January Rumours: Don't Stop Thinking about Yesterday.

Last updated : 23 January 2011 By FF.com

It wouldn't be a Sunday without the newspapers floating their latest ideas about ins and outs.

Today we have the Mirror saying a fee has been agreed with Plymouth Argyle for Bradley Wright-Phillips. Elsewhere, the 'Never Going Back Again' spirit is captured by news in the Sunday Post of a deal until the end of season for Nacho Novo.

This on top of the Northern Echo's continuing insistence that Kris Boyd could be punted on loan back to Scotland and the suggestion that an 'un-named' centre-half  who could be shipped in until the Summer is, in fact, Danny Wilson.  Oh, and wee Rino is definitely coming back to finish his career with us.

The last one, although not original, I made up. The rest are all part of the transfer window ritual and, with the greatest will in the world, range from possibly true to works of the imagination.

One can understand the attraction to many fans of at least the idea of players returning. The emotional attachment to stars - especially strong in the case of cult heroes like Novo - is strong and many felt the Spaniard should never have been allowed to leave the Club.

There's also the somewhat less emotional response: those who have been proven to perform at Ibrox are less of an unknown quantity or risk over someone who - regardless of pedigree in other leagues and shores - has never pulled on the blue jersey or met the peculiar trials and challenges presented by the SPL. Playing at a higher level is no indicator of being capable (see Beattie, J) but nor should we be quick to dismiss the potential of those who don't immediately appeal (Wattereus, the free Wallace at a time of huge fees and reckless spending, spring to mind).

Of course, there is an obvious problem or two along the road of return. Firstly, and with the greatest respect to even the very best of our past players, very few have ever been as good the second time around: Not Ferguson, not Stein, not Baxter, not Steven. One who was - a certain K. Miller - was met initally with far from a universal sense of delight, and not just because he once moved around in the rags of the Yahoo.

Secondly, and this is more mischievous, it says very little for the planning of the Club at the top level if - sometimes less than a year since traded or allowed to leave through the colleagues' exit - the answer to a particular personnel problem turns out to be the guy (or guys) who couldn't be accommodated previously.

As this is all mere speculation, it is difficult to work out if the Club is actively involved in re-recruiting and as such the temptation to slate CEO Bain and others should be resisted.

Harder to dismiss, however, is the willingness amongst the support to pine for past glories; dream of departed stars returned; hunger for a hat-trick from a hero whose image still adorns the bedroom wall or mobile phone background.

For Rangers to move forward as a Club it is clear that a lot of work is needed.  For Rangers to retain the SPL title it seems likely that some form of enhancement and addition to the squad is essential this January. We shouldn't be happy to be offered sticking-plaster solutions to problems and must be especially aware of appeals to emotion doing the work in place of a long-term vision.