago but it’s worth having a look at the Daniel Candeias situation one last time.
We were never universally Candeias’ biggest fans on this site – some of us highly rate him, others were happy to see the back of him (we’ll leave you to ID the position of the author of this piece for yourselves).
But one thing we all definitely agree on – Candeias’ departure changes things quite dramatically for two men at Ibrox – James Tavernier and Alfredo Morelos.
In Morelos’ case Candeias was his best mate at Ibrox – he helped hugely with the Colombian’s integration and was a kind of mentor for him in Govan – he was also a translator for much of the native tongue which went over the younger man’s head. But either way, whatever his role at any given time, he was a big part of Morelos’ time at Ibrox. He also linked up frequently with him on the pitch, with Morelos often using the Portuguese down the right for an outlet. That’s definitely gone now.
In Tavernier’s case, they had a notable understanding on the right – and crucially, Candeias frequently covered defensive for the RB when he bombed on in attack. There is absolutely no coincidence that Tavernier was completely exposed on several occasions against Blackburn with no Candeias to fill in the gaps. They also took regular turns with attacking, so, in actual reality, Tav and Candeias were like playing with two RBs and RWs in one – both attacked, and both defended.
That, too, is now gone.
Obviously, it’s partially Steven Gerrard’s choice – he didn’t and couldn’t promise Candeias guaranteed first-team starts, because he both didn’t rate him as highly as that, and also tends not to guarantee anyone that too.
But similarly Candeias showed a strange lack of regard for Rangers in this choice – Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Allan McGregor (all over 30 so all ‘seeking football at their age’) are subject to earning the shirt just like Candeias, but they don’t throw huffs at the lack of guarantee and appropriate exits (Steven Davis was a complete fringe player for months and never once acted up about it) – Candeias’ choice to leave smacked of immaturity and a complete contradiction to the supposed work ethic and attitude he’s so famous for.
Only to an extent though – we do sound harsh here, and it was one hell of a diss from Gerrard to drop him from the UEL squad. Especially given his contribution in the last campaign.
But the choice to do so, and to reduce his role may have quite a significant ripple effect on two significant members of the squad.
Not really worth £250K was it…