As the Ibrox legend nears 40, many feel that this season for Rangers goalkeeper, Allan McGregor, will be his last before hanging up his gloves for retirement. After two very successful spells with the club, registering 201 appearances for the ‘Gers between the years of 2001 and 2012, and having now played 90 games since returning in 2018, the former Scotland number 1 certainly is a man of experience when it comes to Rangers.
However, McGregor’s goalkeeping isn’t that of a pro dragging out the twilight end of his career, as he is Rangers’ main man between the sticks, occasionally rotating with fellow Scottish shot stopper Jon McLaughlin, McGregor constantly rolls back the years with incredible goalkeeping ability. This has been put on display for new manager, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, with McGregor producing a superhuman double-save versus Sparta Prague to keep the score-line at the crucial 2-0 mark, and even showing fantastic reflects to keep Rangers in front at the Tony Macaroni Arena, following a gilt-edged opportunity for Livingston to make it 2-2 from close range.
Giovanni would have known of the talent of McGregor before taking the management position, still playing for Rangers as Allan McGregor broke onto the scene in 2001, but the Dutchman will now be well aware of the incredible talent that McGregor still holds and how valued of an asset he is for Rangers.
This begs the question for Van Bronckhorst, who can step forward and replace Allan should this be the last year of his career?
As mentioned, McGregor does often rotate with Scotland international, Jon McLaughlin in that starting XI, but is he the man to become Rangers’ number 1? The 34 year old has put in some impressive displays over his time at the club, joining Rangers in the summer of 2020 and playing his role as Rangers went onto dominate the league. McLaughlin is certainly a fantastic goalkeeper for Rangers to have as their second choice, however many question if he has the quality to inherit that starting spot in the team, occasionally showing errors in judgement which can be costly, with Aberdeen’s opening goal springing to mind in the recent 2-2 draw at Ibrox before the arrival of Giovanni.
Despite the talented McLaughlin, many can’t help but wonder if the potential retirement of McGregor could pave the way for the talented young Robby McCrorie, who is yet to be given a major breakthrough into the squad. With loan spells aplenty for the 23 year old, many fans did not know much about the young goalkeeper, but when COVID-19 rendered a portion of the squad unavailable earlier in the season, McCrorie stood up to be counted, putting some great shifts for the ‘Gers.
From travelling to play in the scorching Armenian summer heat to produce an impressive clean sheet, to denying Celtic’s frontmen over and over again as Rangers claimed a 1-0 Old Firm triumph, Robby McCrorie certainly grabbed his moment and shone, although hasn’t resurfaced back into the team since his two fellow shot stoppers returned to action.
Despite having a lot to learn, many wonder if with the right training, could McCrorie stand up to be counted once again? At his young age and with his great displays of potential, the sky is the limit for the young ‘keeper and he will be hoping he is given the chance to be the man once McGregor moves on.
Allan McGregor is a man of not only unbelievable goalkeeping quality, but with a burning love for Rangers, he is in many respects irreplaceable. As he nears 40, all we can do is continue to watch on in disbelief as he produces even more fantastic saves, but when the day arrives that he chooses to retire, it will certainly be a mouth-watering contest of skill and ability to see who will be between the sticks at Ibrox as the new first choice goalkeeper.