Clement made a very bad decision over Rangers’ Oscar Cortes

Clement made a very bad decision over Rangers’ Oscar Cortes
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Rangers new Colombian signing Oscar Cortes warms up mduring the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Livingston FC at Ibrox Stadium on February 03, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With Rangers boss Philippe Clement finally breaking his silence on winger Oscar Cortes’ transfer/contract situation, it brings to light a topic that’s bothered us since February.

We’ll get onto the contract issue itself with the Colombian in a moment, but the manager’s decision-making way back when really did take the biscuit.

Having vividly expressed that Kemar Roofe would not be risked on ‘that’ pitch (Kilmarnock) due to injury risk and concern, he put Cortes out on there, in a call Ibrox Noise had warned against.

“The only thing is that I cannot put Kemar Roofe in the selection again because of the surface. So that is a clear message from my medical staff that it is too risky after his injury and amount of injuries. In that way, it is a disadvantage to play on that kind of pitch. But we need to adapt again and it is a chance for another player.”

Clement’s own words, about the risky pitch in Ayrshire.

Ibrox Noise on team selection for that one:

“Attacking midfield will probably see a recall on the wings for McCausland – a hard worker, he’ll run and the surface won’t faze him, while on the other side we wouldn’t be shocked to see Wright. Another one the manager might be happy to put on that pitch.

It’s a long way from our strongest XI but this is one we think Clement will try to preserve key players in, and only use them later if we have to.”

We didn’t mention Cortes by name, but the reasoning is there.

That the manager acknowledged the risky pitch, then put out a fleet-footed winger who was all about movement, pressure on his ankles and turn of pace on that surface was asking for trouble.

Funnily enough, we actually prophesised a player getting injured, just not Cortes by name:

“Midfield may see a change. Diomande is great, but he’s still feeling his way in, and he’s maybe not the most physically tough albeit he’s great in his duels. This might be a risk to put him out there on that pitch.”

We knew the surface was trouble, and Cortes paid the price for a really dumb decision by his manager.

He’s made many calls like this, and Cortes is not the only player to pay for them – Sima did too, as did Roofe.

The player is always going to tell the manager he’s fit, it’s up to the manager to get the accurate data from medical – as he clearly did with Roofe.

Why he took that Cortes risk only he knows.

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