Barry And The Blame Game

Last updated : 30 January 2009 By Sherbet Dab
Jimmy Calderwood sure is a big admirer but Barry Ferguson is far from being the fans' favourite at Ibrox.  In view of the lack of a significant contribution to the overall team effort, it is hard to argue with those Bears who have been having a pop at our number six but his erratic play and constant moaning at those around him, whilst not the sort of thing we expect from the captain of the Rangers, is part and parcel of a more general malaise which is rife at our club, rather then being down to what has been portrayed as an arrogant approach from one highly paid, over-rated prima donna.

Yes, he can do better - much better! - and there have been times when I have seriously questioned the wisdom of bringing him back.  There certainly is a lot to be said for the old 'never go back' adage.  But…

In fairness to Barry, the injury to Kevin Thomson probably forced him back into a major role in the team at a time when the preferred plan was for him to edge himself back in gradually.  Remember, this is a guy who carried an injury throughout the second half of last season and, while he would have been better advised to have the problem sorted in the immediate aftermath of the Scottish Cup Final, he tried to make do with a month or two of rest, only to break down on the Gers' pre-season trip to Germany.

It was a bitter blow to Barry and, with our shortcomings in the middle of the park playing a big part in our Kaunas debacle, both the player and the club have suffered.  Pushing him back into the fray ahead of schedule did nobody any favours.  In a busy area like midfield any lack of fitness and full match sharpness tends to be exposed and, being the fierce competitor he is, his frustration with his current form is crystal clear in his onfield body language.

All of which makes nonsense of speculation that he could be on his way to England before this transfer window closes.  In the cut-throat environment of the FA Premier League, there is no place for passengers and, on the evidence of his recent efforts, it is hard to picture any manager being daft enough to stick his neck on he block by gambling on Baz.

Having already had an unhappy spell at Blackburn Rovers, it is highly unlikely that our man will be in any hurry to head back down south.  Mind you, having been shunted out the door as part of the great fire sale of 2003, who is to say that the same won't happen again or that he will have any say in the matter anyway?  We all share a great mistrust of Willie McKay but there may well be more than a touch of truth to the tale of Bain asking that slippery sod to hawk Ferguson around the English scene.

Nor do I expect Barry to be too impressed by the situation either.  The last thing a player struggling to recapture his best form needs is a suggestion that those running his club have been involved in some underhand dealings to get him off the payroll, especially as his original departure was widely seen as him doing the Rangers' accounts a big favour.    

Without question, he is one of the top earners at Ibrox - probably the highest paid player - and, hearing the recent pathetic whining about our club needing to cut costs again, Barry is perfectly entitled to demand some answers.  When he came back four years ago, he must have been assured that our financial worries were a thing of the past and he would not be a drain on resources.  Hey, didn't we all fall for that line, especially when the Minted One ended his brief exile and decided he fancied being Mr Chairman once again?  Aye, that's another fine mess he got us into!!!

Meanwhile, Barry's battle to get back into the fans' good books goes on, with the most likely outcome being a worthwhile move away from the disarray of David Murray's Rangers.  I reckon the clever money will be on the captain's game picking up over the next few months and that he will be the one on the move when Murray and Bain get the begging bowl out again this summer.

No doubt Sir David will then summon a gutless collection of liars with laptops through to Edinburgh to convince the punters that the Rangers are not a selling club.  Surely we wouldn't be gullible enough to swallow such drivel again, would we?