The last we heard of Nile Ranger was two months ago, when Southend boss Phil Brown was complaining because he couldn’t play the former Newcastle United waster.
Back in September, Southend weren’t able to play the striker in midweek matches because he was tagged and curfew after early release from prison (see below)
Nile Ranger is now free of those tagging and curfew conditions but there is a new problem.
Tuesday night saw Southend draw 1-1 at MK Dons but ahead of the match Phil Brown said Ranger wouldn’t be involved.
Phil Brown talking to the Southend Echo:
“Nile isn’t involved because of a disciplinary procedure yesterday.
“It’s not for public consumption what’s happened but it’s just down to discipline and we’ll leave it at that.”
Despite Phil Brown’s hopes, we are bound to find out eventually what the one-time Newcastle forward has been up to this time – but it must be something pretty bad for your own club to punish themselves as well by leaving you out of the team.
I was just relieved when Newcastle belatedly got rid of him in 2013.
Having made 14 appearances for Southend this season, Nile Ranger at last seemed to be concentrating on his football after everything that had gone before, including doing time in prison.
The Mag – 12 September 2017:
Southend United made the questionable decision to keep Nile Ranger rather than sacking him, after he was sent to jail.
The former Newcastle player was given an eight month sentence after committing fraud on a vulnerable woman through an online banking scam.
Ranger was surprisingly released in August after only 10 weeks of his eight month sentence due to “consistently excellent custodial behaviour” and returned to Southend United.
Nine days ago he made his first appearance of the season off the bench, then started Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Charlton.
Tuesday though sees a problem, as it is a 7.45pm kick-off and Nile Ranger is tagged and curfewed from 7pm until 7am under the conditions of his early release.
Southend face Shrewsbury Town and manager Phil Brown isn’t too impressed, especially with injury problems affecting his squad as well:
“Nile Ranger is a positive from the (Charlton) game, so was the goal and the way we played in the first half.
“Unfortunately the tag is causing me a problem.
“His curfew is 7pm until 7am and it doesn’t look like we’ve got the opportunity of playing Nile.
“I’ve been in touch with governors, as opposed to coaches, about what systems we should be playing. These are problems that we have got.
“I have spoken to Nile and it’s looking like it’s 90-95 per cent that he’s unavailable for Tuesday.”
However, Nile Ranger is shortly due to have the tag removed and so he will be available by the time Southend next play at night, against Fleetwood on 23 September.
Whenever I read anything about Nile Ranger these days, I always have two thoughts.
Firstly, how on earth did Newcastle keep him for so long before eventually kicking him out.
Secondly, I am always grateful that he is no longer our problem.