Nathan Oduwa draws Alloa ire in showboating row
The young striker courted controversy on his debut appearance for the Ibrox club and manager Mark Warburton, even though he didn’t think Oduwa had shown disrespect in the victory which lifted Rangers to the top of the Championship, revealed he would be “having a word” with the player.
On loan from Tottenham Hotspur, 19-year-old Oduwa had promised Rangers fans he had plenty of tricks and that he would entertain them. He packed a lot into his cameo, attempting stepovers, nutmegs and rainbow flicks before setting up the fifth goal.
But Alloa defender Colin Hamilton said: “He’s come up here and he’s trying to show off, trying to make a name for himself. What can you do? I felt as if he was taking the p***.
“What was there, a minute to go? Was there really any need for it? I can’t tell anyone how to play or not play, it’s their decision. But there were so many Rangers fans behind the goal and he was wanting to make a name with them by trying a wee trick when his side were 5-1 up.
“I didn’t get the chance to speak to him after the game as he just walked off but I’m sure there will be other guys in the league who, if he tries that against them, maybe won’t let him away with it.”
Warburton, who declared himself delighted with a “first-class performance” from his team, defended his man. “There was no lack of respect by any of the players today, absolutely not. Nathan was just enjoying his football. It’s frustrating when you’re a young player at a big club like Spurs, not getting into the first team, so he’s come up here to play.”
Warburton was asked for his position on rainbow flicks. He laughed as he declared himself “not a big fan” but added: “We’ll have a quiet word about that. Nathan’s a very respectful young guy. And I’ve no doubt he’ll make a good impression this season – for all the right reasons.”
Alloa manager Danny Lennon wasn’t critical of Oduwa, instead praising his abilities.
“He certainly looks a talent. I think he’ll be a breath of fresh air for Scottish football. You want that creativity in the game. I don’t think he was disrespectful at all. He was just wanting to show the qualities he has in front of his new fans.”
Alloa quickly equalised Rangers’ opener but just as quickly fell behind again. Although disappointed by that and the eventual scoreline, Lennon was impressed by the visitors’ performance. “You can certainly see they’re much improved in the expansive football they played,” he said.
And even Hamilton was forced to concede that the change in Rangers from last season has been dramatic. “Let’s be honest, they’re a completely different beast from how they were last year. I played against them the year before that when I was at Brechin and the difference in Rangers then to now is night and day. Their two full-backs spent the whole 90 minutes in the attacking third.”