New Rangers signing understands something Todd Cantwell can't grasp as contentious Norwich history repeats itself

Connor Barron hasn’t even kicked a ball for Rangers and already he has endeared himself to the Ibrox support.

Todd Cantwell hasn’t kicked a ball this season and already he has been involved in a spat with a fan online. Two Rangers players, two very different attitudes. In 24 hours the contrast was summed up - and it’s not hard to see which of the two the light blue legions prefer.

Granted, Barron still has to show what he can do following his move from Scottish Premiership rivals Aberdeen - a bold move in itself given the rivalry between the two clubs. But that fearless approach is one reason Rangers fans are excited about what the future could for him in Govan. But it was another line from his press conference after he was unveiled to the media on Friday that stuck out for many fans.

When talking about the backlash he might face having swapped his boyhood heroes and hometown team for one of their fierce rivals, he shrugged and simply said: “All I do is focus on my job on the pitch. I don’t go on social media or anything like that. That is not my job. My job is to go on the pitch and perform and let my football do the talking.”

That was music to the ears of light blue legions on, ahem, social media. It’s a refreshing attitude and one they’ve been desperate to see. For too long, they have felt players have been quick to promote themselves on social media. Already this summer, John Lundstram has been panned for his highlights reel after his exit which included his senseless red card which cost Rangers any chance of a result against Celtic in the final Scottish Premiership Old Firm derby of the season. Captain James Tavernier also got a bit of flak for showing off his personal performances in a campaign that saw them collapse in the run-in.

And then just the day after Barron’s words, it was Cantwell’s turn. A player who has already been given the mocking nickname TikTok Todd due to his online activity. The former Norwich City man was involved in a spat with a punter.

-Credit:Getty Images
-Credit:Getty Images

Having posted highlights of him in action on Instagram, one user implored him to do his talking on the pitch to which he replied: "Clips are from me playing you weapon.”

One fan immediately referenced Barron’s quote the previous day and wrote on X: “Connor Barron is 21. Will probably get more abuse at Rangers than the average player because of where he came from. Doesn’t faze the lad. Todd Cantwell is 26 and biting to comments on his Instagram. I know who I would rather have at my club.”

Norwich City fans probably aren’t too surprised to see how it’s panning out for Cantwell who is being linked with an Ibrox exit this summer after 18 months. He came through the ranks at Carrow Road and went on to star in the Premier League but it started to head in a downward spiral.

My Football Writer published an article following Cantwell’s loan move to Bournemouth and in it a line won’t shock Rangers fans. “There were more cryptic social media posts than strong performances and more surprise knocks in training than competitive goals scored,” they wrote. “On and off the pitch the Englishman struggled, unimpressive once crossing the white line and inspiration for conjecture beforehand and afterwards.

“That Cantwell’s departure was met mostly with relief by Norwich fans speaks to how badly wrong things have gone for one of the most talented players produced by the famed Colney academy. An exit had been on the cards for months, after a brief revival in hopes for the 23-year-old came upon Dean Smith’s arrival.

"Those hopes were swiftly dashed when the under-21 international stormed straight down the Carrow Road tunnel after an underwhelming performance against Aston Villa ended in 61st-minute substitution. That fateful evening was typical of the attitude-punctuated final few months Cantwell spent in NR1, after some dazzling performances had lit up hopes for another breakthrough season.”