Tom Lawrence return from injury could save Giovanni van Bronckhorst's Rangers job after World Cup
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s future at Rangers has been up in the air for a while, but it seems likely that the board are going to stick by him now.
It’s been over a week since the Gers last played, being held to a late 1-1 draw by St Mirren to fall nine points behind Celtic in the title race, with performances leaving many fans adamant that a change was needed.
But it’s no coincidence that Rangers’ major downfall began when Tom Lawrence went down with an unknown injury at the end of August, and hasn’t featured since.
Lawrence’s last appearance for Rangers was in the 4-0 win over Ross County on 28 August, where he completed the full 90 minutes but hasn’t been seen since.
The following game for Rangers was a 4-1 cup win over Queen of the South, before the torrid run of form began with a 4-0 defeat to Celtic which was followed up by a 4-0 loss to Ajax, 3-0 loss to Napoli and 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the next five games.
Lawrence didn’t feature in any of the Champions League group games, and while Rangers have picked up seven wins without his presence in the team their record isn’t very impressive.
In the 18 games that the Wales international has missed Rangers’ record is seven wins, seven losses and four draws. Prior to his injury, Lawrence had started seven games for the club and the team had won five of them with two draws.
His ability to drive from deep positions, while also being full of creativity in the final third to score goals and find the final pass, made him an excellent addition to the squad.
But once he went down with injury, that role wasn’t able to be filled by someone else in the squad and Van Bronckhorst has struggled hugely ever since.
The latest update on the 28 year-old’s fitness was that he would be back after the World Cup, and with the manager seemingly set to still be in place by the time Rangers get back on the pitch against Hibernian on 15 December, if he’s fit they will be far more confident.
Up to the point of his injury the Gers had dropped just two points in the title race, so if they can string together another run of form like that once he’s back, then they may well have a chance at becoming champions again.
By stringing together that form it will not only get the fans back on side, but it could well save Van Bronckhorst’s job.