We’ve been amused at Ibrox Noise to see some absolute garbage being written and said about Ianis Hagi by ignorant fans who appear to have selective memories.
Yes, let’s be clear – Hagi isn’t having a great season so far, but we’re going to explain why in a moment, but before we do:
What a depressing group of fans who smear a player who was our brightest spark between January and March. A player who lit Ibrox up a number of times and persuaded us quite happily to shell out the initial £4.5M (which turned into £3M) fee for his permanent services.
Now, for the mitigating circumstances – we know he’s having an off-par start to the season. He’s been a little below his best in some matches, and that’s been obvious. But it’s plain to see why:
HE IS NOT A WINGER!
When Rangers originally signed him on loan, a respected Belgian football journalist described how he was far from at his best on the wings, and he wasn’t so good at working back and tracking back.
It turns out he was correct about one of these.
Hagi, fundamentally, is a 10. Either a second striker or an attacking midfielder.
His strengths are not on either flank, and he simply can’t play there, but that’s mostly where he’s played this season.
We’ve heard such tripe as ‘he’s not suited to Scottish football’ and ‘heart isn’t in it’ already this season when not only did he show big effort last season, and has worked hard this campaign, but he played well last season and it was enough to make us sign him.
His weakness is a lack of pace – this is well-documented, albeit we were the first to call it out when we faced Braga in Portugal.
And that’s ok, it’s probably what stopped him getting to the top of the game, but it meant we got a fantastic little player at a great price.
This is one for the older Bears:
Remember Thomas Buffel? He was a massive Ibrox Noise favourite back in the day, but he too suffered the ignominy of always being played wide right or wide left when he was also a central playmaker. Eck always shoved him on the flank where he should have been in the middle, and it wasted him.
Hagi is experiencing the same. Purely because we lack a plethora of right wingers right now.
He’s also suffered from having to play on two garbage surfaces in Livi and Hamilton recently, which certainly doesn’t help.
So, what’s our message?
Support the kid, don’t smear him. He’s got talent and he wants to be here. He’s one of us, and we, for one, are right behind him.
Can you say the same?