Twitter polls are a great way to engage with an audience and gather opinion on a subject. Its accuracy is questionable but it can give a decent indication of the views of users. One that caught my eye recently asked if Kenny Miller should be considered a Rangers legend. Although the majority voted in favour, the final result showed a 60%-40% split.
Like most tweets it created debate with many fans uncomfortable with Miller being spoken about in the same breath as Greig, Cooper or Laudrup. The status of those men will never be in question with one tweeter noting that it’s difficult for any player of the modern era to be considered a legend.
There is still a very small minority that have issues with Miller having played for Celtic, not that playing for both sides was a ground-breaking occurrence as anyone who remembers the unveiling of Maurice Johnston will testify to. Super Mo’s signing sent shockwaves through Scottish football but the first player to cross the divide in the post war era was Alfie Conn Jnr in the 70s, having played for Rangers before moving onto Celtic via a spell at Spurs. Donning the Hoops didn’t prevent Conn from being inducted to the RFC Hall of Fame in 2007 nor did it taint his legacy as one of the Barca Bears.
Miller wasn’t even the first player in history to travel back and forth across the Clyde, with Tom Dunbar having moved from Celtic to Rangers and back again in the 1890s. The Old Firm rivalry was considered friendlier in the early days of both clubs but the point remains, Miller hadn’t done anything that hadn’t been done before.
Looking at his playing career, Miller has enjoyed great success at Rangers and despite his journeyman label the striker has scored 88 goals in a combined 208 appearances over his three spells. His most notable season being 2010-11 when Miller netted 22 goals in 25 appearances. Although he left in January he still finished the SPL’s top goalscorer for that campaign and assisted the club towards another league title. Not bad for a player who was often called Kenny Misser by rival supporters.
Amongst the many players to pull on the famous blue jersey there are those considered cult heroes. Marco Negri, Bert Konterman and Filip Sebo have endured in the memories of the Ibrox faithful for different reasons yet there’s no disputing that Miller’s contributions to the club have been greater.
Does he exist somewhere in between? Probably, although he’d be leaning more towards one side of the spectrum. If we’re using the term legend loosely then Miller’s work speaks for itself. He’s a player that is often written off only to prove his doubters wrong and as he hits the twilight of his career he’s proving he has some value left. In the true sense of the word, he falls short of the calibre of the greatest Gers, not that this is a criticism. Not everyone can be the club’s highest goalscorer or hit a dead ball with the force of a cannon. They can however still leave their mark.
Some may claim Miller plays for a wage and not the jersey but there’s no doubting that he’s showed great professionalism while wearing that jersey having played his best football here. Having recently signed a one year contract extension, Miller has also taking on a coaching role with the U20’s team, working under Ian Durrant. It might not make him a legend but there’s little denying that Kenny Miller has been one of our more important acquisitions of the last decade.
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