After Terry Butcher claimed Steven Gerrard won’t faze him out, is Lee Wallace really too good to let go?
The relationship is sour between the former club captain and Rangers, after he won a case for unfair treatment by the club. This means that Rangers could be set for a fine to pay back Wallace and Kenny Miller for the fee once imposed upon them.
The situation has definitely had an impact on Wallace’s playing time also. The left-back has barely been seen from since the dispute. Added to that, the only game-time he did receive was a last-minute substitution at Fir Park. Rangers conceded within seconds of him coming on.
Yet, Butcher has stated in the last couple of days that the former Hearts man is simply too good to let go. The former Rangers hero stated his belief that the slate is now clean, and Steven Gerrard will only care about his footballing abilities.
Be that as it may, it’s still difficult to see any kind of route back for Wallace after this.
The left-back has regressed hugely since arriving at Ibrox. Once being known for his marauding runs down the left and ability to drive, his final ball was often lacking. Rangers weren’t getting the same influence from Wallace that they saw in him beforehand.
Having the captaincy taken off of him is also a real blow to any first-team hopes. It’s clear Gerrard doesn’t see him as his natural leader despite previously holding the armband for several years.
In terms of where Rangers had been in the past, it was perhaps easy to think Wallace was a great player. On his day he was extremely useful, but never anything more.
If Gerrard did see a way back for the frozen-out star, the likes of Jon Flanagan and Borna Barisic wouldn’t have been signed. Barisic in particular is looking like a tremendous acquisition.
Competition is simply too high for Wallace nowadays. At 31-years of age, it’s difficult to see how he displaces a Croatian international with plenty of development left in him.
A lack of versatility in Wallace’s game will also count against him. The Rangers man has no other position in which he could possibly fill. Being too one-dimensional to be a winger, his only role could be left-back.
Defensively, Wallace also became suspect and often slow to react. With such a long spell without game-time, there’s no reason to believe this will suddenly change. If anything, Wallace is likely to have regressed even further.
Gerrard is building something both intriguing and exciting at Ibrox. If that involves Wallace, every Rangers supporter and their dog would be surprised.