The Ghosts of 1986


Souness inherited an ageing squad at Rangers

Good Afternoon.

Today’s Sunday Mail has fulfilled its duty to be upbeat about Sevco’s ‘rebuilding’ programme.

And thereby provide the rest of us with a good laugh.

The Clumpany’s favourite part of Scott McDermott’s piece about David Weir is the following quote:

“Weir says the acquisitions of a keeper and two centre-backs is no coincidence.

Almost like when Graeme Souness kicked off a revolution at Ibrox in 1986 – Warburton is building from the back.”

Almost! As in ‘not at all like…’

Souness had money to spend, and was able to persuade a good number of the England team to come and play for Rangers, where they could earn good wages and (of course) play in Europe during the post-Heysel ban on English clubs.


[*Insert your own caption!*]

In comparison, Weir and the Warbmeister have…errr… warm words and possibly Magic Beans to offer potential signings.

The coincidence of them signing a goalkeeper and two centre-backs is just that.

A coincidence.

But that is of no concern to the Sunday Mail.

They have managed to shoehorn a reference to a ‘Golden Era’ into the piece, and likened the current state of Sevco to it.

Bears soothed. Positivity maintained. Job done!


A round of applause for the Sunday Mail, please!

Well not quite.

The rest of the piece adds extra layers of positivity to help rally the season ticket-buying troops.

It talks about Weir and Warbo settling into Glasgow ahead of a

“three-year adventure which they hope will lead to the Champions League”.

It tells us how upbeat the Dynamic Duo are feeling about life.

It speaks of how Warbs’ “relentless work ethic, meticulous planning and desire to succeed will win over the Light Blue natives”.

Weir and Warby apparently “want it to be fresh and new. We want the players to be excited about being here”

“We also want the fans to be excited about watching their team.”

It also mentions “life in the Old Firm goldfish bowl”. [YAWN!]

In short, it is just the kind of guff that would have been written if Rangers were still alive and well.

The piece does give a nod to the reduced squad size, and the small number of new arrivals since the end of last season.

But Weir has an answer to that!

“Look at last season – the teams who used the fewest players were generally the most successful.”

“Mark likes to have good people but limited numbers. That goes for the staff as well.”

Which is handy given that

“It’s understood that Warburton has decided NOT to pursue the signing of ex-Man City 
full-back Reece Wabara”.

Oh no! The ‘next Dani Alves’ won’t be cutting a swathe through the Scottish Championship next season!

I am sure that we are all surprised and gutted by this news.

However, fear not! For Mr McDermott brings us good news:

Rangers set for talks with former Livingston starlet Andy Halliday

Fair play to the Sunday Mail for managing to get the words “Livingston” and “starlet” in the same headline. It is probably some sort of world record!

And they should also be congratulated on using the word “starlet” in relation to an a 23-year old who has already had a string of clubs.

Apparently the former Rangers Youth, Livingston, Middlesbrough and Bradford winger has impressed in training and also played in Friday’s 3-2 defeat to Spurs*.

He has been offered a contract, and Clumpaneers won’t be surprised to hear that he is a free agent – having been released by Bradford at the end of last season.

Consequently, there will be no transfer fee involved.

Which means that Mr King’s celebrated war chest can remain closed for a little while longer.

Fancy that, eh?

Somebody fetch the WD40!

But before anyone starts to get despondent, Mr McDermott has some further good ‘news’ to impart!

“The Ibrox gaffer is still in
 discussions with Spurs about potential loan deals for Ryan 
Fredericks and Harry Winks.”

It is to be hoped that the sight of Sevco’s second-tier journeymen, waifs and strays losing to the Spurs Development Squad and youngsters will help to persuade the London club that Murray Park is the ideal place in which to develop two genuine ‘starlets’.

Because if it isn’t, then the Sevco squad due at Easter Road on 25 July will continue to look extremely threadbare.


The Warbmeister has made contingency plans to play this solid midfield pairing, if necessary

So threadbare in fact, that Mr King and colleagues might actually have to contemplate spending money to buy players.

Because – ultimately – rhetoric and a fawning media doesn’t build a football team.

No, really. It doesn’t!


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