Rangers injury crisis is set up perfectly for James Sands

Rangers injury crisis is set up perfectly for James Sands
Rangers' US midfielder James Sands takes part in a team training session at at the Rangers Training Centre in Milngavie, on October 11, 2022 on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group D football match against Liverpool. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

If there’s been a Rangers player lambasted unfairly more than most this season, it’s been USA international James Sands, but thanks to a massive crisis in midfield and defence, it could well be his time to shine given how versatile he is.

See, Sands is one we frequently forget even is a Rangers player, especially among the midfield options, because he’s far from loud, and just gets on with his job quietly, which is no bad thing, but it does make him a little inconspicuous.

But this crisis is his chance to stake a real claim, because he can cover very very well indeed in both midfield and defence.

With Ryan Jack gone, Sands can very much sit with John Lundstram and those two can easily foil each other – Sands neatly keeping the metronome ticking over, while Lundstram rolls up his sleeves and tramples over opponents.

With Connor Goldson gone, Sands can provide a more than able right-sided defensive option alongside Ben Davies, and while the former NYCFC man hasn’t completely won fans over in that slot, for bread and butter SPL he’s been fairly decent.

And of course, let’s not forget only a few weeks ago he was lauded as MOTM against Union Saint in the Champions League for a fine night, with many supporters warming to him.

He’s not a first choice, we know that, he’s no Barry Ferguson or Carlos Cuellar – we don’t deny it.

But flexible players are very popular with manager, players who can cover several positions and do it well, and Sands is one of those.

With all these injuries, Sands is a player, like flexible Lundstram himself, who could well thrive in more than one slot and bail the team out quite well.

Which doesn’t mean we don’t want a new signing or two as well, given the depletion of reserves that we have right now, but it does mean Sands’ versatility could come in extremely handy over the next months.

Don’t write him off just yet.

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  1. You can call me crazy but looking at our squad and the lack of commitment, desire or enthusiasm from certain players I would try this as a complete overhaul starting with the league cup match. A straight 4-4-2 that can also be a versatile variation of that. When we are on the defensive we would have the grit from Lundstram and Sands. When we attack using Tavernier and Matondo we would effectively be a 4-2-4 or a 4-3-3. Tavernier has been suspect in defence and without the security of Goldson he is only more vulnerable and exposed. At least he can offer more bite to the left side and a decent supply into the box. McGregor needs to be spared the responsibility after Liverpool and McLaughlin is not the answer. Devine has seemed a future shoe in for what would have been Patterson’s place in the side. Colak and Morelos together as a two would be worth a shot or even a 4-4-1-1 with anyone from Morelos, Tillman, Arfield, Wright or Sakala behind Colak. Barisic has been good this season but his passing style has been becoming less productive playing mainly sideways or backwards. Yilmaz needs to be given his chance at least for a few matches. And let’s just forget about Kent for now.


    Devine King Davies Yilmaz

    Tavernier Lundstram Sands Matondo


  2. Lets give Sands a chance ffs,i think this lad can come good given playing time,as I.N states nows his chance, so lets give him our full support 💪,we need him more than ever now given the injuries we’ve got

  3. I like sands, think hes a decent CB. Hes a little unorthodox but he can defend pretty well. apart from a few slack passes & a red he’s done OK. Think hes pretty bland in midfield.

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