Please don’t leave us, Carlos!

I’ll miss him when he’s gone. It’s inevitable. Like Willie Collum sending Ryan Jack off after a perfectly fair 50/50. I don’t think there has ever been a player that is like Carlos Pena. There are two definite camps. You either think he deserves a run in the team because of the finishing potential he has or you think he’s fat, slow and couldn’t trap a bag of cement. I’m in the former.

There’s something about Pena. The way he runs is weird. He looks powerful and athletic but is clumsy and uncoordinated. He puts himself about but always seems to be a second or two too late. He does work hard but I’m not 100% sure he knows where he is supposed to be working hard.

On the flip side, if you gave Pena ten decent chances to score I reckon he’d get seven of them going off his current stats. He has a goal every 120 minutes of league football. Not bad when he has been in and out of the team. He’s played half the time of Kenny Miller and got double the goals. Daniel Candeias has played almost four times as many minutes and scored half the goals of Pena. He’s only had 13 shots, 8 of which have been on target and 4 have resulted in goals (in the league).

It’s the things that don’t end in goals or assists that make me think we have a decent player on our hands. The number of times he finds space in and around the penalty spot but isn’t found by a team mate is a great example of this. He’ll receive the first pass, play it wide then ghost into the box. It’s very simple, but also very effective. He also had one shot (can’t remember who against) where he was running straight toward the goal and from 25 yards hit it with pace, dip and swerve. If it hadn’t been directly above the keeper there was no way he was saving it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Rangers player hit a knuckleball on the hoof. It takes an incredible amount of skill to carry this technique off without either breaking your foot or pinging it into row z.

Where it went wrong? I reckon if Pena came into a settled Rangers team, fit and with confidence, he would be a great asset either starting or coming off the bench depending on the opposition. It’s almost worked against him having the clique of Spanish/Portuguese players when it came to him settling into the team. Perhaps the club/British players would’ve made more effort if he was on his own or if it was just him and Morelos? We’ll never know.

He looks like a character too, his interaction with fans, a good example being the Rangers TV video of him recreating his goal of the month with a fan shows that despite the language barrier he wanted to get stuck in. Ryan Jack says he is the funniest player in the dressing room, marking his entrance with “amigos, amigos, amigos!”, not quite comedy gold but he is obviously a positive soul.

I hope he doesn’t leave. With new signings, a settled team and more positive results he would be one player I’d love to see develop into a cult hero. He has abilities nobody else in the squad has, unfortunately one of these is falling over…a lot.

Carlos Pena, he might be a diddy, but he’s our diddy and I’d love him to prove everyone wrong!