With concerns over the spread of coronavirus growing by the day in the UK, the focus should be on public health rather than football.
For the players, family and friends take clear priority, which is an approach enabled by the indefinite suspension of matches [SPFL.co.uk] and training.
It’s not very often that as a Gers star, the scrutiny on your form eases. Yet, while the backdrop is tragic and unfortunate, this is one such instance.
Someone like Steven Davis will no doubt wish the circumstances were different, but this extended break from playing should give him a chance to reset after a poor run of form.
Since the turn of the year, the Northern Ireland skipper has looked a shadow of the player who was running football matches from the heart of the Rangers midfield over the first half of the season.
Given that he’s 35, some have inevitably jumped to the conclusion that he’s finished – that his legs have gone.
Yet, plenty said the same last season after his January arrival from Southampton, but he proved the doubters wrong then.
Much has been made of the fact that he’s the only outfield player in the Rangers squad who knows how to win things in Scotland. There’s little doubt that he’s a hugely respected figure in the dressing room.
Despite that, though, before the suspension of the league, the supporters’ patience was beginning to run out. Against Bayer Leverkusen last Thursday night, rather than being the calming influence and the precise distributor, Davis consistently made poor decisions.
Whether it was turning into trouble or picking the wrong pass, he looked badly off-colour.
The Ulsterman gave the ball away ten times across the 90 minutes [Sofascore.com]. That’s six or seven times more than you would usually expect, but not if the only games you’d seen him play had come in the last two months.
He’s in a funk and one that, with games coming thick and fast, he seemed unable to escape.
The positive news is that he’s not one of those facing an uncertain future amid the current upheaval. No matter when this season ends, Davis will still be a Rangers player, given that he’s contracted until the summer of 2021.
Therefore, whilst the circumstances are extremely concerning, he must use this break to get away from the game and recharge his batteries, to ensure that when the time comes, he’s fit, healthy and ready to once again start delivering his best performances in Light Blue.