Michael Beale has offered a theory as to why Rangers players have suffered dreadful injuries for the best part of two years, going all the way back to Ryan Jack and Ianis Hagi, and in fairness, his point may have merit.
The boss pointed out the following and we must admit, the evidence backs him up:
We know the majority of the medical team left in the summer, and indeed there’s been a lot of to and fro over the past couple of seasons in that department, more indeed than there would normally be.
The very distinctive figure of first team doctor Mark Waller is no more, while chief physiotherapist Adam Roberts moved on as well. Many others have also vacated their Ibrox/Auchenhowie positions for new roles and Beale’s point about ‘going to a different doctor’ is absolutely bang on.
We all know what it is to have history and experience with a particular GP, to favour and trust that doctor, only to then learn they’ve either retired or aren’t available and we have to try a new one. That is deeply disruptive, and for footballers, it’s no different.
Waller and Roberts especially knew Rangers players’ bodies well, knew how to treat them and had good relationships with them.
Now it’s new people in there and the trust and familiarity is gone – and needs to ‘reboot’, which takes time.
Which means we have new professionals at Ibrox dealing with ‘patients’ they’ve not worked with before, and things are yet to gel or build in those relationships, which means things going wrong are not getting fixed or treated in the way they would have previously, and that means players end up out injured for longer.
So is this viable a theory? Yes, yes it is. It’s not that the medical team is incompetent, it’s that they are new, and trust and relationships haven’t had a chance to really develop yet. As Beale says, you need continuity there, and right now Rangers are some way off that.
Which is why the injury crisis just keeps on happening, and won’t reduce until there’s a connection in medical between the staff and the players. That could sadly take a while.