Glasgow Rangers have endured a nightmare week, suffering back-to-back 4-0 defeats in two separate competitions.
The first of those was shipped last Saturday in the Premiership, and gallingly it came against their Glasgow arch-rivals, who moved five points clear at the top of the table as a result. That was followed by an equally comprehensive defeat away to Ajax in the Light Blues’ first Champions League match since 2010.
These results marked the first time in 40 years that Rangers have conceded four goals in back-to-back competitive matches, and while it might not be a crisis as yet, the pressure is slowly building on Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Certain team selection calls have raised eyebrows, especially when the Dutchman backed Jon McLaughlin to bounce back from his Old Firm debacle – where he was at fault for three of the four goals – against Ajax.
Another four goals were conceded in Amsterdam, and Van Bronckhorst is surely regretting his decision not to move for a goalkeeping upgrade during the summer transfer window when he had the chance.
With Allan McGregor seemingly making last season his final one as a Rangers player, the onus was on the manager to add some competition between the sticks for McLaughlin, and the club were duly linked with a move for then-West Bromwich Albion ‘keeper Sam Johnstone.
In a surprise U-turn following what looked like his farewell appearance in the Scottish Cup final, McGregor signed a new one-year deal, and it appeared that no new goalkeeper would be arriving at Ibrox.
When comparing that to Johnstone last term, it’s clear to see why Van Bronckhorst should have made a move for the Englishman, who played 36 times in 2021/22 and conceded only 0.9 times per match while making 1.6 saves per game. The 29-year-old even had one assist, created one big chance and made 0.1 key passes per match.
The “unbelievable” goalkeeper, as described by Gary Lineker, moved to Crystal Palace in the summer upon the expiry of his contract at West Brom, ending any chance of him joining the Light Blues. From what has transpired so far this season, he would have been a big upgrade on both McGregor and McLaughlin, who are 40 and 35 respectively.
Standing at 6 foot 4 and having made three appearances for England, conceding zero goals for his country, the 29-year-old would certainly have been a commanding presence for the Ibrox club, so failing to get him in when they had the opportunity must go down as a disaster for Rangers.