Rangers must turn to their youngsters


Things really could work out for Rangers this time around but only if they do things correctly. They’ve had more lives than a cat, more chances than the average adulterous husband and have run out of credit on that many occasions they make Britain’s bankers look trustworthy.

Yet the initial noises, as usual, are positive. Of course the Rangers fans will lap anything up a ‘true blue’ says to them. Much of that may be down to an obnoxious believe that they really are the people but also a lingering hope that things really will be alright on the night under King, Murray and co.

It will take much more than one night, they kicked off this new era with a trip to Fife and a joyous Rangers following landed in the kingdom with a spring in their step from Friday’s ‘momentous’ day.

You can virtually guarantee that this will be one of Kenny McDowall’s last games in charge of Rangers. The former Celtic coach has been wanting to join Super Ally on garden duties since he handed in his notice.

These dates will only truly go down as ‘momentous’ in the tenuous history of Rangers if they fully leave the error of their ways.

I share no desire to see the club succeed in fact I’d go as far to say the way the authorities have acted towards them is nothing short of a disgrace and I’d very much doubt that any other club would get treated with such leniency.

Since Rangers were liquidated and wound up in Division Three we have constantly been fed the line that Scottish football would suffer without a strong Rangers.

What a lot of cods wallop, a nonsensical argument trotted out by pathetic bureaucrats who probably missed them more than 95% of clubs did.

When the chips were down, they were the ones who needed to act in the best interests of the game. That wasn’t to sit back and bleat about what had gone wrong it should have been the time to galvanise and re-organise properly for the good of our game not just one club.

The regretful thoughts should have been left firmly at the door of Rangers Football Club.

It was up to them to pay their taxes first time around, it was up to them to get things in order, it was up to them to learn from their mistakes – the rest of Scottish football needn’t have suffered.

Alas Doncaster, Reagan and co have sat back and presided over a horrible few seasons for us all.

So to be hailing yesterday as a “great day” should actually be a very embarrassing statement to make.

“We’ve got our club back” the Ibrox supporters are claiming as well. Newsflash, it was you lot who virtually chucked it all in the pokey anyway.

Before I go any further I’ll ask the readers one question: If you are a Rangers fan, ask yourself this, would you take another three years in the Championship if it meant you done things the correct way this time?

What’s the correct way? I hear the retort…well the way you should have done it when you ended up in the obscurity of lowest division in Scotland at the time.

Get rid of all the money-grabbing wage thieves that you employed in the third division. Black, Shiels, Bell et al plus high earners like McCulloch and Boyd then tell the dumplings like Moshni and Miller to follow their pals out the door.

If they really are serious about change then do so in a fashion which won’t, in the long run, cost you yet more millions.

The initial chat is the new board of directors would like to employ a head coach rather than a manager. I like this concept but to do that they need a like-minded individual in place to support them. A director of football, a coordinated person who runs things from top to bottom.

I’d be astonished if they managed to tempt, Iain Cathro, a very intelligent football man to undertake the job at Ibrox.

However should they manage to employ an insightful coach of that ilk then you could see a real wind of change blowing through the streets of Govan.

I personally watched as the Rangers youth team dismantled Hibernian’s highly rated outfit back in November 2013. Gordon Durie’s boys battered the capital club by five goals to one, the now Falkirk coach James McDonaugh had no answer to a fantastic performance by Jukebox’s young stars.

In that team were Charlie Telfer, Callum Gallagher, Barrie McKay and Danny Stoney.

These are players that the majority of Scottish football supporters will know but assisting them in that team were the highly rated, albeit extremely young, Kelly, Halkett, Sinnamon and Dykes.

The majority of that side went on and claimed all the glory as they lifted the trophy in May 2014 defeating a Hearts side including Sam Nicholson, Billy King and Gary Oliver, 8-7 on penalties.

As you read that you’ve probably twigged with the way I am going now.

Rangers and Hearts as professional clubs have mirrored each other to an extent in the last few years, they financially mismanaged themselves to the point of oblivion or beyond but with a chance to resurrect their clubs there was a complete polarisation in the way they managed their revivals.

Hearts galvanised and re-organised in invigorating fashion, how long it will last is anyone’s guess but they did and fair play to them.

Hearts took last season to bleed their youngsters in to the team and their supporters supported them as they suffered poor result, after poor result.

It was a nightmare season for the Gorgie club but it made them stronger as a unit.

Now? Well they are twenty points clear of Hibernian in the Championship and look set to return, at the first time of asking, to the league above. Where they will, quite rightly, feel they belong.

So to do Rangers, in essence, but looking at them just now can you say they deserve to be?

Yet more over-paid prima donna’s who have dragged Rangers in to a play-off battle where they should have been going toe-to-toe with Hearts.

Rewind a few years and to Rangers’ season in the Third Division. They brought in players from Premiership clubs. They gave them long-term divisional increasing contracts which meant they simply had to play.

Nullifying the early impact of their young stars who had to play in the first few matches due to contractual issues relating to a signing ban.

Once the experienced players were able to play they were in the team and yes they won the league at a canter but so they should have.

Every teams fans want their team to win every game and perhaps a club, who had celebrated 54 league titles with their supporters, felt a god-given right to be at the top table drinking champagne and toasting success after success but they lost that ‘right’ as soon as they fell from grace quicker than the noughts off their balance sheet.

Rangers have their last chance to right the wrongs from their liquidation and then their pompous self-belief that has virtually destroyed them yet again.

What the kids would have done is won the league, of that I have no doubt, in fact they would have won the league above as well.

Of course their would have been slip ups, suffering the odd embarrassing defeat but there’s nothing wrong with that when you know that you are building a club to be proud of again.

Instead of letting guys like Gasparotto, Gallagher and Stoney go out on loan they could have given them experience playing for, as the blue legions like to say, the worlds “most successful club.”

Which would have meant the world to these guys and been an invaluable experience moulding them into a successful side of their own making.

Callum Gallagher has seven goals in fourteen matches in the Championship while on loan to Cowdenbeath. That’s the same league that Rangers currently play in yet they are paying big bucks to wasters in an attempt to appease their fans.

It just doesn’t make any sense whether you look at from an emotional or financial point of view.

Instead of allowing guys like McKay and Telfer to leave the club altogether they should have been the main players in a Rangers team which earned their way back up the leagues.

Playing competitive games improve players, improved players accentuate clubs, quality clubs allow the growth of competition and so on.

Rangers missed a trick back then it is up to them to ensure they don’t mess it up this time around, failing the young guys who remain and failing the authorities who seem hell-bent on affording them every opportunity going.

Having said all that, this is just the football side. There’s a big black hole needing to be filled before the King can finally shout that Rangers are alive once more.

Time will tell if this is just yet another false dawn but the dead cats are lining up on Edmiston Drive and unless King can get them purring again then no matter what they say or do the supporters of this once institutional club will have run out of chances and lives.


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