Todd Cantwell got his first Rangers goal in the win over Motherwell this weekend, but if you’ve been reading the tabloids, you’d think he’d killed someone.
The English midfielder was once amongst the highest-rated young talents in the Premier League and it was not so long ago the player was being linked with a £50m switch out of Norwich City.
Feeling unloved and underappreciated, Todd Cantwell headed north and has already begun to show flashes of the player that Rangers fans hoped was still inside.
Michael Beale has proven himself capable of accessing the best in young players of certain generation south of the border and Todd Cantwell has become his latest project.
If things go well, Rangers could have a top player on their hands in the shape of the midfielder and Scottish football should be excited about what is not only a coup for the Ibrox club, but the game north of the border.
And yet, in the aftermath of that 4-2 weekend victory at Fir Park, the 25-year-old has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons as he’s browbeaten from pillar to post in the aftermath of the game.
Todd Cantwell Motherwell coverage an embarrassment
Most of the coverage concerns the second yellow card given to Callum Slattery, which came when his elbow clearly connected with the face of the Rangers midfielder.
Motherwell might moan, and Todd Cantwell might’ve turned it on a little, but anyone suggesting the Rangers star was “at it” is “at it” themselves.
Ricky Foster – an employee in the Academy of Motherwell – was given free reign on BBC Sportscene to accuse the player of diving. Stuart Kettlewell did the same days later, albeit with a touch more class.
Then there was Motherwell star Bevis Mugabi, out decrying Todd Cantwell for the situation, as the Fir Park side’s inability to defend Rangers properly wasn’t the focus of the defeat.
The tabloids have of course eaten it up, as the same old rage-inducing, negative coverage dominates the media space off the back of what should’ve been a positive moment for Todd Cantwell.
Now, former SFA referee Steve Conroy is out calling for retrospective bans, branding Cantwell a “cheat” in comments which have gotten the more simple-minded fans to the east of the city all uptight and bothered.
It’s a standard Scottish footballing welcome for Todd Cantwell, who God forbid, looks like he can be a top player for Rangers. But let it be a lesson to him.
The best Ibrox stars use this loathsome coverage from their divisional rivals to catapult them on to success and let’s hope the the young Englishman is the same.