Despite the continued problems in the boardroom, Glasgow Rangers are flying high in Scotland, unbeaten in the league and scoring for fun. Boss Ally McCoist has successfully sheltered his squad from the rollercoaster journey the club has been on over the past six months and has allowed them to focus on the job in hand. Leading his team on the pitch is the commanding figure of captain Lee McCulloch who has been a constant force for Rangers over the past few years. As a utility player, McCulloch has played in almost every position for club and country, winning praise along the way for his determination and passion. McCulloch is a proud Scot who represented his country on nineteen occasions but it’s his love for Rangers that drives him and his loyalty to the club that makes his blood pump.
Rangers have been through some dark days in the past few years including insolvency and subsequent relegation which led to the breakup of the old Rangers squad that was full of international players from across the world. When others were jumping ship, McCulloch decided to stand firm and stay loyal to the club, despite the risks associated with doing so. At the time, several newspapers stated that McCulloch had little choice but to stay as at the age of 32, new opportunities would be limited. But the truth is that the player had options including Scottish Premier League and English Championship teams who saw McCulloch’s drive and versatility as a huge advantage. The decision to stay was an easy one for the player, who couldn’t leave the team he followed as a boy in their time of need. He was rewarded with the captaincy by head coach McCoist, taking over from the departing Carlos Bocanegra. It was a masterstroke move from Rangers boss who realized that the team needed a captain who bled blue and in McCulloch they had that. He now joins a list of Rangers captains including John Gregg, Richard Gough, Lorenzo Amoruso and Barry Ferguson and loves every minute of it.
Having led the line for Rangers last season in the Scottish Third Division, alongside Andy Little, McCulloch has now been reverted back to centre back to partner Tunisia Bilel Mohsni in a new look Rangers defense. The move hasn’t stopped McCulloch from scoring and incredibly already has ten goals to his name including two hat tricks (vs. Arbroath and East Fife). At 35, McCulloch shows no signs of slowing down and wants to lead Rangers as captain back into the Premiership. Given former Rangers and Scotland legendary defender David Weir played into his forties, there is no reason why McCulloch can’t do the same. If he can stay in shape and keep the fire in his eyes burning, McCulloch should be leading Rangers out on opening day as they make their return to Scotland’s top division.
Before that can happen, McCulloch and Rangers need to secure back to back promotions, which at the current run rate looks achievable. Thirteen games in, Rangers sit top of the division with full points and look good for the title. Having scored 50 goals to date and conceded only six, Rangers are on a roll but McCulloch knows the team cannot rest on its morals. He is leading by example in every game and is demanding full focus and total commitment from each player that takes the field in a Rangers shirt. McCulloch is proud of what the team have done so far, in particular the nine clean sheets they have managed in the league and their progress in the cup competitions that Rangers are still involved in. It will be a long hard season for the aging utility player but one that he is relishing with every kick of the ball. Rangers, with McCulloch at the wheel look unstoppable and back on the right path towards reclaiming their position as one of the dominant forces in Scottish football.