It has been a LONG time since Ibrox Noise discussed the abysmal Jon McLaughlin, but we’re big and ugly enough to take any criticism which comes our way for slating the guy as rubbish.
Which he is. Jon McLaughlin is an absolutely garbage goalkeeper, fairly competent in League One with Sunderland and maybe even up to midtable Hearts as they were, back in the day, but it’s telling how few Scotland call ups he has at age 35 that no one actually rates him, aside a few curious souls in our support (even Robby McCrorie gets the national calls over McLaughlin now).
Once again, as per usual, as always, McLaughlin was farcical with two utterly dismal attempts at coming for the ball last night, one of which nearly cost a goal, the other going all the way. He was also weak for the second goal, which, while a fine strike, a good goalie would have stopped. He did get a pinkie to it, but his reactions, as always, were far too slow and he stood no chance. He did, in his defence, make one solid stop in there too as well. Solid, no more. Zero claims, incidentally.
We don’t deny Rangers’ defence is far from watertight, there’s no question the lackadaisical approach from Michael Beale with regards his backline doesn’t help whatever goalkeeper is in (Allan McGregor too has made gaffes in recent times as well, he was at his best and worst v Aberdeen last weekend), but there’s little getting away from how deeply mediocre Jon McLaughlin actually is.
We don’t care what folk slate us for on account of criticising a Rangers player, because we’ve been on record from day one as being unconvinced at best by McLaughlin. To this day, we can’t recall a single truly watershed save he’s made, not one massive game-changing stunning stop in all three years he’s been at Ibrox.
Before you interpret this as a McLaughlin bashing session (it is) and an Allan McGregor love letter, think again. It’s only one of those. McGregor is absolutely finished. He will still make his big saves, he’s still capable of pulling stunning stops out – he did two of them at Hampden, but for the all-round game, he’s no longer consistently able to deliver what he used to. For a 40-year-old, that’s ok.
In short, he’s not our solution either, but he has earned huge respect for his contribution to Rangers and some of the greatest saves any Rangers goalie has ever made. Think Bremen, Celtic and Praha for three examples.
But is Robby McCrorie then the answer? Despite his new deal, he seems further than ever from getting the first team jersey, and that’s three managers in a row to fail to give him a real shot at the first team. That says everything for his chances, if not his ability, because none of us have been able to judge him in real match action, aside one diddy Euro qualifier and of course that huge Old Firm.
As for McLaughlin – we don’t rate him, don’t want him in goal, don’t have any time for him and have no interest in him. We’ve rarely been that explicit on Ibrox Noise about a current Rangers player before, but McLaughlin has nothing to offer this club, and is far from good enough.
A few in our support like to play the contrary, and claim he’s more than sufficient. Indeed, one alleged last night he’s comfortably Rangers’ best goalie. A patently false claim but we suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Rangers’ goalkeeping situation is poor – it’s been neglected, and instead of bringing in someone new, the club decided to offer new deals to all three on our books. And that’s been left as that.
Bit of a farce but there you go.