Barry Ferguson believes the ‘jury is still out’ on every one of Rangers summer signings apart from former Premier League and England goalkeeper Jack Butland.
Where would they be without him?
The experienced shot-stopper saved his new club from a shock Champions League exit at the hands of Servette, before ensuring that 5-1 hammering at PSV Eindhoven did not descend into ‘cricket score’ levels of humiliation in the Netherlands.
And, as far as Ibrox legend Barry Ferguson is concerned, Butland is the only one of Rangers’ nine summer signings who can be considered an unquestionable success thus far.
Jack Butland shining at Rangers
“It’s not only Beale who is under pressure. The players have got to take a bit of responsibility as well,” Ferguson tells the Daily Record. “The jury is still out on almost all of the new signings made by the manager in the summer.
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“It’s fair to say Jack Butland has looked every inch a Rangers goalkeeper. But all of the outfield signings have still got a lot to prove.”
Ferguson, however, is reluctant to write off the likes of Sam Lammers, Danilo, Cyriel Dessers and Abdallah Sima just yet, even if patience may already be wearing thin.
“I’ve always said you have to give new players time to settle into arriving in a different country,” Ferguson adds. “A new environment, sometimes coming without their families, waiting to move into houses or apartments.”
‘An unbelievably good signing’
It’s fair to say, however, that big improvements will be required from all but one of Rangers’ new faces if an increasingly under-pressure Beale is to reach his 12-month anniversary as the club’s head coach, doubts rising following that PSV hammering and an insipid Old Firm derby defeat to Celtic prior to the September international break.
In Butland, at least, Beale has one dependable presence to lay the foundations upon.
“I’m so surprised they’ve got Jack Butland,” ex-Rangers forward Neil McCann told BBC Scotland after the well-travelled glovesman’s outstanding display against Servette.
“I thought that was an unbelievably good signing. To replace someone of the stature of Allan McGregor with someone like this guy…
“He’s at a good age, and I think he’s got so much left in him.”