Rangers manager Philippe Clement has sent a clear message to his players, particularly midfielder Todd Cantwell, following the team’s Europa League clash with Aris Limassol. Cantwell’s early substitution raised eyebrows among fans, but former Rangers star Maurice Ross believes it was a calculated decision that signals a shift in managerial philosophy.
Clement’s decision to replace Cantwell with Ross McCausland just before halftime stemmed from the midfielder’s failure to meet the manager’s expectations. “That’s a gaffer’s call!! No messing about!” Ross asserted. “Tackling a ball going out of play isn’t what a Rangers ‘forward’ is about! Where are the nice touches? Slid through passes? Eliminate a man? That decision, for me, tells any player this is the new regime! How it should be!”
The incident, according to Ross, serves as a wake-up call for Cantwell and the rest of the Rangers squad. “This has been brewing for a while! U want sheep? Shoot the shepherd!” Ross emphasized. “Clement is laying down the law and making it clear that he won’t tolerate anything less than the best from his players.”
Cantwell, who joined Rangers from Norwich City earlier this year, could find his place in the starting lineup under threat if his performances fail to improve. Ross dismissed suggestions that Clement’s decision to substitute Cantwell was premature, instead highlighting the broader issue of player accountability.
“Where are the nice touches? Slid through passes? Eliminate a man? That decision, for me, tells any player this is the new regime! How it should be!” Ross reiterated. “Clement is demanding more from his players, and Cantwell needs to respond if he wants to remain a key part of this team.”
The clash between Cantwell and Clement has undoubtedly added an intriguing dimension to Rangers’ season. It remains to be seen how Cantwell will respond to the manager’s message and whether this incident will have a lasting impact on his standing within the squad.