We at Ibrox Noise urge caution, whereby a lot of Rangers fans are falling into the same trap courtesy of Todd Cantwell and Nico Raskin.
In short, a great number of fans are choosing to blindly trust Michael Beale’s judgement in the summer transfer market because of the outstanding success of Cantwell and Raskin, but there’s a lot of problems with this mindset and we’re going to have a look at them.
First of all, the pair of them are being used as evidence Beale knows what he is doing. The line trotted out to any criticism of the likes of Sam Lammers et al is ‘well, did you think Cantwell and Raskin would be big successes? Trust in the manager’.
Well, actually, among a few others, Ibrox Noise did, yes, and this was with very, very good reason.
Todd Cantwell, only 18 months earlier, had a £30M market value and was being bid on by Aston Villa as a replacement for Jack Grealish. Cantwell had 50 Premier League appearances and was widely-rated by Norwich fans. The problem was that transfer attention turned his head, and the outstanding talent was now unfocused on his current club. There was NEVER any doubting how good Cantwell was, he was just an unsettled player who needed a new start. One look at Cantwell’s CV told us how good he was. So this one was obvious even to Stevie Wonder. True, we couldn’t have dreamed of how well he’s settled, but the quality was clearly there.
As for Raskin? Belgium U21 international and tonnes (around a 100) of appearances for Standard Liege, a top Belgian club, and this was all before he was even 22. This is a superb player, who fell out with Ronny Deila at his old club and was dumped to the reserves. Simple as that.
Both of these players were and are top players. We feel the same about Jack Butland, another excellent player who we think has a CV of top quality. He’s a bit rusty, but the resume is there.
However, the CV of the likes of Lammers, Sterling, Dowell and potentially now Sima is not as strong. It just isn’t.
Lammers has been out of form for 4 years, Sterling hasn’t ever been in form, Dowell is hard to make any comment about and Sima has been a journeyman for two years.
In short, none of these guys bar Butland jump out like Cantwell and Raskin did – none of their CVs scream that they are going to make Rangers a better team. Beale seems to be hoovering up unwanted fringe players from other clubs and praying he can somehow find a few jewels in there.
When we signed guys like Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Allan McGregor, we knew we were getting top top players, and they helped take us to the next level.
Now we’re signing based on ‘hope’ and the idea ‘this guy’, who’s been nowhere for ages, is going to hit the ground running at Rangers and refresh his career.
It’s a game of chance that Michael Beale is playing, and it’s a risky strategy.
We can only hope he’s the genius who makes us naysayers look silly.