Giovanni van Bronckhorst may have made unfathomable mistake with Rangers keeper Allan McGregor
Allan McGregor’s latest round of Champions League heroics as Rangers lost to Liverpool does not reflect well on Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s judgment, say Keith Jackson.
The Ibrox veteran, 40, produced another massive performance at Anfield on Tuesday night (4 October) to restrict the damage to just a 2-0 defeat, with numerous saves, particularly from Darwin Nunez.
In his Wednesday morning Daily Record column, Jackson called it “time-defying brilliance” to prevent a “more savage” loss, from a “yellow-shirted miracle worker pacing around inside his six-yard box, with an increasingly manic stare behind wide, bulging eyes”.
But despite the long-time starter putting off retirement in the summer he has only featured five times this season, with Jon McLaughlin elevated to number one until an injury gave McGregor a chance, which he has snatched with both gloves.
Jackson writes: “That’s starting to look like the unfathomable mistake many warned him it was from the moment it was made.
“That it’s taken the manager this long to realise it, does not reflect well on his judgement, especially given the standard of McGregor’s work in back-to-back Champions League games.”
It is actually a surprise that it has taken this long for van Bronckhorst’s move to come under the microscope properly.
To McGregor’s credit, there were no rumblings of discontent as he sat on the bench for the opening weeks of the season, having strongly considered ending a 20 year career at the end of last season.
But he surely didn’t make that decision to then spend a campaign as nothing more than the cup keeper, so there must have been a breakdown in communication of some sort.
The former Scotland number one may have lost some of his stature as Rangers struggled in domestic action last year, but his showings in the Europa League proved what quality he still possesses despite his age.
McLaughlin isn’t a bad second choice, but it always felt a strange move to choose him once McGregor came back since, at 35, he is hardly a youngster who needs the game time for his development as the Light Blues’ keeper for the next decade.
The only explanations appear to be that Gio felt he is now the better option, which the older man looks to have already disproven since his return to the lineup, or the Dutchman felt put out that McGregor’s decision to return came so late as it disrupted his planning.
But that either means a lack of judgment or a lack of communication, and neither are particularly good news.
He appears to have admitted his error already, which is a positive, by retaining the long-time number one for the past four games, but it will still count against him to have got such a big call wrong in the first place.
In other Rangers news, a surprise Bear is leading the SPFL in an attacking stat, ahead of a Celtic rival.