October’s clean sweep of player awards for Rangers players, with Abdallah Sima winning the SPFL’s Player of the Month award while Jack Butland won the club’s Player of the Month in-house award as voted for by fans shows just how much of a staggering impact Philippe Clement has made in only a few weeks as Rangers manager.
Now, true, no one other than a Rangers player is going to win the club’s fan award, but that Sima secured the SPFL-wide award among all clubs shows the strides made in around four or five weeks under Clement.
Butland, for example, has proven himself every inch as capable as the greatest stoppers Rangers have had (and yes, we include Allan McGregor and Andy Goram in this) in the modest spell of time he’s been at Ibrox, getting his very own song to Status Quo’s Rockin’ all over the World.
While the goalie hasn’t quite yet produced one McGregor or Goram-level ‘impossible’ save (think Bremen, Prague for Greegs and of course that staggering double stop by the Goalie v Celtic) he’s come very close with a host of very, very very good saves which have kept his side in matches that perhaps they didn’t deserve.
Servette were a big example of this under the mismanagement of Michael Beale, with Clement at pains to praise Butland and point out that while our defence is doing its job, on the occasions opponents get through, we have a goalie who can repel most offerings.
And then there’s Sima – maybe not as magical the past 10+ days as the staggering goal return and form he nailed in October, but he’s still been very good. One assist in the last four matches (no goals) is a bit of a drop from the incredible numbers he was getting up till Prague, but he certainly did earn his award and the change in formation v the Czech giants saw him play a wingback role which he absolutely thrived in.
Even if he hasn’t been scoring since then.
Both players are definitely doing their bit, and it’s right that the club and the SPFL have awarded them accordingly.
Keep it up.