Thanks to one of our regulars here at Ibrox Noise, we were reminded of a stunning and historical change at Ibrox that occurred v Raith Rovers, and could well be significant going forward.
As John Souttar prepared to take his proper return to action coming on as a sub, instead of the predictable Connor Goldson partner being hooked to make way for the replacement, in an unprecedented action in the entire history of his Rangers career, Goldson himself was the one to be withdrawn.
Indeed, this was the first time as a Rangers player Connor Goldson has ever been removed from the pitch, apart from v Liverpool when he was withdrawn obviously through injury.
There’s more to it. John Souttar is right-footed, and was originally signed as his replacement, with Rangers aware Goldson was moving on in the summer, only to change his mind (with no useful offer forthcoming) and remain at Ibrox.
This meant Souttar’s signig was now redundant, albeit it ended up being a bit moot given he has missed most of the season with injury.
But being fit again, it was, frankly shockingly, Goldson who made way, and it was leftie Ben Davies who remained on the pitch being partnered by righty Souttar.
What does this mean?
Maybe nothing, true, but equally it could mean that Michael Beale actually considers Ben Davies his main centre-back and it’s he who Beale wants to partner with, rather than Goldson.
See, Ibrox Noise has repeated ad-nauseum that the two of them are way too similar, and we need a strong boy next to one of them to have the combination of composure and physical. It could well be that it’s Davies to be number one now, and John Souttar might just find himself getting more minutes, if that hint from Beale is anything to go by?
Goldson hasn’t been a great signing for Rangers – anyone who thinks he’s had the same kind of impact as Carlos Cuellar or Jean-Alain Boumsong, or even Davie Weir and Ugo (RIP) has a very revisionist memory of how good those guys were and how Goldson fares by comparison.
He’s been ok, but his big downside is Rangers installed him exclusively and failed miserably to have a proper deputy. We missed him after Liverpool because we had no plan in place for someone to fill in – had there been rotation at the back we wouldn’t have missed him anything like what we did. The injuries, naturally, didn’t help, but losing Balogun and Katic through shocking club policy also exacerbated things. Leon could easily have played Goldson’s slot next to Davies and we’d have lost nothing in quality. Maybe even gained pace.
But the bottom line is Goldson was the one to make way v Raith, not Davies.
It could well be that Michael Beale doesn’t actually hold Goldson in the same regard all the ex-managers did?
Time will tell.