While Rangers aren’t exactly struggling with low quality in midfield, with the likes of Jack, Kamara, Davis, Arfield and new signing Bongani Zungu available for selection, nevertheless the question recently of Ross McCrorie has surfaced and just why the high-flying Aberdeen midfielder was let go.
McCrorie, as we know, asked to leave, just like Daniel Candeias did – both for effectively the same reason, that they didn’t want to stay and fight for a place.
In truth, McCrorie wasn’t part of the Gerrard picture, despite the manager’s claims to the contrary last season, and he knew it.
But just why?
Why was McCrorie dumped by this manager despite the fact he’s now excellent at Pittodrie and has earned his first senior Scotland callup?
There may be a surprisingly simple explanation.
There is one thing Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara and Steven Davis especially have over the no-nonsense midielder – and that’s technical quality.
Steven Gerrard absolutely likes his midfielders to have quality on the ball, with vision, full control, a touch, and an eye for a pass as well as interlinking intelligently with their team mates.
As much as we liked McCrorie, he has none of these. He’s big, strong, powerful and does the dirty work effectively, but technically he isn’t a great player.
We liked McCrorie a great deal, but we can’t revise history and say he’s something he’s not.
He’s a fine fine player, but Gerrard wants technical players, particularly in midfield. Players who can combine with each other, who can pass efficiently, who are comfortable on the ball and who can get forward with composure.
This really wasn’t McCrorie, and it’s not that surprising he didn’t work out under Gerrard.
We suspect Stevie hoped playing in England would improve McCrorie’s technical competence, but that didn’t work out either – and he came back the same player.
He’s doing great now, in the role he thrives in.
And that’s fair enough – it just isn’t the role Gerrard wants in his midfield at Ibrox.