As you may be aware, Philippe Senderos signed for Rangers this afternoon. Since he hardly played while he was at Villa Park, and spent a short spell at Grasshoppers, not many of us will have seen him play recently. So we spoke to the man who runs the Swiss Football Twitter account, who has been following football in the country for a long time. Here’s his verdict on our new signing.
GTBFO: Philippe Senderos seems to have been our second choice signing, after the deal for Joleon Lescott fell through. How did he perform in his brief stint at Grasshoppers, and what do you think he could bring to the team?
SF: I think first off, I'd say that Lescott is a much better option than Senderos. Senderos returned here last season but he was poor, so much so that Grasshoppers decided not to renew his contract, and they aren't exactly blessed with a plethora of defensive talent. I also don't think the Swiss and Scottish leagues are all that different.
That being said, he brings plenty of experience. This is a guy that has played numerous times in the Champions League and played all of Switzerland's matches at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. He likely would've played more of a part in the 2010 World Cup had he not been injured in the first game. He also captained the Swiss side once.
GTBFO: Right now Rangers are struggling due to a combination of playing with a high defensive line while possessing slow centre-backs. Senderos isn't exactly Thiago Silva, but at only 31, has he still got some legs left in him?
SF: To be honest: not really. This is a bit of an exaggerated comparison because the quality is much different but he played for Switzerland vs. Belgium in a warm-up friendly for the Euros and he looked so badly out of his depth. Lukaku is a different prospect to what he is going up against in Scotland but his lack of pace was a real factor here.
I do believe he can do well but if he comes up against anyone with pace, he will really struggle.
GTBFO: Has the move been much of a surprise? Were you expecting him to go to a bigger league?
SF: A little bit. I don't think it is a bad move for anyone to go to a Rangers or a Celtic but I would've expected him to go elsewhere. He's not really settled anywhere recently to be honest, he's jumped around from club to club. He's been to England, his return to Switzerland failed, this move is something different and potentially great for him if Rangers can get back to the level they were before 2012.
He could've went for a bigger league but as I say, if Rangers get back into Europe, those games plus the matches vs. Celtic can outweigh the overall standard of the league. He also has better chances to win trophies in Scotland.
GTBFO: Do you think there's any prospect of Senderos returning to the national team before he retires?
No, I think his time is done. He was called up for the Euros in the preliminary squad but he was eventually cut from the list. His performance vs. Belgium as I mentioned before was really bad and he looked out of his depth. He certainly isn't the best defensive option Switzerland have anymore and I can't see him breaking back into the squad, not for any major tournament football or important qualifiers anyway.
Christ. Well, don’t shoot the messenger. Hopefully Senderos does indeed defy this and go on to be a solid signing for us. Also, there’s being done by Romelu Lukaku, and there’s being done by Kris Boyd. Let’s look at what he’s coming into, here.
Don’t shoot the guy who gave us the message, either - give him a follow on Twitter.
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