Rangers today announced their final squad for the last 32 v Antwerp, and while the headlines talk about Jack Simpson and Scott Wright’s inclusion, it’s more interesting to us at Ibrox Noise to see who doesn’t make the cut.
And the headline omission is again that of Jermain Defoe, who asked to be taken out of the group stages squad in order to keep himself fit for domestic action, but only played a handful of games over the piece since then, and has now been omitted for the last 32.
This time we suspect it’s a winding down of the career of a truly excellent human being, and we don’t think much thought was needed from either himself or Stevie over this call.
Defoe is coming very much to the end of his playing days, and with just 315 minutes of football played this campaign, he’s tapering it down slowly.
There is much talk of his being a coach at Ibrox in the near future, and frankly we could do much worse than him for the strikers.
He’s already doing a job close to that in among the players, but as a proper coach he could dedicate himself to passing his wisdom on.
But that’s, down the line.
For now he is still a player, and this UEL omission makes us wonder just how much longer that will remain the case.
Still, we can be proud he scored his 300th career goal with one of the best finishes indeed of his time in the game at our club, and whatever is next for him will have everyone’s backing.
Time, as always, will tell.