For a whole year, or more, we have heard, consistently, what a great side the team from Ibrox is. We have heard, consistently, that they have a squad to compete for every competition. Except, presumably, the one we’ve already won.
The strongest area of the side, we were constantly told, was the midfield, just brimming with quality, with bankable assets, with players who were being linked with big money moves to every club in Europe with a few pence in the bank or a “billionaire owner.”
That one has become a kind of desperate fall-back for some of their more desperate blogs; “Club with billionaire owner interested in midfielder” is the sort of headline you read all the time over there. Of course, the bids never materialise.
During this window, they moved one midfielder out; Bacuna, the last superstar from England who turned down “top clubs” to sign up at Ibrox has departed after less than a year.
They tried mightily to get shot of Lundstram, another superstar who was going to come up here and own the place, and who has been an unmitigated disaster of a signing.
They added the American midfielder Sands, the utility player Alex Rae gushed over just after he’d scorned utility players whilst critiquing Reo Hatate.
What I’m trying to say is that Ibrox is flush with midfielders.
This doesn’t even account for Davis, Jack and Arfield and whoever else I might have forgotten who has, at one time or another, been hailed as a genius by the compliant Scottish media.
Other areas of the Ibrox squad are bare bones, but their particular problems are at central defence where they are vulnerable to any side which attacks them and keeps on the pressure.
All three goals at the weekend were down to honking defending and bad displays from their keeper.
They know this is a critical area, and that’s why they went for Souttar and put the initial pressure on Hearts to get him during the window.
They failed to though.
The money that could easily have been spent on Souttar, and shoring up that leaky backline, was squandered, instead, on something fancy and shiny, a mistake which that club has made time and time again, with the likes of Barton and Kranjcar and others.
What they needed most was the kind of player they know can take the pace and intensity of the game here, and Souttar has been over the course and has the scars to prove it.
The media adulation over the Ramsey signing means that nobody is going to seriously analyse the two players and ask which one seems most likely to contribute to a successful league campaign, and the reason they won’t ask is that it’s Souttar.
Let’s put it this way, if we win tomorrow night and then at the weekend they will start their next game four points behind.
That next game is against Hearts.
If Souttar has a stormer and peels more points off of them, then the decision not to sign him will look like utter folly and in particular if, as most expect, Ramsey will not be fit enough to start.
Their next game after that is Hibs.
If they are still leaking like a sieve after that then Ramsey’s signing, rather than that of Souttar, will look like a catastrophe.
Balogun is back for them for tomorrow night. Oh wow.
Our forward players will really be terrified of a half-fit 33-year-old partnering Connor Goldson.
To me, the decision not to sign Souttar is their most significant one of the window and perhaps the greatest tactical transfer error any Glasgow side has made since we failed to scrape up the money for Steven Fletcher in the Wilo Flood window.
That cost us three years. Rangers won that title and the next two.
And yes, it was the spending splurge during those titles which eventually helped propel that club to the grave, but that was three years of pain we went through because of poor leadership on our board at a moment when we could have hurt them, maybe even fatally.
In their quest to trump us with one big headline chasing signing here, they have made a momentous error which, because of the stakes, will prove to be far more damaging than our own self-inflicted wound in January 2009.