We touched on this a few days ago, how standards have absolutely slipped at Ibrox among fans especially.
We noticed a piece on the BBC’s website about how Juventus could be shock title contenders in Serie A following a drab draw with pace-setters Inter, and how specifically it was being noted that the current Juve squad was one of the worst the Old Lady has ever had.
And yet we guarantee there will be swathes of their fans with, in angry Italian of course, ‘get behind the team’, or ‘support the manager’ or backing individual players as good enough.
It’s happening at Rangers too, and has done since 2012, since the Frasier Aird, Darren Cole and Andy Little days when players who couldn’t be further from Rangers Standard players get bigged up as better than they are.
Look at how many fans reacted for the majority to most of the mince Michael Beale was bringing in – ‘trust the manager’, or trying to claim Kieran Dowell was good enough for the club.
When we go back in time, to Walter, to Dick, to Eck – the players we had in those days were Premier League class players. Or they had been regulars in top European leagues or the very best of the SPL.
Cuellar – Laliga, Weir – Premier League, Ehiogu – Premier League, Naismith – Premiership, Davis – Premier League, Jelavic – Austrian Bundesliga.
These were top players, players of the calibre our club expects.
Alan Hutton went onto Spurs, Jelavic to Everton, even Charlie Adam, only really fringe at Ibrox, ended up at Liverpool.
Tavernier, a Wigan reject. Goldson, a Brighton reject. Davies, a Preston reject. Lammers, a football reject.
Now, let’s not be ridiculous, there are some good players at Rangers – Balogun is an experienced Bundesliga player and international, and even Borna is a 30-cap Croatia international.
But Borna is no Arthur Numan, and that’s the level we compare with. Lundstram is miles off the quality of Barry Ferguson. And not a soul among our forwards is close to even peak Miller or Kris Boyd, never mind the goliaths like Mols, Jelavic or Naismith.
And this is what 2012 did to us.
When we even look at 55, the inevitable plundering of our squad only led to the sales of Patterson, and later Aribo and Bassey – none of them thrived at a higher level. Morelos and Kent have absolutely sunk and we have to say the same for Scotty too.
The exiting players we have shipped out that have done well are Itten, Kamara, Sakala and Katic, and none of them are at a high level now. Even classy Colak is nowhere at Serie B Parma.
Long story short, 2012 ravaged ‘Rangers Class’ and the Barry Fergusons and Kevin Thomsons are a distant memory for now.
That we have to make do these days with Sam Lammers and Todd Cantwell gives some idea of where we’ve fallen.
Walter, Eck, Dick – never signed anyone from English lower leagues. It was always Premier League, European leagues or the SPL.
Players of real calibre who were up to the task of playing and winning for Rangers.
What we cross our fingers for is that Philippe Clement recognises this, how poor this squad is and has been for a long time, and starts to bring in proper serious players.
Rangers have one true Rangers class player and he’s in goal. We have a few who come close, like Balogun and maybe Souttar (bit of the David Weir about him) but in truth, the squad at large is well off it.
Hopefully Big Phil can build a worthy Rangers.