Rangers fans have started to call for star midfielder Scott Arfield to be dropped, following another jaded display from the Canada midfielder.
The Canuck captain underwent a torrid international break, including 12,000 miles on the plane, where he led his men to a historic win over USA for the first time in three decades, but the toll of this was evident at Tynecastle where he cut a tired figure and wasn’t hugely influential.
And fan response, while the player is highly rated, has been categorical – the manager’s decision to play him after such a rigorous physical and mental fortnight was a distinct oversight and the 30-year old needs a rest.
There is nagging feeling with Arfield that he hasn’t quite hit the heights this season at basic level, having something like a 7/10 season – good enough but not at his full capacity, and an argument could definitely be made that he still hasn’t truly recovered from his summer, where he got two weeks off before he was off to USA for the Gold Cup with Canada.
The Canucks lost in the quarters and this meant Rangers got him back earlier than expected, but this also meant Rangers got him back earlier than expected and he played a big role in the Europa League qualifiers, although he did miss the initial trip to Gibraltar on account of Gold Cup duty.
In short, Arfield, despite he and Gerrard’s claims that he’s in the best physical condition of his career, clearly isn’t, and it’s starting to feel a little bit again like he needs a break.
It feels like he just hasn’t had a proper spell on the sidelines at Ibrox, and while his form has rarely been poor, the lack of opportunity to refresh himself may now be catching up on him.
We’ll put this one over to you.