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Never thought I would see the day I posted on a football site on Xmas morning. However, morose at a houseful of snoring teenagers who refuse to get up at 6 am and behave like they did when they were wee, I have done a tribute to Ian Durrant. Merry Christmas everyone, may your mince pie forever be moist.


Winter can be the cruelest season. Among footballers, Ian Durrant could certainly testify to that.


This most gifted of Scottish players, an attacking midfielder some decades ahead of his time, was cut down in his prime in early winter, October 1988. A 'tackle' from an Aberdeen player (mentioning the name of the individual concerned would only confer a gravitas upon him which he doesn't deserve) saw the usual welcome for grace and skill in Scottish football: physical assault.


Both as player and coach Durrant suffered torment on Rangers behalf; there can be few circles of Hell he is unfamiliar with after his more than 30 years at Ibrox.


Just as that early winter 26 years ago saw the only real world class talent this country has produced for two generations crippled by the mediocrity which dominates then as now, the long delayed winter of 2014 has seen him unceremoniously dumped from his job as assistant manager to Ally McCoist to a role in charge of the club's under-20's. Winter can be the cruelest season.


This demotion might not prove to be a bad thing, if Durrant is minded to accept the role. Always a larrikin, the performances of the first team over the last few years certainly suggest he, along with McCoist and McDowall, wasn't suited to training experienced pros. A big kid himself, he could conceivably be more effective at working with other kids. Even so, this demotion is not a classy way to treat a man who, had things been different, would almost certainly have moved to England and thence on to Europe - he was that good - and who was and is a Rangers fanatic.


But if Durrant deserved better from the club, he also deserved better from the fans.


No-one can argue that the team he helped create was rubbish, but some of the criticism was ridiculous. Durrant, like McCoist, only ever wanted to do the best by Rangers. Those who posted dark hints about money grabbing, uselessness and standing with arms folded did the man a huge disservice: when Ian Black puts yet another pass straight out of play, what coach on earth can teach him how to pass? A crap player is a crap player. Of course, the solution would be not to pick such dreck, which the management team singularly failed to do, but that wasn't Durrant's decision to make.


Even so, a fan base which regularly slates Steven Naismith for betraying the club which 'stood by him' during injury - a spurious argument indeed, given the legally binding contract both sides signed - but which then turns around and berate someone who stood by the club for decades, has got some issues of consistency, to say the very least.


Players need to stand by the club, they insist: but what about the other way, club to player? Or even more close to home, fan to player: what about that relationship? It only lasts as long as the times are good, does it? To suggest any player be immune from criticism would be ludicrous, but there's ways of criticising without forever destroying the special bond between fan and hero, especially when that hero was and remains a fan.


Well, if the board is dysfunctional and at one remove from the fan base, I suppose it's hardly surprising that the support is dysfunctional and at one remove from club legends.


On the whole I suppose this is a small matter, and there are far greater issues for Rangers fans to be thinking about, as the annual family pig out/fall out approaches. But we can't look back on Durranty's time at Ibrox with any great pride now, the way he's been treated. For some fans - not all - cutting one of our own a little slack and tempering criticism with respect was too much to ask, and that's deeply depressing.


I hope anyone under say 40, who might not remember the slight, elusive midfielder with the huge mop of curly hair in action, will take to Youtube to see what the fuss was about. As much a reflection then of the national preference for hackers as he is a reflection now to our own failings, Durrant is something of an unlikely Alighieri, experiencing the various circles of Hell available to the Bluenose: McCoist an even more unlikely Virgil. But both have been through an inferno on our behalf, as players and then as staff. The least they deserve is our understanding.

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He was my hero at the time , a player who glided over the ground and as an attacking midfielfer , no one could touch him , not even Gazza , alongside Michael Mols , one of the great regrets is that we never saw him fully reach his potential.


So so sad that it has come to this and in much the same way as Ally will always remember them as the players and not as the management.

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legend status as a player has nothing to do with managerial or coaching abilities. Infact McCoist and Durrants legend status bought the pair far more time than they deserved to the severe detriment of the team on the park.


the worst management team our club will ever see.

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I'm sorry it didn't work out for them as a management team, but Durrant and McCoist were, are and will remain Rangers legends for me.


I hope Andy is right about Durrant as U20 coach, but it must be hard when your protégés don't have the same natural ability that you did.

Edited by Mountain Bear
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We're an unforgiving lot that's for sure, buy I don't think we have heard the last of Mr Durrant.

I don't get it when people say we're unforgiving or fickle. I would say our fanbase in certain regards are the most forgiving ever because we have sat and watched 10 years of atrocious football and a succession of useless swines in the board room. We put up with almost 4 years of Ally McCoist and he's the worst manager I have ever seen. In continental countries if a manger performed like Ally did they wouldn't last the month.


I often hear that the problem with us giving youth a chance is the fans won't allow it. Well Fraser Aird has been given nigh on 100 matches and the guy has about as big a future in football as I do, yet we are happily to plod along pretending the guy isn't a 9th rate footballer. A winger who is incapable of dribbling or crossing. Only at ye olde RFC.

Edited by Ser Barristan Selmy
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