In the final part of our five-part series, it’s finally, and at long last the turn of the evergreen and wonderful Scotty Arfield, who, as of midnight last night, is officially a free agent and no longer a Rangers player.
Where do we begin with one of the most beloved Rangers players our club has ever had?
How about the beginning? A Steven Gerrard signing, an incredible free agent, he arrived with modest fanfare but an outstanding CV behind him – a Rangers boy, born and bred, who had played at the highest levels with Burnley, and experienced Premier League player, and coming to finally join his boyhood side, still at a peak age for a midfielder.
He arrived as a game-changer, the kind of talent Steven Gerrard could attract, a player with international pedigree and popular from his days with Sean Dyche’s old stomping ground.
And over the last five years, Scott Arfield was, over the piece, the best pound-for-pound signing this club has ever made.
He was the difference in so many Old Firms, he owned Broony by the end, and he was the heartbeat of the side. He was integral to Gerrard’s side, and he was still very important under Giovanni van Bronckhorst too.
This was a player who gave it all, leaving everything on the pitch, and crucially, who was an exceptional player. In both character and ability, he was nothing but positivity, in his earlier Rangers days an energetic link-up man who connected midfield with attack, and as things progressed, more of a box-to-box midfielder.
He was the only player to score in the Champions League for Rangers, and that was one he started, of course.
So many fans, maybe three or four months ago, were condemning him as an impact sub only, but the reality is he had major impact from the start, but of course, if he was only starting occasionally, there would be no momentum. But we’ll get to all that later.
But yes, Arfield with his energy, his enthusiasm and his love for our club was nothing but a force for good who never let the side down, and scored countless goals as a late-arrival in the box.
He just kept giving.
BUT. And here’s the but.
Why on earth did Michael Beale hate him?
From the moment Beale came to Ibrox, Arfield was axed. Under Gio 59 appearances and 32 starts. Under Beale, 19 appearances and just two starts.
And fans wonder why he wasn’t thriving as a starter? Hard to impress when you get absolutely no momentum.
We do not know what Beale had against him – why he had a blind spot to Malik Tillman’s laziness or even Ianis Hagi’s barely-fit self at the end – he simply refused to start Arfield, and even made up piffle about an injury.
No, 99% of fans do not agree with Arfield leaving, with genuine outrage at this call. It’s clear Beale just didn’t want him, so Scotty was left with no option.
But us the fans are what matters, and few have held themselves with the dignity the former Canada international did.
We wish him dearly well, he leaves reluctantly and we wish it wasn’t the case.
Good luck Scotty Arfield, you were one of us, are one of us, and always will be.