Rangers fans are today relenting a little on criticising John Lundstram so heavily after his best display yet last night v Livi.
Following a very slow start to his Rangers career in which the word ‘donkey’ and phrase ‘waste of money’ were widely used, and while we at Ibrox Noise conceded he hadn’t quite hit the heights yet, we were one of the few to defend him, pointing out he’d been our best midfielder in the loss v Utd.
The guy’s CV is without much doubt – he’s got bags of PL and Championship experience, and in the normal market would have had a pricetag into £10M. Even Transfermarkt puts a £6M-£7M tag on his head today.
But he’d struggled a lot to adjust to Rangers, and to Scottish football.
Remember, this is the first time he’s been at a club where second isn’t an option, a draw is like a defeat, and anything less than a brilliant or well-fought win is the end of the world, and that change in mentality has clearly taken him a while to acclimatise to.
Livi might have been bottom of the table to face Celtic, but that win at Parkhead gave them a big confidence injection and they came to Ibrox hoping to cause an upset. They have been traditionally tricky opposition for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.
But Lundstram thrived – not Xavi, let’s be clear, but he played well. He looked strong, and his passing and composure were a lot better. Indeed, a lot of fans pegged him as MOTM on this performance and that’s a fair reflection of his best night in a Rangers shirt.
What is clear is his improvement in form is timely, but what is also possible is the absence of Steven Davis let it happen.
Davo, we all know, is a wonderful stalwart for this club and no one has a bad word to say on him. But he’s been subpar this season, by his own incredible standards, and while this may well be age catching up on him and his working the currently vacant ‘Ryan Jack’ role for midfield, there is also an argument where he and Lundstram may not be gelling too well either.
Regardless of the reason for Lundstram’s improvement yesterday, it was welcome, and restores him in the eyes of many fans as a genuine candidate for midfield.
He came with a lot of fanfare and struggled to adjust to that, but he’s shown what he can do and fans will be hoping he can take that on and assert himself as a real player for our engine room.