Why Rangers Just Can’t Play The Kids!

Every time Rangers sign a player over the age of thirty, you see people saying ‘Why can’t they just play the kids?’

Rangers have a passionate and demanding support. The atmosphere at Ibrox doesn’t always lend itself to bringing in a lot of young footballers and watching them develop.

When you watched Rangers last term you could see they were weak, confused and needed a few more leaders on the pitch.

Surely in 2017, we can understand that football and fitness has evolved and that players aren’t done by the age of thirty or even thirty-five.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic¬†helped his Man United team through games at various points last year. Jermain Defoe is a wanted man at the age of thirty-four and could be about to sign a ¬£100k a week plus deal. Andres Iniesta is still pulling the strings at Barcelona. The names of players starring in their thirties is long and it’s growing each and every season.

At Ibrox I’d argue that their best players were Kenny Miller (37) and Clint Hill (38) last season. They weren’t over awed by an occasion and they led by example. Both made over thirty first-team appearances for the ‘Light Blues’ in 2016-17.

Also you have to understand that Rangers have always had a tradition of playing and getting the most from veteran talent. The club appreciate the experience these players give the team.

When Rangers were all at sea in 2009 Walter Smith arrived back at Ibrox to steady the ship. His first move was to bring in veteran defenders Davie Weir and Ugo Eghiogu. It worked and they became hard to beat. Weir stayed on for another four seasons and represented the club at the age of forty.

In the nine in a row era, Smith brought back players like Richard Gough and Mark Hateley when they needed results.

Club legend John Greig also starred for the Gers into his mid-thirties.

As long as they can still contribute to their side then age shouldn’t come into it. They can actually make it work for them as they have the experience to give them an edge.

Bruno Alves may be thirty-four but the Portuguese defender has a winning pedigree and could enhance the younger players around him. David Bates will learn from Alves and I believe that will be better than throwing him to the lions and starting him in every game.

Listen I think Gers supporters should be looking at the Auchenhowie training complex and asking if they are bringing through enough talented youngsters. I believe that Rangers should be bringing through a better class of young player and that might be about to change.

But let’s not forget that it’s a two way street. The fact is that many of the exciting prospects at Rangers have failed to deliver.

Everyone was hyped about John Fleck but the creative midfielder couldn’t live up to the hype. he came up short and didn’t fulfil his potential.

Charlie Adam has been an impressive performer in the English Premier League but he couldn’t produce consistently at Ibrox. It was almost as if the midfielder was trying too hard to impress the home fans and the pressure got the better of him.

Chris Burke, Maurice Ross, Steve Smith and Stephen Hughes all came into the team and did alright without being brilliant or even good enough to stay in the team in a long term basis.

People will say that Rangers made a mistake last summer when they went for an older player but I believe they went for the wrong type of player last year and age wasn’t the issue.

Rangers always need the experienced voices in their squads, leaders and warriors. That’s why Pedro Caixinha brought in Bruno Alves and won’t just target prospects this pre-season.

The best teams always have the the right mix of young, hungry stars and wily, old veterans.

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