Ibrox Noise returns, and on the eve of Ross County we ask one pivotal question;
Has Kieran Dowell turned his career round to go from a certain exit (which he was only two weeks ago) to become a massive part of the XI?
Now, there is a major caveat; Rangers have lost pretty much the entire midfield. John Lundstram, Ryan Jack, Nico Raskin, Tom Lawrence and Jose Cifuentes are all out injured, meaning any senior midfielder not part of the picture under the present circumstances had a great chance to put himself in contention.
And Dowell, an absolute departure only 14 days ago, has gone from exiled squad man to prominent front-page fixture overnight.
And it’s clear the lad is taking his chance.
Manager Philippe Clement explained it plain – Dowell, a natural AM, is playing as CM/DM under him simply because there’s no one else to put there aside kids or Dujon Sterling (and the ex-Chelsea man is indeed being used there).
Clearly, the former Norwich lad midfielder is making the most of the opportunity.
It means one of two things:
Either Dowell is having the epiphany of his life and hitting levels he simply never has before, which is not impossible under this manager who could get Ronald McDonald onto a game if necessary…
Or Dowell is firmly now in the shop window and will be cast-aside once the main midfield group is fit again.
It’s possible both are true.
Football is a dynamic sport – and a player on the exiled fringes only 2 weeks ago and seeking an exit is now a prominent and critical player in the XI.
Just because it’s true that he (and Sterling and Ridvan among 3) were seeking exits around a month ago doesn’t mean they can’t now play major parts in the team given injury and suspension.
It doesn’t mean anything changed for Clement, but it could mean things might if he’s impressed by what he sees.
And no question Dowell (and Sterling) have taken the chances they’ve been given and while we’re not saying they’re incredible, they have absolutely covered themselves very well and are in serious contention.
This is why Rangers have a big squad.
Beale brought in these ‘losers’ but he couldn’t manage a single one of them.
Clement is a serious football manager who can get the best from Kieran Dowell.
And maybe, just maybe the midfielder will stick around now.