If one reaction to the capture of one of the best goalkeepers Rangers have had wasn’t surprising at all, it was the ‘what about Robby McCrorie’ mob.
Some Rangers fans’ first response to Rangers signing a great new goalkeeper was to pine for McCrorie and demand he be given the shirt.
Now, we don’t disagree that McCrorie has earned a crack at the position, given how long he’s stuck around for, and the commitment he made signing a new deal.
But the ridiculous reaction to this signing from some quarters, that rather than appreciate the outstanding new signing they elected to whine at Robby McCrorie’s chances says a lot about the lack of ambition from some fans who appeared to want to stick with McCrorie and hapless former deputy Jon McLaughlin.
The same fans demanding we sign new players, improve the squad, have a team fit to face and beat Celtic and give a good account of itself in the Champions League, are now whining about signing players and demanding existing ones be played instead.
Now, this is not a dig at McCrorie, many readers will be well aware we’ve been extremely supportive of the 25-year-old stopper and we’ve been impressed with his appearances in the shirt, having only ever conceded a single goal as senior Rangers goalie.
But he’s our ONLY goalie! McLaughlin does not count, and is barely fit for League Two reserves never mind our senior side, and that leaves just McCrorie and youth player Kieran Wright. Not really enough is it?
So Rangers absolutely had to sign at least one top goalie, as much to raise Robby’s game as anything else, but unfortunately the Auchenhowie graduate is likely going to play second fiddle to Butland because the harsh reality is our new acquisition is, on paper, much the better goalkeeper.
Rangers didn’t shell out the region of around £30,000+ a week on a benchwarmer understudy to Robby McCrorie, we’re afraid to say.
Can Robby consider himself unfortunate? Yes and no. He couldn’t have been the only stopper on our books, that would have been ridiculous, and a top new number one was definitely needed, and that’s Butland. But of course the younger one will feel hard done by that he is probably immediately relegated to second choice, after reckoning he’d done enough to secure the jersey for himself.
The thing is, Rangers still need one more – we have two now, but all top clubs need three. We need a third goalie to make up the collection, and to do that we need rid of McLaughlin. Nothing can happen till he’s gone.
So does this mean McCrorie’s chances of being number one next season are zero? Close to, we’re afraid. If we are all honest, Robby, while great, didn’t blow us away McGregor style at the same age. When we think back to how clearly good Allan was when the hapless Lionel Letizi was embarrassing himself and Paul Le Guen, McCrorie isn’t quite matching that level.
But an addition like Butland could help McCrorie raise his level, and be the cup goalie, with a view to succeeding Butland in a few years, if he gets good enough.
The point is Butland’s arrival is what we needed, and Robby now either thrives on the competition and raises his level to being a full on proper Rangers goalie, or he doesn’t.
Either way, he’s certainly miles ahead of Jon McLaughlin…