When Rangers defensive midfielder Ross McCrorie went on-loan to Portsmouth, you’ll remember a mild panic about a reported option to buy clause for the player.
Whilst that had Rangers fans up in arms before it was eventually rubbished by Steven Gerrard [RangersTV], the furore surrounding it also had Portsmouth fans excited about the player’s arrival.
But fast forward a couple of months later and McCrorie’s performance in the side’s 2-2 draw with Burton has been the tipping point for many Pompey fans.
It’s fair to say that things haven’t gone exactly to plan for Portsmouth this season.
Expected to be challenging for a promotion place, they find themselves languishing in 18th in League One having won once in six games in the league this season.
They’re three points off the relegation zone and 13 off the top. For a fanbase with high expectations, performances from Kenny Jackett’s side have been completely unacceptable.
And unfortunately, Ross McCrorie looks have become something of a whipping boy.
McCrorie – 3/10
Terrible. Bowed to crowd pressure when he got the ball outside of the box, even though he’s not any good at shooting. Says a lot about the level of Scottish football that he is the captain of their under 21s. Let him go back.
— matt (@MattPFC) September 18, 2019
Our total absence of attacking ideas is a worry but not as much as the defence. We have Burgess at RB, a young LB who hasn’t been developed properly by KJ so needs games, Naylor we need in midfield badly as McCrorie isn’t up to it, and Downing looks horrible. Oh and Raggett 🤔
— Adam Darke (@adarkelimited) September 18, 2019
With every game it’s becoming clearer and clearer what our strongest eleven is.
— matt (@MattPFC) September 18, 2019
Burgess was sub at the start of last season but is now our best.Naylor clearly better than Close & McCrorie.Our summer signings have been awful,apart from Harness
— Kelvin Shaw (@Ksshaw61) September 18, 2019
When players wanted to keep possession get back into game after goals they were not allowed fans wanted instant response. McCrorie took fans chants to heart and wastes chances.
Some of our fans embarrassed themselves today. We should support the players during the 90.
— Chris Overthrow (@ChrisOverthrow) September 17, 2019
Ross McCrorie: Has the ball
Pompey fans: SHOOOOOT
Ross McCrorie: Shot fly’s over the bar
Pompey fans: Why did you shoot
— Dan Jenson 💙🏴 (@PFCDanUTT) September 17, 2019
#Pompey: MacGillivray (6), Burgess (3), Downing (3), Naylor (5), Haunstrup (6) (Harrison 5), Close (4), McCrorie (2), (Cannon 6), Williams (6) (Evans 5), Pitman (5), Curtis (6), Marquis (6).
— Martin Fish (@themartinfish) September 17, 2019
#pompey, wow Burgess, Downing and Mccrorie absolutely shocking
— StueyW1986 (@StueyW1986) September 17, 2019
No idea why we signed McCrorie 🙄🙈😱
— ‘Sir’ Rich Anthony, (Esq.). 🇺🇦🇪🇺 (@MrRichAnthony) September 17, 2019
McCrorie isn’t the answer in centre midfield. Pretty certain of that.
— Adam Darke (@adarkelimited) September 17, 2019
There’s little doubt much of this will be an overreaction. As Rangers fans, we’re used to seeing the same thing.
But there’s also little doubt that it hasn’t gone quite to plan yet for Ross since he moved to the English south coast.
The youngster was sent off on his debut for the club and the fact that he’s found himself playing as a right-back suggests both Jackett and Portsmouth aren’t quite sure how he fits into their system.
One of Rangers most highly-rated youth products and the Scotland U21 captain, there’s little doubt he has a big future ahead of him.
But perhaps Portsmouth isn’t proving the right fit for the diehard bluenose?
The same can’t be said for Rangers teammate Jake Hastie, who has taken the English League One by storm since joining Rotherham United.