‘McLaughlin doesn’t have the same aura’ - Ex-Celtic star makes Allan McGregor claim over Rangers No.1 spot
Kris Commons reckons Giovanni van Bronckhorst should never have made Jon McLaughlin the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.
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Former Celtic star Kris Commons believes Allan McGregor should be handed the Rangers No.1 jersey back after Jon McLaughlin was heavily criticised for his role in Saturday’s 4-0 Old Firm defeat at Parkhead.
Veteran McGregor watched on from the bench as Ange Postecoglou’s Hoops stormed to an emphatic victory over their rivals, with ex-Sunderland and Hearts stopper McLaughlin in the firing line for his lacklustre performance.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst felt the 34-year-old and his defender gifted the champions at least three goals with question marks raised over whether McLaughlin is a strong enough candidate to keep his place in the side.
The most horrendous error saw the current Gers first-choice keeper kick the ball straight to David Turnbull for the fourth goal and Commons reckons he doesn’t possess what it takes to be a regular starter for the Ibrox club.
Writing in his Daily Mail column, Commons said: “This isn’t a case of being wise after the event. Regardless of how Jon McLaughlin performed at Celtic Park I’d have said exactly the same thing.
“The fact of the matter is that he doesn’t have the pedigree to be considered Rangers No.1
“Allan McGregor may have made a couple of mistakes domestically last season but there is now way Rangers would have made it to the Europa League final without him.
“Even at the age of 40, he still produced saves that most keepers couldn’t dream of. Remember his display in the 3-0 game at Parkhead in February? Celtic could have been five or six ahead at half-time if it wasn’t for him.
“He’s made a career out of making saves that he has no right to get to. McLaughlin just doesn’t have the same aura and I’m truly astonished that he’s playing ahead of McGregor.”
Rangers opted to promote McLaughlin to No.1 over the summer rather than entering the transfer market for a new goalkeeper but Commons insists McGregor is still the club’s best option between the sticks - even at the age of 40.
He added: “Look, you might well question why Rangers didn’t try to sign a younger keeper in the summer but you can’t dispute that McGregor knows what it takes to fill that jersey.
“After the Scottish Cup final, it did seem like he was set to retire. But once you offer him a new contract, you have to play him.
“There was a moment after the fourth goal went in on Saturday when the camera panned to the Rangers dug-out. Although, as you can probably imagine, while Giovanni van Bronckhorst didn’t look too pleased, McGregor looked lke he was chewing on a wasp.
“I’m not saying that he would definitely have saved all of the first three goals but he would certainly have had a chance. As for the fourth? Dear me.
“I can only imagine what McGregor was thinking sat on the bench, his team losing 4-0 and there’s nothing he can do about it. If I was him, I’d be knocking on the manager’s door and saying ‘I’ve had enough.’
“Some decisions are hard for a manager but this isn’t one of them. It’s quite simple really. The best goalkeeper in that building at the moment is Allan McGregor. Fact.
“You play your best players. Listen, Steven Davis has been a tremendous player for Rangers but he’ll be 38 in January. You can’t fight the passing of time.
“At this point in time, Ryan Jack is a better option. Why van Bronckhorst is keeping better players on the bench in these game is just beyond me.”