If one Rangers player didn’t come out of the Raith win looking at his absolute best, it was Ibrox Noise favourite John Lundstram.
For the first time since Giovanni van Bronckhorst installed him as a permanent first-team player back in early 2022 (Feb 6th to be exact) Lundstram faces a spell where he is no longer a first-team pick to the same extent he was, manager Michael Beale having jiggled the midfield around a tad.
Lunny has been benched in quite a few recent matches, as Todd Cantwell and Nic Raskin started to make their presences felt, while Ryan Jack has started experiencing a major Ibrox renaissance recently as well.
And the match v Raith was Lundstram’s chance to stake a claim for the jersey back, Michael Beale electing to rest Ryan Jack for what he felt would be a ‘comfortable’ win that the Scotland man didn’t need risked for.
But unfortunately Rangers’ midfield general Lundstram didn’t do his case too well – sluggish, even a bit reckless, the former Sheffield United man was desperate to showcase his contribution but fell sadly a bit short.
And this was never more highlighted than by the thrifty and fast-paced Nicolas Raskin, cleaning up around him and covering so many blades of grass in half the time.
We absolutely love John Lundstram here at Ibrox Noise – he deserves every bit of credit he got last year for such stellar performances, but just towards the tail end of 2022 he did start looking a bit leggy. Indeed, there are claims he’s carrying an injury, and in fairness, he’s admitted himself that he was.
He strenuously denied this has any impact in a recent Rangers press conference.
But whether it’s a lingering injury or maybe ‘age’ (he’s 29 now) catching up a little with him, he will need to step up a gear or two to retake his Rangers place because as things stand, Jack and Raskin are definitively the first choice pairing now and justifiably so.
Lunny is a wee bit off that pace at the moment, and hopefully he can get back the form and fitness which had him such a cult favourite at Ibrox.
He was the best on earth at one point, up to him to see if he can be again.