Michael Mols left Rangers in 2004 – three years after Kenny Miller did so for the first time. The Dutchman departed 12 months after helping the club claim a treble, clinched with a Scottish Cup final victory over Dundee, whom they will meet on Saturday for the first time since in the competition. Remarkably, Miller, now 36, is likely to be involved for Rangers as he continues with his own “treble” at the club – having signed on at Ibrox three times.
Mols played with the 20-year-old Miller, so finds all aspects of the Kenny comebacks to Rangers remarkable. “He also went to the other side and that also made him really special,” said the former striker of Miller’s spell with Celtic. “But the fans accepted him and that shows what kind of player he really is. When he came from Hibs at first he was a very young, promising player.”
Miller is on a promise from manager Mark Warburton to play in the Scottish top flight next season, having recently signed a new contract.
He will turn 37 in December and playing Premiership football then would be another feather in the Scotland international’s cap.
“It’s surprising, in a way, that he’s still playing for Rangers because you don’t often see strikers still playing professionally at that age,” said Mols, in Glasgow to promote the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at Ibrox in three days’ time. “Strikers always have two defenders marking them, and need to be in action all the time. It was easier for David Weir to play for longer at the back because it takes less energy. Defenders also have more players around them to help them out, while forwards have to do something with the ball whenever they have it.
“On the other hand, he always looked after himself and now he is getting the benefit of that. When it comes to playing in the Premiership it depends whether or not his body will let him – he certainly hasn’t lost his desire or his eagerness to play.”
Arguments persist over the issue of Rangers’ hosting of Dundee on Saturday and whether they have ever done so before. The old club’s liquidation in 2012 means, in a business sense, this Rangers can be considered a new club. Dens Park playmaker Gary Harkins suggested as much.
The issue is like the existence of God. Believe or don’t believe, it is up to you. The problem is – in the main – supporters of Rangers and Celtic decreeing that you cannot hold the opinion that contradicts theirs. Mols demonstrates the admirable Dutch equanimity over the thorny subject.
“Maybe he [Harkins] sees it as a new club but for me it’s still Rangers – the same stadium, same support, same colours. For me, it doesn’t change anything. Maybe for him, that’s his opinion, but for me it always will be Rangers.”
l Michael Mols was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.