Team of the Decade: Rangers

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 25: Rangers fans celebrate a goal by Lee Wallace during the Scottish Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on March 25, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

It is fair to say that the past decade won’t be one that will be remembered too fondly among Rangers supporters.

In the past 10 years, fans of Scotland’s most successful club have experienced the highs of winning Scottish league titles, as well as the lows of going through liquidation, before making their way up through the lower leagues of Scottish football.

Despite the hard times, there have been some notable players that have had successful spells at Ibrox over the past few years, and a selection of stars have been chosen to make up the Rangers team of the decade. (2010-2019)

The Glasgow Rangers Team of the Decade

Manager: Walter Smith

Whilst there is no doubt that Steven Gerrard has all the credentials to bring the glory days back to the blue side of Glasgow, Walter Smith has to be in charge of this side, given his success as boss at the start of the decade.

The Teddy Bear’s second most successful manager led his team to back-to-back Scottish Premier League and League Cup titles in 2010 and 2011, before becoming non-executive chairman of the club in 2013

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Allan McGregor

A no brainer to begin with. Allan McGregor has had two spells at the club over the past decade, leaving for Turkish outfit Besiktas in 2012, before returning to his boyhood club in 2018.

The Scotsman was first-choice goalkeeper at the start of 2010 and is still the number one choice at Ibrox at the start of the twenties.

He was also part of the squads that lifted both the Scottish Premier League and League Cup trophies in 2010 and 2011.

Right-back: James Tavernier

The English full-back joined Rangers from Wigan Athletic in 2015 whilst they were in the Scottish Championship and has gone on to make over 150 appearances for the Scottish giants.

He appeared in the PFA Scottish Championship Team of the Year in his maiden year at the club, as well as grabbing an accolade for goal of the season. He also scored a long-range stunner in Rangers 4-0 victory over Peterhead in the Scottish Challenge Cup final.

Tavernier has gone on to become club captain and made the PFA Scottish Premiership Team of the Year in 2018/19. He also possesses great set-piece qualities and is often on free-kick and penalty duties.

A trusted asset in Steven Gerrard’s plans, Rangers fans will be hoping it won’t be long before the skipper starts lifting trophies in this current decade.

Centre-back: David Weir

David Weir entered the decade as club captain but retired shortly after in 2012. Although his best years may have been past him by the turn of 2010, Weir was still an indispensable member of Walter Smith’s squad and was captain of the sides that lifted the 2010 and 2011 SPL and League Cup titles.

He was named the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Player of the Year award for the 2009–10 season, as well as the Scottish Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year the same season.

At the age of 40, he became the joint oldest outfield player to appear in the UEFA Champions League, when he played against Bursaspor in a group stage game in December 2010. He was then inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2011, before leaving the club the following year.

Centre-back: Madjid Bougherra

The Algerian is fondly remembered by Rangers supporters and had a very successful stint at the club between 2008 and 2011. The centre-back put in a man of the match performance at Old Trafford against Manchester United in 2010, keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw in the Champions League group stage.

Bougherra played his part in the title win in 2010 and was another pivotal member of the squad that lifted league title number 54 in 2011.

Left-back: Lee Wallace

Signed in 2011 from Hearts, Lee Wallace stayed with the Gers following their demise into the lower leagues of Scottish Football. Whilst a mass exodus of star names left the club, Wallace stayed put and went on to become a club legend due to his loyalty and commitment.

Mark Warburton made him captain at the start of the 2015/16 season, and he led the side back to the promised land of the Scottish Premiership. His career was then sadly hampered by numerous injury problems, but Wallace made three appearances under Steven Gerrard in the 2018/19 season, receiving a great ovation from the Rangers faithful.

Right Midfield: Lee McCulloch

The versatile midfielder played in a number of different roles during his time at Rangers, but in order to fit in this team, we’ve put him in the unorthodox position of right midfield (no doubt he’ll do a job there).

