As most of us no doubt expected, following last weekend’s comfortable victory over Falkirk and without wanting to sound like one of the many crackpot Gers haters in cyberspace, it’s been yet another bizarre week in the murky world of the seemingly never-ending omnishambles at Rangers.
To kick-off another crazy six days, we got an article on Sunday called ‘Rock Solid’, which judging by the title and brief content was apparently meant to be about Richard Foster telling us how ‘solid’ our defensive back line is at the moment. Ok, so we didn’t concede to Falkirk at Ibrox, but it was hard not to laugh.
Granted, the forced exclusion of Bilel Mohsni due to his suspension and ever since then, the regular inclusion of Darren McGregor, do appear to have improved things in our back line and most fans seem to agree on that, but how many would class our current back four as ‘solid’ never mind ‘rock solid’?
No offence to our league opposition, but clean sheets in the second tier of Scottish football for a team with our resources and facilities are actually expected in most of the games, not something you string together a handful of and start thinking you’re a good defender or have a good back line.
Meanwhile, another story was taking shape in the form of a notion that it might somehow be appropriate for Lewis Macleod to go off to the Scotland Camp for the week after his first international call-up, but possibly be given permission to play for us against Alloa tomorrow if he isn’t selected for the Scotland team tonight.
Well, good idea or not, it’s now been settled and following ongoing talks between McCoist and Strachan this week, Lewis has been released and will be in our squad tomorrow to face The Wasps after leaving the Scotland camp and training with us today. Let’s hope this one doesn’t sting the young lad’s chances of getting a cap this season when he’s clearly playing well enough to deserve one.
It does remind me of another Gers player though. Tin hat on here, but is it a stretch of the imagination too far to think that messing the Scotland camp about trying to get special permission for Lee Wallace to play a Rangers game during a previous International week has played a part in hampering the left back’s chances of call-ups this year? It’s just a thought.
Another bizarrre talking point this week arose from the official announcements on Wednesday that Mike Ashley had come to some sort of alternative ‘marketing agreement’ with the Rangers board which reportedly saw him relinquish his previous £1 deal for our Stadium naming rights as well as provide a further million quid loan on top of the two million he’d already provided recently.
Sadly, it now seems obligatory that fans and shareholders will be deprived of any real details of these secret deals and instead fed with weekly and monthly doses of opaque jargon such as this gem from one of Wednesday’s announcements:
“The agreement consolidates existing marketing arrangements between the parties and results in a more normalised retail joint venture marketing arrangement in which Sports Direct will continue to have certain advertising rights.”
The only thing which is clear about that sentence from the statement is that the specific details of the new agreement are not clear at all, so questions about these deals and the Club’s situation regarding the current Rangers Retail contracts and any outstanding retail revenue should be very high on the list of questions at next month’s AGM.
In another crazy turn of events, it emerged today that police investigations have led to a series of raids this morning across several counties south of the border in which four men have been detained, apparently in connection with ongoing enquiries into the alleged fraudulent acquisition of our Club by Craig Whyte.
Not only that, but there's breaking news this afternoon claiming the Crown Office are set to issue an arrest warrant for Craig Whyte! Erm, good luck tracking down Swiss Tony. He's probably kicking back slugging Margaritas on that beach at his bolt hold in Costa Rica which doesn't have an extradition treaty with the UK.
I doubt many of us will be holding our breath for jail sentences, but let’s just hope that anyone who was complicit in any fraudulent deals related to the takeovers and events at Rangers over the past three and a half years and more, are finally served with the appropriate justice and get everything they deserve.
In the meantime though, let’s get back to the subject of the game against Alloa at Ibrox tomorrow where Fraser Aird will still be missing with a thigh injury and one which he’s likely to take another week or so to recover from.
Cammy Bell and Marius Zaliukas will also still be missing. Zaliukas has now made a cautious return to training, but only just and certainly won’t be in contention for a match squad place yet despite apparently managing to come through training in one piece.
So with Ally having Macleod back in the squad we shouldn’t be weakened in any way whatsoever from the team which defeated Falkirk last week and I’m sure most fans will be delighted that Macleod, who’s arguably the best player in our whole team, is likely to start.
I’m hoping we see a better first half performance tomorrow because it would be nice to put a team to the sword in the first 45 and not be going in 0-0 or just 1-0 at half time. We certainly have the quality to do it, so hopefully we not only create the chances, but take them when they arrive as well.
Let’s hope our Rock Solid back line have another good day at the office too.
One thing is certain, three points are an absolute must.
Please feel free to comment below or on the forum thread for this match preview here - Rangers v Alloa Athletic – Closing another bizarre week in the Rangers omnishambles