COMMENT by Dominic Toner
Rangers midfielder Niko Kranjcar made a nightmare start in the 1-1 draw against Hamilton during the first game of the season.
The Croatian midfielder lasted just 60 minutes before Mark Warburton removed him from the field and he could now face a battle to keep his starting position.
Main goalscorer Martyn Waghorn netted a second-half equaliser to earn Rangers a draw but picked up a hamstring injury late on much to the despair of fans on Twitter.
However Rangers supporters were quick to jump on the back of Kranjcar on Twitter with one supporter claiming he has seen slugs with more pace.
For his most recent club New York Cosmos, he played seven games for since the turn of the year and it would be fair to say that Kranjcar is a shell of the player that the Premier League remembers.
Despite a distinct lack of raw speed, the midfielder spent several seasons at Portsmouth and Tottenham terrorising defences with his touch, technique and intelligent footballing brain, which allowed him to play the game at his pace.
Perhaps a lack of regular football for Kranjcar has resulted in him losing his match sharpness and his manager Mark Warburton will be desperate for him to rediscover his form from his Premier League days.
Kranjcar received heavy criticism for his performance against Hamilton, in which he seemed slow on the ball and nowhere near fit enough for the Scottish top flight. He also looked like he was carrying a few too many pounds.
It was only the first match of the season so Kranjcar may need slightly more time to regain full-fitness and perhaps lose some weight to help do so.
Kranjcar has previously played at English duo Tottenham and Portsmouth in the Premier League, as well Dinamo Zagreb, Hajduk Split, Rapid Vienna, Dynamo Kiev and most recently American side New York Cosmos.
The Croatian midfielder moved to the Scottish giants this summer and joins with vast top-level experience after 15 years at the top for club and country.
Warburton will have a decision to make whether Kranjcar is up to full-fitness to start the next game and could turn to alternative options such as Joey Barton, Andy Halliday or Harry Forrester to fill the centre of the park.
In other Rangers team news, devastated Josh Windass has revealed why he was not in the squad against Hamilton.