The dependable Scotsman joined from Wigan Athletic in 2007 and was at Ibrox for 8 years before leaving for Kilmarnock in 2015. Similar to Lee Wallace, McCulloch stayed at the club when Rangers went into liquidation in 2012.

Despite being signed as a midfielder, McCulloch was often deployed as a defender and even had a solid spell as a striker at one point. His loyalty was later rewarded at the start of the 2012/13 season, as he was made club captain.

He scored a hat-trick as Rangers secured the League One Championship in March 2014, and later on that same month he was inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame. He left the club in the summer of 2015 to take over as player/manager of Kilmarnock.

Centre Midfield: Steven Davis

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Steven Davis was a class act during his first stint at Rangers, and returned to Ibrox on loan in January 2019, before making the move permanent the following summer.

The Northern Irish international was another stand out performer at the start of the decade and was named PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year at the end of the 2009/10 campaign. He scored in the League Cup final win over Celtic in 2011 and became a temporary club captain during the first part of the 2011/12 season.

The lure of Premier League side Southampton drove him away from Scotland in 2012, but seven years later he re-joined the team he supported as a boy. Although Davis is currently not in the best of form, there is no doubting the huge contribution he has made to Rangers over the past decade.

Centre Midfield: Ryan Jack

Alongside Davis in midfield is another player that is currently at the club. Ryan Jack joined Rangers in 2017 after rejecting the advances of rivals Celtic. Following his move from Aberdeen to Glasgow, Jack stated that it was an “honour and a privilege” to join the club he supported, making him an instant fan favourite at Ibrox.

The Scottish international has impressed under the management of Steven Gerrard and scored his first goal in an Old Firm clash against Celtic in 2018. The midfielder is a valuable member of Gerrard’s squad and signed a new four-year contract at the end of 2019.

Left Midfield: Ryan Kent

On the left side of the midfield, it’s another Ryan that has scored in a win over rivals Celtic, much to the delight of the adoring Rangers support. Kent initially joined Rangers on loan in 2018 but made his move from Liverpool permanent the following year.

He made 43 appearances in his debut campaign at Ibrox and was voted Rangers Young Player of the Season as well the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year.

He has impressed once again this season, capping off the decade with THAT goal against Celtic at the end of December.

Striker: Nikica Jelavic

Nikica Jelavic only had one and a half years at the club between 2010 and 2012, but he made an enormous impression. The striker was signed for £4 million from Austrian side Rapid Wien, and scored 19 goals in his debut season, including an extra-time winner against Celtic in the League Cup Final.

His superb strike against Aberdeen won him the SFA goal of the season, and he notched a goal and two assists in the 5-1 win at Kilmarnock, the game in which Rangers clinched their 54th league title.

The Croatian continued his fine goalscoring form into the following season, before signing for Premier League outfit Everton halfway through his second season in Scotland. Jelavic left Rangers with a very respectable goal record of 36 goals in 55 appearances, and for that reason, he deserves his place in this line-up.

Striker: Alfredo Morelos

It was a tough decision to leave Kenny Miller out of the starting XI, but Alfredo Morelos just had to be in this side.

“El Buffalo” joined the Gers in 2017 from Finnish side HJK Helsinki for a bargain fee of £1 million and became an instant fan favourite at Ibrox.

The Colombian scored 14 times in the league in his first season, and bagged 18 in the following campaign, making him the league’s top goalscorer. The 23-year-old has currently scored a remarkable number of 29 goals so far this season, 14 of which have come in the Europa League.

Despite his ill-mannered temper, if Morelos is to leave Rangers in the summer, he will no doubt be remembered as a prolific goalscorer that gave his all during his time in Scotland.

SUBSTITUTES:

Wes Foderingham, Steven Whittaker, Sasa Papac, Maurice Edu, Steven Naismith, Kyle Lafferty, Kenny Miller.

Keep an eye out on the Last Word on Football over the next couple of weeks, as we will take a look at creating our teams of the decade for a number of clubs from across Europe.

Main Photo:

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