If it wasn’t definitively clear before, it is now. As Ibrox Noise’s Kevin hints in his predictions post, Jon McLaughlin is 99.9% number one now.
If ever we were unsure, the fact he started against PSV in the critical home leg of such a massive UCL tie speaks volumes for the decision Giovanni has made, and the only thing that can now absolutely put it 100% beyond all reasonable doubt is if he starts in Holland too.
And we see no reason why he won’t.
Is McLaughlin good enough to be the Rangers goalie? No, the reality is Gio probably isn’t picking the better goalie, but then while so many would suggest McGregor is the superior model, the real solution is signing a new stopper entirely, with a CV worthy of the role.
A Stefan Klos, for example.
But we have four goalies on our books, and that means no one new is coming in unless one of them leaves.
McGregor is old – he’s one of the best goalies Rangers have ever had, some might even say the best, but at the least he’s among the top three at the very least. But he wasn’t great last season, and made some notable gaffes, mainly in the league.
McLaughlin, on the other hand, is just an average stopper in the first place who can’t believe his luck to have ended up Rangers’ number one.
Fair play to him, he’s on record as being well aware his being in goals doesn’t come with universal approval from fans, and it doesn’t.
Every team sheet sees the same reaction from most supporters: ‘ffs, McLaughlin and Sands AGAIN?’
And it’s up to him to prove that despite a bang average career (mostly played in lower English and SPL levels) he’s somehow peaking right now and justifying being the successor to Woods, Goram, Klos and McGregor, to name but four.
Gio sees something in McLaughlin, so we as fans must back it.
And in fairness, he made two big saves v PSV, one of which was top class indeed. It was, in fact, likely, his best performance in the shirt.
When he signed that new deal this year, he’d never have dreamed he was playing in the UCL against PSV.
Well, he is.
And it’s up to him to prove Gio knows a tonne more about his goalies than we dumb fans do and vindicate his manager’s faith.
Because it’s his shirt to lose now.