Our John Souttar article of a few days ago stirred the hive like few articles we’ve published recently, so we wanted to have a proper good look at the reaction and what we said, and analyse all of it.
The response post-match after Livi, from about 90% of our readers, was the player was a dud. This was not our reaction, it was the readers.
We decided to cover this, playing it down a bit by saying ‘some Rangers fans’ have given up on Souttar, which at this point, they had.
We were not shocked to see a third to a half of the responses to THAT piece continuing to say the same thing, while the other half or so denied the first half’s reaction, despite it being there in front of them. Made sense…
Connor Goldson came out to defend the lad today, even highlighting that criticism/abuse online that Souttar received.
Us? We analysed his performance, which was poor, and pointed out he was struggling and needed to up his game. We did not in any way endorse those who have said much, much worse.
Now, as many online are at pains to claim, Souttar is said to have suffered a bereavement in the past three weeks of a family member, allegedly. We have absolutely no evidence this is true, because unlike other bereavements in the past suffered by players, there was no official confirmation. So we’re not going to add to Chinese whispers by stating this story factually nor are we going to talk about it as if it is true. We’ll leave it there.
But what we can say is the Scotland international has struggled – we were all impressed by him in the cup final, but making the step up to Rangers is a huge leap. Some cope, some don’t.
But it’s early days – Souttar shouldn’t be written off even if his performances have struggled.
As many said, so many wrote off Lundstram (excluding us, we will arrogantly protest) and look how he proved them wrong. Which he did.
So Souttar has every chance of turning his stuttering start around.
But fan reaction isn’t helping him.
Nor is the fact he’s a right sided CH who played there for Hearts and is now having to play on the left. He really was signed as a body to replace Goldson who was completely expected to leave. And for Katic, who wasn’t in Gio’s plans from the start.
So he needs time.
But time is the enemy at Rangers – and Souttar will find very quickly he will not get much.
To thrive at this club if your start isn’t great you will have to tolerate abuse – it’s par for the course with many of our fans. Only then do we learn if you have the mental strength to handle the shirt by turning it round like Barisic and Lundstram did, and, to an extent, Aribo too.
We wish Souttar luck, he seems a decent guy, and Ibrox Noise will support him but be fair.