When we originally learned of Rangers’ European squad under ex-manager Michael Beale, it was filled with controversy.
Sure, there were the clowns in the support justifying the manager’s decisions in leaving out Leon Balogun and Ridvan Yilmaz, but these are the fans who will ‘back the manager ffs’ blindly without question even if the decisions are not in the best interests of the club.
The true fans, who know what’s best for Rangers, while still supporting the club unconditionally, show a bit of caution when a decision or selection is made that may be a mistake.
And those such fans were exasperated especially at Balogun’s absence.
Current manager Philippe Clement shares that exasperation, and thanks to UEFA limits, for the last 16 we can only change 3 of the selections, meaning Clement cannot re-jig the Euro squad to the extent he wants, and cannot include all if even any of the new signings.
The problem is the manager wants Ridvan and Balogun back in, but to do that is to remove two players there, and that’s already two of your allotted three changes.
Meaning he can only then pick one of his January signings, consequently meaning two of them sit out the Euro campaign.
Of course it’s also fair to mention all clubs have these limits, and for those who have added several January signings, they’re in the same boat of having to make sacrifices.
But in Rangers’ case Beale’s appalling selection for Europe means Clement can’t just remove a few wingers and mids and strikers and replace like-for-like. He also has the injuries to contend with as well – we doubt Sima and Danilo or Roofe will be in this group.
He instead has to lose out some of the new lads because the defence was shockingly-picked for Europe.
Either that, or he takes the gamble and leaves the defence, adding all the new signings in?
Either way, it’s far from ideal.