There’s obviously been a lot said about Rangers’ latest injury crisis, with almost 10 players not available at a key time.
This happened similarly under former manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst who lost essentially the entire defence, relying on James Sands and Leon King in the middle which really didn’t help him much.
As of present, Connor Goldson, Borna Barisic, Ryan Jack, John Lundstram, Nico Raskin, Jose Cifuentes, Tom Lawrence, Kemar Roofe and Danilo are among those at best ‘doubtful’ and at worst out long term as we negotiate this heavy winter period.
As such, manager Philippe Clement has become sick and fed up of feeling more like a doctor than a football manager at times (his words) with updating on this nonsense so frequently, but equally he’s worked miracles with the threadbare resources he has.
He got our club into the last 16 and a League Cup win with a ridiculously weak squad, and that has to be applauded from the rooftops.
But it doesn’t change that this injury crisis, rather than easing up, has worsened, and more tellingly has repeated itself from Gio’s time almost exactly.
The key difference? The results haven’t collapsed under Clement, they’ve remained consistent.
Gio’s injuries were a big part of what derailed his reign at Ibrox, but meanwhile as each player falls, Philippe Clement is still able to get results from his beleaguered squad.
Many Rangers fans used the results under Gio to justify how indispensible Connor Goldson is, and yet the results have remained consistent under Clement despite all the personnel losses including huge ones like Jack, Lundstram and Goldson himself.
Giovanni’s reign was probably doomed from the moment Aaron Ramsey ruined it for us all, true, but it does show a truly outstanding manager can even handle diabolical injury losses and still come up with the goods.
It will have limits though. As world class as Philippe appears to be as a manager, he cannot quite make a silk purse from a sow’s ear and his genius will have limits.
Rangers cannot lose many more players, because at some point, he will not be able to get much more out of Leon King or a James Sands-situation than Gio could.
Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.