If there’s been one puzzle this pre-season, it’s quite why Jermain Defoe is getting so many starts. The 38-year old is, sadly, past his best now, and contributing nothing to the first team any more, having aggressively and suddenly deteriorated since last season.
This isn’t that surprising at his age, but despite Sporting Director Ross Wilson explaining the plan was to give him a normal pre-season then transition him into coaching, we once again have to question the wisdom of that tactic when Cedric Itten is absolutely champing at the bit to get a chance and has two goals in pre-season already.
In fact, choosing 38-year old Defoe, who will be coaching pretty much full time in a few weeks, over Itten, feels to us a very ‘jobs for the boys’ act, which isn’t in the interests of the club and which the manager nor team is learning a single thing from it.
We know Stevie and Defoe are mates, but the club comes first, and while Itten hasn’t set the heather alight at Ibrox, he’s doing his damndest in pre-season to prove his credentials, given there’s no Alfredo Morelos.
But no, Defoe is getting the starts, doing nothing with them, and frankly taking up a slot we’d be better served giving Itten the minutes to.
It’s nothing personal, we have massive respect for Defoe, but he’s just not at it any more, and he’s basically retiring in a few weeks. Yet he gets the shirt and Itten has to be content as a sub.
We trust Stevie and this IS only pre-season, but that’s the point.
We’re thin up top, with just two real options (Roofe and Itten till Morelos gets home) and we’d rather not waste time selecting Defoe whose time is running out now.
But, what do we know.