Jon Flanagan’s commitment has certainly had supporters in a craze over him these days.
His latest performance against Hearts fully embodied that of a Gers warrior. Since arriving from Liverpool in the summer, the full-back has had to deal with scattered appearances. This has been down to the form of Borna Barisic and James Tavernier down either side.
Yet, in recent times, Steven Gerrard has been entrusting his former Liverpool team-mate with the left-back berth. Despite not being number one choice, Flanagan has seemingly jumped over Barisic for the time being. Barisic is carrying a slight knock, but it’s now Flanagan’s shirt to lose.
Against Hearts, there were several occasions where the ball was there to be won. Flanagan consistently went in fully committed, even when the ball wasn’t in the most favourable of positions. So far during his time in Glasgow, the full-back has proved he would go to war to win a throw-in. His rough-tackling nature and desire to leave nothing out on the pitch is resonating with supporters.
He’s a bit of a throwback in that sense to old-fashioned full-backs. Whilst he certainly likes to join the attack on occasion, Flanagan just loves getting stuck into the challenge. That’s where he thrives and that’s where he’s looking to show his fight.
Will never shirk a tackle
Too often, Rangers players of recent seasons have been shirking tackles. Not wanting to get themselves hurt, it’s led to average players bossing matches at Ibrox. Players such as Flanagan are typifying the kind of fight and aggression Rangers need to stop these situations happening once more this term.
Granted, it’s going to take a lot more than that. Rangers need their flair players such as Ryan Kent, Daniel Candeias, and Scott Arfield to step up to the plate. The likes of Flanagan, however, is exactly the kind of player the Ibrox faithful have been craving.
There’s nothing pretty about him, and nothing complicated. When he sees the ball within reach, all he’s focused on is getting it back in Rangers’ grasp. Gerrard, even at this early stage, appears to have found a gem.
Many teams would take Flanagan on and maybe think he’s not the type of player they want. He doesn’t carry much skill, and won’t dance around the opposition. What he will do, however, is fight tooth and nail for your club and always look to retrieve the ball.
In that sense, he typifies what the club has been missing for a long, long time.