With yesterday’s tragic injury to star man Ryan Kent, Steven Gerrard has something of a problem on his hands, not just for Thursday’s visit of Feyenoord, but for the next month at least.
Jordan Jones was obviously injured against Celtic, about which his manager was scathing, but to then lose the man Stevie has clearly pegged as the first-choice in that slot would have been a thoroughly bitter blow to take.
Which means, effectively, that Rangers are down their best two wingers, and only have Brandon Barker and Sheyi Ojo, unless we include Jamie Murphy as well.
Furthermore, Ryan Jack may not be fit in time for Thursday either and may be a doubt too for Sunday’s trip to Perth, leaving Rangers with one hell of a bad time to have an injury crisis.
For the wings, Rangers realistically have Barker, Ojo and Arfield. Murphy is unlikely to be used, even more so ditto Grezda. Jack is likely missing from midfield with Arfield probably to remain there, meaning it’s all a bit of a ‘shoogle’ as the manager tries to adjust for such a dramatic loss of key personnel.
To lose three key players is rather unfortunate, and of course in-form Jon Flanagan remains unavailable after surgery recovery as well.
Which all gives the manager a lot less options on Thursday (Jones wasn’t included anyway) and potentially Sunday.
Andy Halliday will likely remain at left back, but with possibly no Jack Stevie may similarly have to leave midfield as is, with the only possible change seeing Glen Kamara start.
Up front is a real issue, unless Kamara takes Arfield’s midfield slot and we see Ojo wide left and the Canada international wide right.
Naturally, a performance and result in this tournament are a bonus this season – we just wanted to get into the group. So getting the display and 3 points are nice but maybe not critical this Thursday.
But Sunday is bread and butter, and while St Johnstone are pretty mince this season Rangers’ condition could be better and Tommy Wright may smell a touch of blood.
Especially if half the first team of the visitors are out injured.
Hopefully a lot of quick recoveries will happen over the next half a week.