So it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Rangers’ squad for 19/20 is a hair’s width from completion.
Strikers are in form, midfield is embarrassed with riches, and defence has started to click.
Unfortunately, there is just one nagging issue, and that issue has continued on from last season, and the season before:
Rangers just cannot find a convincing solution at left back.
After the false dawn that was Borna Barisic’s bright pre-season, serious competitive action showed he’s not the answer. The Borna Barisic that thrives for Croatia doesn’t fit at Ibrox. We need more from our fullbacks, and the Croat isn’t up to it.
This leaves two others – Andy Halliday and Jon Flanagan.
Halliday, bless him, is an honourable performer, and on a squad basis does a shift in that slot. But it just isn’t his raison d’etre and never will be. He is not a long-term answer.
Flanagan, on the other hand, will have up and down matches – often managing very impressive performances – but it doesn’t get away from the fact he’s primarily a right back and doesn’t offer much in an attacking sense. He’s also, let’s face it, not terribly good overall.
In short, Rangers have a real nagging problem here – three players for one slot, none of whom is up to it.
For now, the best solution Stevie has is to just keep rotating between the three and hope that gets the best out of each of them. It’s hardly ideal, and it isn’t good for continuity, but it’s the best we have.
Simply put this position has been a massive issue for the best part of a decade. And we cannot fathom letting the best two we had there in Lee Wallace and Declan John leave. Neither was treated well, and both of them were superior to any of the options we currently have.
No, Stevie definitely made an error over John, and the club an error over Wallace.
It’s left us in a total pickle with three players who aren’t individually good enough to hold that slot down.
If there is time, and something comes up, we’d love to see a quality LB come in.
Greg Taylor, anyone?