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Bruno Alves showed leadership qualities, so why didn’t he start Old Firm debacle?

The Portuguese international is probably wondering what he got himself into with a move to Ibrox.

Mathew Nash

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For Rangers fans, the weekend’s events have signalled what for them is the end of Graeme Murty’s chances of taking charge at Ibrox in the long-term. The caretaker, who had led Rangers to some good form at the start of the year, saw his side put in an abject display as Celtic ran out comfortable 4-0 winners in an Old Firm cup semi-final.

It was not just the events on the pitch that caused a stir. Murty appears to have lost the dressing room. After Andy Halliday laid into him with a verbal tirade after being subbed by Murty, reports soon emerged of a clash after the game as well.

It is reported that club veterans Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace got into a heated argument with Murty. Clearly, it was a serious incident, as the pair have since been suspended by the club.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

With David Bates agreeing on a move to Hamburg, Alfredo Morelos and Greg Docherty getting into their own spat and Daniel Candeias storming down the tunnel it has been a shambolic week for the Glasgow club.

But one man who came out of this awful mess with a lot of credit is Portuguese defender Bruno Alves.

The 36-year-old centre-back, who has 95 caps for the Portuguese national team, is probably wondering what he has got himself into since heading to Ibrox. But on Sunday he was the peacemaker and showed brilliant leadership traits, without even playing.

He was the man trying to console the vitriolic Halliday after he was subbed off. Then he was the man who stepped in to stop Docherty and Morelos from coming to blows.

It does, however, beg the question, why wasn’t Alves playing?

This is a man who has played in massive games all over Europe. He has even played in one of the only derbies that can nearly rival the Old Firm in Istanbul.

(Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

The veteran is a big game player and the decision not to play him from the start against Celtic, in hindsight, made little sense.

A proven leader, with big game experience, he would have surely put in a better performance than what Rangers were dealt up.

He has not been excellent since his arrival in the summer, but these are the games he thrives in and his leadership could have been crucial in this clash.

Then again, so would have Kenny Miller’s.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

Rangers

Rangers £4.75m Martyn Waghorn transfer error clear as Sheffield United loom

Rangers let Martyn Waghorn leave Ibrox last summer and it has proven costly for the Glasgow club.

Mathew Nash

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Sheffield United are reportedly keen on the signature of Ipswich Town striker Martyn Waghorn this summer.

The 28-year-old had an excellent season at Portman Road, scoring 16 goals in 44 league games for the Tractor Boys.

Now, according to the Daily Mail (live blog, 19/07/18, 9.54am), the Blades are willing to pay £5 million for the player.

Such a price-tag must and should sicken Rangers fans.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers brought Waghorn to Ibrox in 2015 after his time at Wigan Athletic came to an end. A Football League journeyman the move to Glasgow revitalised the forward.

In his debut season at Ibrox, he scored 28 goals in 36 games, helping Rangers win promotion to the Scottish Premiership.

But his form dipped in 2016-17. Despite scoring 16 goals many came against lower league opposition and he was accused of being a flat-track bully.


I spoke to Martyn and we agreed he would maybe have less chances this season.”

 – Former Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha after selling Waghorn


Rangers made the move to sell him last summer, with Pedro Caixinha deciding he was worth selling. The fee the Glasgow club got for the striker? According to the East Anglian Daily Times it was just £250,000.

Rangers, therefore, let a now £5m-rated forward go at a valuation swing of £4.75 million. 

Another indicator of the mess Rangers found themselves in last summer. Fans will hope Steven Gerrard continues to steady the ship at Ibrox.

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Rangers

Arsenal reportedly once wanted Rangers newbie in £10.25m deal

Steven Gerrard has lured the Nigerian to Ibrox and the Rangers star could be a hit in Glasgow.

Mathew Nash

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Rangers have completed the signature of AS Roma forward Umar Sadiq this week. The 6ft 3ins attacker has arrived on a season-long loan deal at Ibrox and will be tasked with adding attacking intent to Steven Gerrard’s side.

The 21-year-old is a top talent and has long been heralded as a star of the future for the Giallorossi. Last season he scored five goals in 12 games for NAC Breda during a loan spell in the Eredivisie. So Rangers are right to be excited.

If Rangers fans are looking for another reason to get excited about the young forward. He has been linked with a move to the Premier League in the past, namely Arsenal.

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Back in 2016 La Repubblica, as reported by the International Business Times, suggested that Arsenal had a £10.25 million bid for the player rejected.

It was a move that had Arsenal fans excited, as Sadiq was being tipped as a future star.


“Yes, there is interest from Arsenal but at this moment nothing is done.”

– Umar Sadiq’s agent Mohammed Lawal in 2016


Now it seems that Rangers have got a hold of a player that Arsene Wenger once rated highly enough to make a big bid for. That was not even too long ago, just two years.

If Rangers boss Steven Gerrard can get the best out of Sadiq at Ibrox then they might finally be able to rival Glasgow rivals Celtic in the scoring department next season.

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Rangers

Joe Hart would surely pick Rangers over Celtic in Old Firm choice

Joe Hart has been linked with a Steven Gerrard reunion at Ibrox and Rangers should be his only choice if heading to Glasgow.

Mathew Nash

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Joe Hart is set to leave Manchester City this summer. The club want to let the former England number one leave permanently to give him a chance to play regularly elsewhere. Owing him for his service to the club, they are set to allow a move anywhere for the stopper- who has had two mediocre loan spells at Torino and West Ham respectively.

Two teams that have been linked with the stopper are Celtic and Rangers. As reported by the Scottish Sun, the Old Firm pair are among the favourites to sign the keeper this summer.

It would, of course, need to see Hart take a massive pay cut but a move to Glasgow might be exactly what Hart needs. That is, if he moved to Ibrox.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

If Hart is to leave for Glasgow, then Rangers is where he should go.

Celtic would still have Craig Gordon standing in Hart’s way at Parkhead. Rangers, on the other hand, need a new stopper. It appears Steven Gerrard is not a fan of Wes Foderingham and Rangers, therefore, do have a gap in the goalkeeping department.

Hart would be the perfect man to fill it. With 75 caps for his nation the City stopper has bags of experience at the top level and Gerrard, a former England colleague, will know all too well what Hart can bring to the team.

If he does end up having to choose between Celtic and Rangers then it is a no-brainer for the struggling stopper. Ibrox would be the perfect location to get his career back on track.

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